Acclaimed novelist Imraan Coovadia will discuss Lolita, one of the most controversial books of the 20th century, for GIPCA’s Great Texts / Big Questions.

At the 1 April lecture Coovadia will discuss ‘How to read Lolita’. This free hour-long lecture is open to the public, UCT staff and students and starts at 17h00 in Hiddingh Hall, on UCT’s Hiddingh Campus, Orange Street, in the heart of Cape Town’s CBD.

Written by Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita was first published in Paris in 1955. It is one of the best-known and most controversial books of 20th century literature. Coovadia says: “I’ll be talking about the Lolita problem. How do we respond to a book which is a first person narrative by a man who is trying to seduce a 12 year old girl after marrying her mother? Nabokov promises us readers “bliss”? Well, what sort of bliss? Is there a “lesson” in reading Lolita and why has Nabokov described it as the most moral of his novels?

Imraan Coovadia is an Associate Professor in UCT’s English Department. He has written many stories, essays and book reviews, as well as three novels–The Wedding, Green-Eyed Thieves, and, in 2009, High Low In-Between. Coovadia has worked extensively on Adam Smith, George Eliot, and V.S. Naipaul. He is currently studying the Russian-American writer Vladimir Nabokov, author of Lolita.

Imraan Coovadia audio recording available for download.

Imraan Coovadia video recording:

Start: 1 Apr ’10 5:30 pm

End: 1 Apr ’10 6:30 pm

Cost: Free


Organizer: GIPCA


Venue: Hiddingh Hall 

Phone: +27 21 480 7156 

Address: Google Map UCT Hiddingh Campus, 31-37 Orange Street, Cape Town, 8001, Cape Town, Western Cape, 8001, South Africa