Skip to comments.Russian Church Seeks Ban on Modern Classics Such as 'Lolita,' Citing 'Pedophilia'
Posted on 10/26/2011 7:38:12 AM PDT by Borges
A senior Russian Orthodox official claimed Wednesday that novels by Vladimir Nabokov and Gabriel Garcia Marquez justify pedophilia and said they should be banned in the nation's high schools.
Father Vsevolod Chaplin's demand that Russia's government investigate and limit the use of the books was his church's latest attempt to impose religious norms in a country that once rejected religion altogether. Chaplin, who heads the Moscow Patriarchate's public relations department, discussed Nabokov's "Lolita" and Garcia Marquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude" on Ekho Moskvy radio, accusing both of "justifying pedophilia."
The priest later elaborated in comments carried by Interfax, saying the authors' works should not be included in high school curriculums as they "romanticize perverted passions that make people unhappy."
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Hmmm. Sounds like what a religion that cares for souls SHOULD be saying.
Explain the positive value of reading these works? How does this prepare high schoolers to be well formed adults?
p s - Noted elsewhere that the Russians are reinststing bans on abortion. Perhaps there is hope that Western values CAN be saved, after all.
I don't think any enterprising youngster is prohibited from seeking these books outside the classroom. I think it is a question of curriculum, and I am with the Good Father on this one.
Let’s ban Romeo and Juliette and “Death in Venice” by Thomas Mann too.
As usual, this is defined as ‘banning books’ when actually it is merelt being said that these books are inappropriate for assignment to high school kids.
That anti-’banning’ people here in the US do the same thing. When a book is assigned in high school the kids have to read it. If parents object to overt sex scenes in some novel, they are attacked as fundamentalist dolts who want to ‘ban books’.
As adults they can make their own choices. Therefore more cafre must be taken with what is assigned. But there are a lot of pedophiles in our school systems as we see in the news every day.
The Russian church is NOT seeking to ban modern classics.
They are in the process of building 200 Christian churches in Moscow right now. You might try asking yourself whose side God would be on if there were to be a war between us and Russia given that information.....
In truth, the article misstates when it says, “was his church’s latest attempt to impose religious norms in a country that once rejected religion altogether.” It was Lenin, and the rest of the Soviets who did that. The populace didn’t really have a choice in the matter. And while I would truly prefer unity between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, I would definitely say, hands down, better Orthodox than atheist, insofar as Russia is concerned. That’s my opinion. But it is colored by the fact that three of my horde are daughters, who, like their mother, are cute as bugs.
Lolita is pedophilia, pure and simple, and certainly is not a classic.
I can’t imagine any member of the clergy, respectable one anyone, not arguing against it.
This certainly has no business as being part of a grade school or high school cirriculum.
That book by Nabokov?
It doesn’t seem that he wants them “banned,” but simply not part of the high school curriculum. I agree and I don’t think they should be part of required reading, except perhaps for an advanced literature class of older students that would analyze them and their moral implications.
Granted, they’re pretty mild by today’s standards (although I have always thought that Lolita was one of the ickiest books ever written), but maybe the reason today’s standards are so low is that most of us were forced to read books like this in high school.
‘Lolita’ is a “Modern Classic”?
I must be dumb because I thought it was one of the most useless and retarded books I ever opened.
Lolita is very much a literary classic - one of the best novels of the 20th century and a great piece of Americana. It doesn’t endorse pedophilia any more than Macbeth endorses Regicide. The Church should be focused on battling abortion and fighting the Islamic onslaught in Russia - this is a waste of time.
It pops on lists of Best Novels of the 20th century all the time. Retarded? LOL
De gustibus non est disputandum.
Please give me an example of a great Anglophone writer of Nabokov’s generation. He’s been compared to Joyce as a master of English Prose. Lolita is about the collision of Modernism and Postmodernism.
The positive value of reading Lolita is being exposed to a masterly use of language that’s close to unprecedented in the last century - the ideas are also still very relevant.
He’s a generation earlier. :) Nabokov’s contemporaries are Faulkner, Hemingway, Steinbeck...
Just what I was thinking!
It’s not what you think. It’s about a whole range of things that have nothing to do with its popular reputation. It’s certainly not pornographic.
That book by Nabokov?
LOL. Somebody had to say it.
I read Lolita in College many years ago and if memory serves right it was much more about the destructive nature of obsession that about pedophilia.Humbert Humber’s life was destroyed because of his berserk obsession with lolita.The novel was somewhat sleazy but not really a celebration of perversion IMHO
It’s not sleazy at all. It operates on a very high level.
So, you believe that it is appropriate to force all high school age students to read this novel? Because that is the issue at hand.
