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Nabokov's own translation of the book into Russian was published by Phaedra Publishers in New York in 1967.
The novel is notable for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator, a middle-aged literature professor called Humbert Humbert, is obsessed with the 12-year-old Dolores Haze, with whom he becomes sexually involved after he becomes her stepfather. Lolita quickly attained a classic status; it is today regarded as one of the prime achievements in 20th century literature, though also among the most controversial.
The novel was adapted into a film by Stanley Kubrick in 1962, and again in 1997 by Adrian Lyne.
It has also been adapted several times for the stage and has been the subject of two operas, two ballets, and an acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful Broadway musical.
Its assimilation into popular culture is such that the name "Lolita" has been used to imply that a young girl is sexually precocious.
Lolita is included on TIME magazine's list of the 100 best English-language novels published from 1923 to 2005.It is also fourth on the Modern Library's 1998 list of the 100 best novels of the 20th century, and holds a place in the Bokklubben World Library, a 2002 collection of the most celebrated books in history.Humbert Humbert, a European literary scholar, describes the premature death of his childhood sweetheart, Annabel Leigh.He suggests his unconsummated love for her caused his fixation with nymphets (girls aged 9–14) and indulges in his sexual fantasies by pretending to read a book in a public park and being aroused by nymphets playing near him, as well as by visiting a prostitute who he believes is 16 or 17, and imagining her to be three years younger.After a misadventure when he requests a nymphet-aged girl from a pimp, Humbert marries an adult woman with childish mannerisms, Valeria, to allay suspicion.His marriage with Valeria dissolves, after she admits to having an affair with a Russian taxi driver.