the NachtKabarett

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All Writing & Content © Nick Kushner Unless Noted Otherwise

The most prevalent literary influence of the album and Manson's state of being is that of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, one of the most notorious books of the Twentieth Century. The song 'Heart Shaped Glasses' is the most obvious nod to Lolita as according to Manson, Evan Rachel Wood is also a huge fan of Nabokov and had deliberately worn heart shaped sunglasses upon meeting for a tryst when their relationship became romantic.

Connections to the novel are much deeper than simply the "inside joke" between Manson and Evan of the obvious age difference and it should be noted that the heart shaped sunglasses as associated with Lolita appear only in the promotional poster and cover of Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation of the novel, not actually in the movie itself nor in Nabokov's novel.

Infamous and iconic; film poster & cover of Stanley Kubrick's 1962 film version of 'Lolita'. This image, though synonymous with nymphetic lust, is the only place where our Lolita is shown wearing heart shaped glasses. Not in the film itself.

It should be noted as a preamble that Vladimir Nabokov himself had the condition known as synesthesia, where one's senses are coupled in their perception. This is noteworthy inasmuch as for close to a year contained a section titled 'Synesthesia Archive'. As revealed by Manson in his 2007 SPIN magazine cover feature, Nabokov was the first translator of Carroll's 'Alice In Wonderland' into his native Russian. Of course this is connected via Manson's 'Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll' film project. What was not noted by Manson however was that additionally Nabokov was also the first translator of Edgar Allan Poe's works into Russian, whom Manson has also referenced rather often since 2003. Nabokov is also the author of a story entitled 'Invitation To A Beheading' which Manson has dually cited as a significant inspiration on Eat Me, Drink Me :

I was invited to a beheading today
Marilyn Manson in Eat Me, Drink Me's title track
Image closeup of Evan wearing heart shaped glasses, from both the song's video as well as in the 'Eat Me, Drink Me' album artwork

Lolita, as a novel, despite its protagonist's salient objective, is a love story which is an absolutely beautiful work of the English language with richly woven tapestries of metaphors and wordplays which Manson himself is very fond of. The story is written from the perspective of one 'Humbert Humbert' from behind prison walls for a murder which is only alluded to as the killing of the man who took his Lolita, Dolores Haze, away from him. Humbert is a professor who, after losing his first pubescent love to death before their relationship fully consummated, developed a longing fetish for a class of girls he terms 'nymphets'. These nymphets are not innocent young girls, nor girls at all in Humbert's view, but rather they are demonic temptresses who are between the ages of 12 and 14, before they've reached their stages of maturation into womanhood. After a handful of failed relationships and brothel visits he realizes that no woman can compare to the unreal pleasures of a nymphet, and if they appear to fulfill the desire such metaphorical needles as the coarse black morning stubble upon the legs of a full blossomed woman with nymphetic overtones shatters the balloon of his temporal bliss. By chance (or divine fate) he arrives at the New England home of Charlotte Haze, a widow, who is prospectively seeking a well-to-do, and ideally a tall dark and handsome man like Humbert in which to rent the spare room of her home to for the summer months. Though cringing at the thought of spending a single consecutive moment longer in the gaudy house which the over enthusiastic house owneress peddled off to Humbert Humbert, fate intervened and as it would happen, Charlotte's daughter who was sunbathing at the exact moment the house tour reached the back yard was in fact the most divine nymphet our protagonist could have dreamed of.

'Someone should hearts over her eyes' (Portrait for Evan Rachel Wood. Watercolor painting by Marilyn Manson

Through fantasies and the disguised, subdued courtship of 12 year old Lolita after entering his life, Humbert ecstatically to his diary proclaims:

A shipwreck. An atoll. Alone with a drowned passenger's shivering child. Darling, this is only a game!
Humbert Humbert in Lolita
This is only a game, This is only a game
Marilyn Manson in Eat Me, Drink Me's title track


Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov Evan Rachel Wood as Lolita | 'Eat Me, Drink Me' album artwork
Left, cover of Nabokov's 'Lolita' (and this author's personal copy at that) and, right, a strikingly similar polaroid photo composition of Evan Rachel Wood which appears within the 'Eat Me, Drink Me' album artwork.
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov Evan Rachel Wood as Lolita | 'Eat Me, Drink Me' album artwork
Screencaptures of the Heart Shaped Glasses video showing a similar closeup on Evan Rachel Wood's mouth, and an orchestrated rain of identical polaroids of Evan's mouth, the very same polaroid that was used for the album artwork.


Plot lines abridged, Humbert eventually realizes that the most assured method of remaining close to his Lolita is by betrothing her mother. Upon discovering Humbert's true intentions via his lock-and-key diary the devastated 'Haze Woman' in an uncontrollable frenzy of jilted rage is hit by a neighbor's car at the foot of her own driveway. This series of events is the turning point of the novel where Lolita is completely for the taking by her new stepfather.

Manson wearing the song-named glasses during his Rape of the World tour. Photo credit : Platinum_Orgy.
6am Christmas morning.
If I Was Your Vampire

Eat Me, Drink Me begins with the gothic ballad, If I Was Your Vampire, which opens with the line, "6am Christmas morning..." 2006, which Manson elaborated was a real-time revelatory moment where he received the phone call that ended his marriage. The album in a sense began from this point as each death by nature gives birth to a new beginning.

In a case of extreme synchronisity of life paralleling art, 6am marked the first time Humbert and Lolita made love.


"6:19 and I know I'm ready." Inlet artwork inside of Eat Me, Drink Me.
6:19. Still frame from the Heart Shaped Glasses video prior to Manson and Evan driving off a cliff. "Together as one against all others."