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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Volgograd City Council Demands Theater Version of 'Lolita' Banned

The communist-dominated city council in the southern Russian city of Volgograd has demanded that the local theater's production of "Lolita" be banned as immoral.

In their resolution, the elected council members called the work "immoral and corruptive," the daily Kommersant reported Wednesday.

The famous novel by Vladimir Nabokov, who emigrated to United States and wrote in both English and Russian, tells the story of a middle-aged man's obsession with a 12-year-old girl.

American editors rejected the novel for years fearing accusations of immorality.

The novel was not published in Soviet times. Censors were very prudish, and works by emigres were banned anyway.

That changed after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, the novel has been published in Russia and the play based on it has been staged several times.

Kommersant noted wryly that the city council's action may have the opposite effect from what they had intended.

"One obvious, time-tested scenario is that the city's young people, driven by the youthful spirit of contradiction, ... will all go and all read 'Lolita' and schools will introduce optional courses on Nabokov," Kommersant wrote.