The literary critic Frank Kermode has died.
Men, like poets, rush “into the middest,” in medias res, where they are born; they also die in mediis rebus, and to make sense of their span they need fictive concords with origins and ends, such as give meaning to lives and to poems. The End they imagine will reflect their irreducibly intermediary preoccupations.[“Into the middest”: From Edmund Spenser’s 1589 letter to Sir Walter Ralegh regarding The Faerie Queene:
Frank Kermode, The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction (1967).
For an historiographer discourseth of affayres orderly as they were donne, accounting as well the times as the actions; but a poet thrusteth into the middest, even where it most concerneth him, and there recoursing to the things forepaste, and divining of thinges to come, maketh a pleasing analysis of all.In medias res: into the midst of things. In mediis rebus: in the midst of things.]