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Hyperlinks, Chiasmus, Vermeer and St. Augustine: Models of Reading Ada

From: Nabokov Studies
Volume 6, 2000/2001
pp. 125-127 | 10.1353/nab.2011.0019



In response to R. J. A. Kilbourn's essay "Ada in Chaismus: Chiasmus in Ada, (NS 5), I offer a complementary, rather than contradictory, model. Kilbourn proposes reading the novel either from the center out to the beginning and ending, or from the two ends into the middle. My suggestion is that Nabokov seeks in the reader a mirror of his own Augustinian omniscience, wherein the whole, and all its parts, are apprehended simultaneously. Obviously, this strategy demands, in the real world, multiple re-readings. I suggest that as the reader approaches this omniscience, she or he moves ever closer to the position of textual divinity assumed by the author.

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