“An earlier version of this essay included several sentences adapted, without attribution, from an article by Caitlin Flanagan, “How ‘Lolita’ Seduces Us All,” that appeared in the September 2018 issue of The Atlantic. The essay has been revised to attribute those passages,” the paper said in a note at the bottom of Mortimer’s article.
One of Mortimer’s best-known roles was as a cable news producer on HBO’s “The Newsroom.” The British-American is also a screenwriter and has appeared in numerous movies, including “Match Point,” “Mary Poppins Returns,” and “Shutter Island.”
Journalist Jeryl Bier noted the update on Twitter.
Mortimer discussed the book, which drew controversy for its protagonist’s sexual obsession with a young girl, and how she re-read it while promoting her 2017 movie, “The Bookshop.”
The section where she lifted lines now reads, “Part of the charm of those first pages, as Caitlin Flanagan has noted in The Atlantic, is that they introduce Humbert as a winsome and sensitively tuned boy, a child himself. “But then,” Flanagan writes, “just a few pages later, he is an adult who is — what the hell? — cursed to live in ‘a civilization which allows a man of 25 to court a girl of 16 but not a girl of 12.’ One had heard certain things about ‘Lolita’ — but 12?” Flanagan continues: “Here was Humbert extolling ‘certain East Indian provinces’ where men of 80 ‘copulate with girls of 8, and nobody minds.’ And here he was on his habit of seeking out very young girls wherever he could find them, in orphanages and reform schools and public places: ‘Ah, leave me alone in my pubescent park, in my mossy garden. Let them play around me forever. Never grow up.’”