Marika Moisseeff : Lolitas, or the Story of a Structural Otherness

Following the 1955 publication of Nabokov’s novel, “ physically attractive, flirtatious young girls giving the impression of ingenuous naïveté ” (Petit Robert dictionary) are indifferently designated by the terms lolita or nymphet : potential women whose bodies have yet to undergo the upheavals associated with motherhood. A nymph also designates the chrysalis of certain insects whose larvae, while undergoing a transformation into a reproductive creature, conserves its juvenile characteristics. What might be the meaning of this connection between prepubescent “ innocent ” femininity and an inferior animal such as an insect ? The analysis of certain works of science fiction may provide the key.