I’m sure many of you will have seen this story about Asinine Australia Post’s decision to remove the Popular Penguin editions of Lolita, The Delta of Venus and The History of Sexuality from display. If it wasn’t so pathetic and stupid it’d be funny (not least because, as Godard’s Letterboxes has pointed out on her Twitterfeed, there’s an irony in the notion of repressing a book about sexual repression which seems to have gone straight over the heads of Australia Post’s public affairs people).
Anyone who’s heard me on the subject will know I can bang on endlessly about the lunacy of the contemporary nanny state, so rather than bore you all with more blog-rage, I thought I’d revisit another piece of marketing hilarity concerning Nabokov’s masterpiece. This was last year’s revelation that Woolworths in the UK were selling a range of bedroom furniture aimed at young girls called “Lolita”, and featuring a bed called the “Lolita Midsleeper Combi”.
A special bed? And a Combi at that? Oh Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. What exalted heaven is this?
Apparently Woolworths “had no idea” about the connotations of the name.
If you didn’t laugh, you’d cry.