This is the world of a philosophy graduate, who happens to work with old paintings, who invents all sorts of memories and tries to overcome his limitations (as far as he’s aware of them) through writing.
MEANING: noun: A literary work, especially a poem, composed of parts taken from works of other authors.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin cento (patchwork). Earliest documented use: 1605
NOTES: Nobel-prize-winning poet T.S. Eliot’s observation is relevant to centos: “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different from that from which it was torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion.”
Examples of centos:
The Oxford Cento by David Lehman
The Dong With the Luminous Nose by John Ashbery
USAGE: “Louis Zukofsky continued to write … a play, a novella, a book of criticism, a 500-page cento of philosophy in homage to Shakespeare …” Bob Perelman; Finding His Voice; Tikkun (Berkeley, California); May/Jun 2007.