Your citation of this being on the list of best novels of the 20th Century is laughablly unimpressive to me. Consider the list of most acclaimed visual artists of the 20th Century and I think you’ll get my point. Who prepares these lists and why is a question we should be asking.
If the Church should focus on figting abortion, as you suggest, what better way to do so than to restore a strong sense of morality in her young people? The novel “defines deviancy downward” by suggesting that pedophilia is more commonplace than previously thought and “normalizes” it to a certain degree.
Regardless of whatever literary prowess you believe it exhibits, the fact remains that it is damaging to the moral sense of young people; for that reason it should not be required reading for high school students.
They are in the process of building 200 Christian churches in Moscow right now.
When I was a child and then a teen attending Catholic schools in the 1950s and the 1960s, we frequently prayed for the conversion of communist Russia. Perhaps our prayers are being answered today.
Whether high schools teach it or not should up to them and Literature Depts. within them...not an external party with no background in the matter. How much do you want to bet that they’ve never actually read this work? The Random House’s Modern Library imprint did a list in the late 1990s and polled their Editorial Board (which was pretty impressive)...the occasion was the end of the century. And it doesn’t normalize Pedophilia at all. Have you read it? Does Romeo and Juliet normalize teen suicide? The popular image of the novel has nothing to do with its actual content.
Your citation of this being on the list of best novels of the 20th Century is laughablly unimpressive to me. Consider the list of most acclaimed visual artists of the 20th Century and I think youll get my point.
Your point is pretty clear to me. You are not much of a fan of modern art. Which is no problem - it’s a subjective thing.
So why should your point (”the fact remains that it is damaging to the moral sense of young people”) be taken at face value? And why should Borges’ point be rejected out of hand?
How can you possibly demonstrate that reading Lolita damages ones’ moral sense? Is mere exposure to taboo topics enough?
A while back I was reading an obscure hardboiled crime novel from the early 60s that had a line where the detective/narrator says, “I went home and read Lolita, the sad story of a little girl who couldn’t find anybody her own age to play with.”
“They are in the process of building 200 Christian churches in Moscow right now.”
And IIRC in Moscow the mosques are popping up like mushrooms after rainfall. The Russians are making cozy with the mullahs in Iran; the Chechnya region is owned by Al Qaeda. Given the abysmal Russian birthrate and alcoholism rate, these new churches may be too little too late. Hope not, anyway.
I remember in high school the argument over “Catcher in the Rye”. As for the movie “Lolita” they cast Sue Lyon who was already sixteen. IMO the comedy involving the other characters was much funnier than that of a manipulative teenager and her middle aged admirer.
Groucho Marx said that he would read Lolita but he’d wait six years...when she turns 18.
Er...no. Nabokov is somebody who would probably be forgotten by now had he not been adopted by the academy.
What’s your basis for that statement? Lolita was a bestseller as well as a critical success. Nabokov is remembered as a critic and lepidopterist as well as still being immensely popular as an imaginative writer. If anything he’s under represented in the Academy - his work doesn’t neatly fit into any neat national traditions or stylistic trends. It’s sui generis. BTW what of his have you read if I may ask?
What’s your basis for that statement? Lolita was a bestseller as well as a critical success. Nabokov is remembered as a critic and lepidopterist as well as still being immensely popular as an imaginative writer. If anything he’s under represented in the Academy - his work doesn’t neatly fit into any national traditions or stylistic trends. It’s sui generis. BTW what of his have you read if I may ask?
Sorry, but reading about a guy who desires a child, marries her mother to stay near the child, lies to the child about her mothers death, coerces her into sexual relations for favors, etc etc etc.. is not “Americana”
To put Norman Rockwell and “Lolita” in the same category is rediculous. Its a book about a pedophile, pure and simple, and has no business being part of a schools cirriculum.
The Russian people never stopped being Christians. The commies themselves gave up on communism and to my thinking the main factor was those huge shopping districts in the centers of German and Scandinavian cities; the commie idiots who traveled were seeing ordinary middle class people buying nifty things they themselves could not own.
The new Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.
Lolita contains some of the best descriptions of Truman era America ever written. It is Americana written by someone who loved America. Yes, it’s about a pedophile. Macbeth is about a murderer. So is ‘Crime and Punishment’. Do you think those also have no place on a school curriculum? The argument is absurd on its face.
Say what you like about assigning Nabokov to kids, but one thing is for certain - you’ll never get through a single copy of any of his works without ample use of a dictionary.
That may not be a bad thing for students.
A lot of people never finish Lolita because of the intellectual effort and concentration it requires. Every sentence has to be absorbed.
I’m afraid we’ve declined into The Era of the Lowbrow.