17 April, 2007


I discover a mistake in the binding of Paul Barolsky's rather effete Walter Pater's Renaissance: a quire has been inverted, pp. 27-42. At the bottom of p. 26, and continuing upside down at the top of p. 27 (facing p. 43), we read, 'But Pater's is also, antithetically, a romantic architecture analogous to that of Renaissance France, where one "often finds a true poetry, as in those strangely twisted staircases of the châteaux of the / country of the Loire, as if it were intended that among their odd turnings the actors in a theatrical mode of life might pass each other unseen."'

From the inverted bottom of p. 42, righting himself again on p. 43, Barolsky remarks, following Pater, 'At the outset of this journey of the mind, consciousness first manifests itself / as Abelard. He lives in "dreamy tranquility," in "a world something like shadows"—an "uncertain twilight."'

Can this Escheresque transposition possibly have been intentional?


John Cowan said...

Well, is it true in every copy or just that one?

Raminagrobis said...

Heh, nice.

I can't quite picture what Pater means by 'those strangely twisted staircases of the châteaux of the country of the Loire', on which people might pass each other unseen. The first thing I thought of was the 'horseshoe' staircase at Fontainebleau, but that's clearly not what he means. The one at Blois seems a likely candidate, but I can't see how it fits with what he's saying. Anyone?

Conrad H. Roth said...

John, I don't know, but then I don't think I want to know.

Pater's staircases do seem more metaphysical than actual; perhaps you're right about Blois, but I confess encyclopaedic ignorance on the matter.

Lee Herald said...

Hi Conrad,

You have an informative blog, and I like the title.

I have a few "thinking" blogs.

This link displays all the titles:

Lee Herald