NABOKV-L post 0018494, Wed, 5 Aug 2009 13:20:05 -0300

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Re: [NABOKOV-L] TOOL and the Advance PW Review
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Advance PW Review: Nabokov's 'The Original of Laura', Publishers Weekly, 7/30/2009 The Original of Laura: (Dying Is Fun), Vladimir Nabokov. Knopf, $35 (288p) ISBN 978-0-307-27189-1 [ Depending on the reader's eye, the final card in the book is either haunting or the great writer's final sly wink: it's a list of synonyms for "efface"-expunge, erase, delete, rub out, wipe out and, finally, obliterate. ]

JM: The words selected by VN for his trump-card "finis" are a collection that is chiefly applicable to the written word, not to other objects and bodies.
VN's frequent insertion, in a novel, of instructions to his publishers (Lolita,Pale Fire,Ada) gained for me a different twist and will force me to re-evaluate Vaniada's "dying into the book."

I've been courting Nabokov's infinite regress and recursiveness and yesterday while I was ordering VN-List's discussion about "Pale Fire" ( the definitive "final solution to a puzzle" versus its multiple inroads of interpretation). I perceived the sonorous proximity of two words: infinite and definite. I checked onlime-etymology entries for more data.
Perhaps the results will interest our perfect List-participants, particularly those who apprehend in Nabokov the verbal operation with "signifiers," instead of with definite "meanings".
The sequence speaks for itself.

define: c.1384, from O.Fr. definir "to end, terminate, determine," from L. definire "to limit, determine, explain," from de- "completely" + finire "to bound, limit," from finis "boundary, end" (see finish).
definition: recorded from 1645 as a term in logic, from define; the "meaning of a word" sense is older, attested from 1551.
definite (1553) means "defined, clear, precise, unmistakable;"
definitive (c.1386) means "having the character of finality."

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