Thursday, May 21, 2009

Top ten fruit scenes in literature

Adam Leith Gollner is the author of The Fruit Hunters : A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce and Obsession.

For the Guardian, he named his top 10 fruit scenes in literature.

Number One on his list:
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

"She had painted lips and was holding in her hollowed hands a beautiful, banal, Eden-red apple… She tossed it up into the sun-dusted air, and caught it – it made a polished plop. Humbert Humbert intercepted the apple…"

Fruits and forbidden carnality go way back, an association Nabokov exploits giddily in this climactic scene. It's a Sunday morning in June. Lolita is wearing bobbysocks and a pink cotton dress. Humbert wakes, puts on his purple silk dressing down, and goes downstairs in search of Lo. He finds her pawing a Red Delicious apple, and slithers next to her on the candy-striped davenport. Sprawling herself athwart Humbert, the tanned nymphet devours her immemorial fruit, arousing "a hidden tumor of unspeakable passion". Humbert cannot contain his surreptitious euphoria: "I entered a plane of being where nothing mattered, save the infusion of joy brewed within my body."
Read about another title on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue