Lolita—the Cover Girl

Inspired images from an iconic novel

    BY: Liz MacDonald

    Friday, January 27, 2017

Vladimir Nabakov’s Lolita started its life simply in 1955 with a plain, green cover—no doubt the subject matter was controversial enough without adding fuel to the fire. Nabokov himself had something to say at the time about Lolita’s original look: “I want pure colors, melting clouds, accurately drawn details, a sunburst above a receding road with the light reflected in furrows and ruts, after rain. And no girls.” But by time of the 1962 Stanley Kubrick film adaptation, Lolita had taken on a life of its own. The novel had become a cultural phenomenon that continues today, inspiring hundreds of different cover designs. Maybe that’s appropriate for a novel essentially about obsession.

Eventually, Nabokov came to appreciate the fact that Lolita had achieved pop culture fame. We’ve found fascinating video footage of the author discussing which of the Lolita covers he preferred and we’ve collected few of our own favorites Lolita cover designs, below. If you look carefully, you’ll see that we have one of Nabokov’s faves included in our picks as well.

Vladimir Nabokov discusses Lolita‘s covers:

 

Vladamir-Nabokovs-Lolita-–-1962-Corgi-Paperback-–-Movie-Tie-in-Edition

 

V.-Nabokov-Lolita-1991-Book-cover-by-Waldemar-Świerzy

 

Vladimir-Nabokov-Lolita-Le-Livre-de-Poche-Paris-1963

 

Lolita-with-sneakers

 

Lolita-Penguin-2

 

lolita-story

 

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Lolita-Penguin-modern-classic

 

Lolita-Penguin-eating-apple

 

Vladimir-Nabokov-The-Annotated-Lolita-Penguin-Classics-Published-2000