My feeling about who are the main characters in "Pale Fire" hasn't changed in
close to forty years, in fact since the first article, written in English, that
I published on Nabokov: I consider the author as a key character. It is even
more the case, I think, than in "LATH". "Pale Fire" has greatly helped me
articulate my theory of "the figure of the author" (see "La Figure de
l'auteur", Paris, Seuil, 1995). I was taken to task on this score by Brian
McHale years ago. He almost accused me of betraying my mentor, Roland Barthes.
Though the latter was at first in favor of an author-free theory of fiction, he
soon changed his mind about it in "Le Plaisir du texte" (1973).

My forthcoming book, "Nabokov's Eros and the Poetics of Desire" (Palgrave-
Macmillan) constitutes my (probably) final attempt to explore this theory of

Maurice Couturier

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