Emendations to Annotated Editions of Lolita, Leland de la Durantaye

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In The Nabokovian Number 58  Spring 2007 Leland de la Durantaye further illuminates the text by commenting on a dozen and a half  notes in Alfred Appel, Jr.’s indispensable The Annotated Lolita. I found this quite interesting:

43. “Monday. Delectatio morosa. I spend my doleful days in dumps and dolors.” Appel offers the following note to this passage: “Latin; morose pleasure, a monastic term” (AL, 357; note 43/2). Delectatio morosa is indeed Latin and is indeed a monastic term, but does not mean morose pleasure. The term is part of the technical vocabulary of Christian doctrine. Delectatio morosa is pleasure taken in sinful thinking wihout desiring it, and is thus classified alongside of gaudium, dwelling with complacency on sins already committed, and desiderium, the desire for what is sinful, as “internal sins” in Catholic orthodoxy (since Aquinas). That Humbert’s sin is at this point only “internal” is not irrelevant to the story he tells.

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