Chapter 11 Summary
Humbert keeps a diary of his first couple of weeks in the Haze household. In it, he obsessively records every encounter he has with Lolita. On the first day, he watches from the bathroom window as she hangs laundry and plays in the yard. He describes her tomboyish clothes and her perfect, “downy” skin. In passing, he notes that the daughter of Mr. McCoo is “a fright.”
Over the next few days, Humbert takes every opportunity to admire Lolita. He enjoys everything about her: her cocky refusal to obey her mother, her childish slang, her smell. When she sunbathes in the garden, he is at first afraid to go outside and watch. Soon he arrives at the idea of going out before she does. From this point on, he feels free look at her all he wants.
The only problem is Lolita's mother, whom he calls names like “big Haze” or “fat Haze” whenever he mentions her. “Fat Haze” is evidently nurturing a crush on Humbert, a fact that annoys him. Whenever he finds an opportunity to get excited, she appears and presses him into “make-believe conversation” about books he dislikes. Lolita is also developing a crush on Humbert, and “fat Haze” enjoys teasing her about this.
One day when Mrs. Haze is out, Humbert finds Lolita struggling to get a speck of dirt out of her eye. He tells her that Swiss peasants use the tongue to fix this problem. She allows him to lick her eyeball, and she seems pleased when the speck comes out. He asks permission to lick the other eyeball, and—a bit confused—she lets him. Then she giggles and runs away, leaving him in an “agony” of unfulfilled sexual need that is more intense than any he has ever felt—even with Annabel on the Riviera.
Already Lolita is beginning to become more important to Humbert than Annabel ever was. He is thrilled when she sits between him and Mrs. Haze in the evening, or when she squeezes in next to him on trips in the car. On these occasions, he sometimes brushes his hand along her arm or nuzzles his nose into her hair. To his dismay, Mrs. Haze regards Lolita as an annoyance and typically finds excuses to make the girl leave.
For a long time, Humbert and the Hazes discuss taking a trip to a nearby lake together. Over and over, the excursion gets cancelled due to bad weather or bad behavior on Lolita’s part. Humbert becomes obsessed with the idea of this trip, and the lake becomes the site of many fantasies involving little Lolita.