Archive for the '12 Years Old' Category

Twelve Year Old – Leo Colston


The year 1900 had an almost mystical appeal for me; I could hardly wait for it: ‘Nineteen hundred, nineteen hundred,’ I would chant to myself in rapture; and as the old century drew to its close, I began to wonder whether I should live to see its successor. I had an excuse for this: I had been ill and was acquainted with the idea of death; but much more it was the fear of missing something infinitely precious – the dawn of a Golden Age. For that was what I believed the coming century would be: the realization, on the part of the whole world, of the hopes I was entertaining for myself.

The diary was a Christmas present from my mother, to whom I had confided some, though by no means all, of my aspirations for the future, and she wanted its dates to be worthily enshrined.

In my zodiacal fantasies there was one jarring note, to which, when I indulged them, I tried not to listen, for it flawed the experience. This was my own role in it.

My birthday fell in late July and I had an additional reason, an excellent one, though I should have been loath to mention it at school, for claiming the Lion as my symbol. But much as I admired him and what he stood for, I could not identify myself with him, because of late I had lost the faculty which, like other children, I had once revelled in, of pretending that I was an animal. A term and a half at school had helped to bring about this disability in my imagination; but it was also a natural change. I was between twelve and thirteen, and I wanted to think of myself as a man.

L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between

Published in: 12 Years Old | on November 23rd, 2009 | 2 Comments »

Twelve Year Old – Dolores ‘Lolita’ Haze


Oh, she simply hated her daughter! What I thought especially vicious was that she had gone out of her way to answer with great diligence the questionnaires in a fool’s book she had (A Guide to Your Child’s Development), published in Chicago. The rigmarole went year by year, and Mom was supposed to fill out a kind of inventory at each of her child’s birthdays. On Lo’s twelfth, January 1, 1947, Charlotte Haze, née Becker, had underlined the following epithets, ten of forty, under ‘Your Child’s Personality’: aggressive, boisterous, critical, distrustful, impatient, irritable, inquisitive, listless, negativistic (underlined twice) and obstinate. She had ignored the thirty remaining adjectives, among which were cheerful, co-operative, energetic, and so forth. It was really maddening. With a brutality that otherwise never appeared in my loving wife’s mild nature, she attacked and routed such of Lo’s little belongings that had wandered to various parts of the house to freeze there like so many hypnotised bunnies. Little did the good lady dream that one morning when an upset stomach (the result of my trying to improve on her sauces) had prevented me from accompanying her to church, I deceived her with one of Lolita’s anklets. And then, her attitude toward my saporous darling’s letters!


Hope you are fine. Thank you very much for the candy. I [crossed out and re-written again] I lost my new sweater in the woods. It has been cold here for the last few days. I’m having a time. Love.


‘The dumb child,’ said Mrs. Humbert, ‘has left out a word before “time.” That sweater was all-wool, and I wish you would not send her candy without consulting me.’

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

Published in: 12 Years Old | on November 23rd, 2009 | 2 Comments »