NABOKV-L post 0015348, Mon, 2 Jul 2007 14:55:02 -0600

The Word of the Day for yesterday (July 1) was
"ratiocination"; one of the examples of its use reads:

There is no question that Joyce and Nabokov. . . brilliantly explored
and expanded the limits of language and the structure of novels, yet
both were led irresistibly and obsessively to cap their careers with
those cold and lifeless masterpieces, "Finnegans Wake" and "Ada," more
to be deciphered than read by a handful of scholars whose pleasure is
strictly ratiocination.

-- "How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love 'Barry Lyndon'", New York
Times, January 11, 1976

I have never even attempted "Finnegans Wake" despite strong
encouragement from an English Literature teacher 50 + years ago, but
how anyone could label "Ada" "cold and lifeless"...

Earl Sampson

Art is not difficult because it wishes to be difficult, but because it
wishes to be art.
- Donald Barthelme

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