How timely was my last post I ask you? Just after I rave about British actors they go and sweep the Golden Globes. Then there's also the question of Jeremy Irons. I blog about him and suddenly everywhere I look - he's there! For one I’ve been trying to get my hands on Brideshead Revisited (to no avail) and he’s in that. I saw the Merchant of Venice day before and he played Antonio. And then he was at the Globes where he won for Elizabeth I. I haven’t seen the series but that didn’t stop me from cheering and saying “He totally deserved that!” But that’s only because he is always good.
Interestingly, he was wearing a Chinese shirt with red buttons, a pattern of red roses and sleeves that were much too long. When I saw that I was quite sure he would make it to gofugyourself.com’s list of offenders (he hasn’t yet). Oh dear, I thought. Sir, I love you and all but red roses? Really?? Oh well, who am I kidding, he still looked totally hot.
Right. And then in the library I stumbled upon this little gem. The audio book version of Lolita. No prizes for guessing who it’s been narrated by. (For the record, Irons was also in the 1997 movie of the book.) I didn’t hear the whole thing (its eleven hours long!!), but just listening to Irons’ voice as he read Nabokovs prose lends a completely different perspective to the book. I have read Lolita, but I just had to read it again, and I am. It’s even better than I remembered. And like all truly great literature there are tiny details, nuances you missed the first time, what you make of certain lines changes.
The opening paragraph of Lolita is not only one of my favorites but also one of the most beautiful I have ever read. And now all I hear when I read it is Irons’ voice narrating it with such love, passion and sadness all at once. The beauty of it just breaks my heart.
“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.
She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.”