NABOKV-L post 0015444, Thu, 30 Aug 2007 14:14:29 -0300

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[TRANS NAB] The subject of the sentence and animate objects
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Emily Collins sent us her abstract about "Nabokov's animate objects" where she wrote: "Both fetish and portal are problematic: they tend to over-determine the world, leaving no room for the true quiddity of things or people".

I selected the sentence quoted above as a representative of what surprised me in her text.
In the first place, what is "a portal" in literature? ( EC defined it as: "an object which magically transports someone to a different realm", but this seems to stamp it as something operative outside games and sci-fi unlike, say, Pullman's "Subtle Knife" for those that read about it in his novel.);
2. Who animates Nabokov's objects, or are they indeed "animate"? ;
3. How do fetish and portal over-determine the world... leave no room...etc?

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