NABOKV-L post 0016621, Tue, 1 Jul 2008 10:01:24 -0700

Re: [ NABOKOV-LIST]... the dead center of the year in Pale Fire

Jansy <jansy@AETERN.US> wrote: J.Aisenberg, novelists don't need to be consistent ( perhaps only their critics have to be). Is the sentece about the "dead thing at the center" Nabokov's own? I usually felt (very inconsistently and non-philosophically) that the center of a spinning universe might be a reference to TS Eliot's lines in The Four Quartets and not a "thing" at all.
Another sentence of VN's on "center" is to be found in Pale Fire, Kinbote's commentary to lines 1-4: "The poem was begun at the dead center of the year, a few minutes after midnight July 1".( I just realized that today is July 1)

J. Aisenberg: I agree artists don't have to be consistent. "The dead thing at the center" is my slight change of a quote a few notes back about how a person's "real" personality is a dead thing at the center of a series of transparent colored rings. I'm sort of playing fast and loose with my bits of quotation to make an argument. I have no idea about whether or not N." spinning universe derived from T.S. Elliot, but if it did, that would certainly be inconsistent since he never tired of explaining how second rate he was and building parodies of his work into his own.
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