Penguin pulps Lolita after axing fictional foreword

Penguin is pulping the new Penguin Modern Classics edition of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, published at the end of April, after accidentally excising the novel's fictional foreword.

Lolita, Nabokov's controversial novel about a middle-aged man's sexual obsession with a 12-year-old girl, begins with a foreword written by a "John Ray". In the new Penguin edition, however, the foreword has been dropped entirely from the text.

The error was picked up this week on the blog of independent South London bookshop The Bookseller Crow on the Hill.

Penguin Press publicity director Rosie Glaisher said the opening section of the novel had been taken out by accident. "We missed a few pages out. We're pulping the books and reprinting it. It was just a mistake and it's being corrected now," she said.