NABOKV-L post 0018377, Thu, 11 Jun 2009 15:41:32 -0300

[NABOKOV-L] authorship, freedom and God in Zembla
Matthew Roth (April 09, 2009 on" Sally Beauchamp & Alexandrov") wrote that he considered "Nabokov's vision of freedom vs. determinism as analogous to that branch of Christian theology known as Classical Arminianism... It may be interesting, however, to study those moments where VN the author/god penetrates into the plane of his characters' fictional reality. Both Krug and, arguably, VV (in LATH) are driven insane by that collapsing of levels. Pnin, on the other hand, manages to escape..."

[QUERY] JM: ... and I hope someone bothers to answer!

After reading S.Chamberlain's article on PF I got the impression that, for him, Zembla was not some kind of paradise (created by a delusional Kinbote) related to an attempt to recreate what's noble, outstanding and good in Russia. That, for SC, Zembla represented a Soviet Utopia while Kinbote behaved like soviet intelligentzia and propaganda.
I feel uncomfortable with this kind of reading, since it flows against the mainstream of PF commentaries, but I haven't yet managed to find a correct focus. Has anyone clarifying and different ideas?

btw, I cannot figure out Nabokov's intention when he penetrates into his fiction to break its spell. In a way he seems to be shielding the reader from an excess of real pain ( more than protecting himself or a character). On the other hand, when we laugh at something funny in a novel, do we usually attribute the joke to a specific character's amusing qualities? In my case, laughter brings me closer to the author, never to his creatures. It is something even more direct than the intervention that brings out Krug's madness. Nabokov planted ambiguous information, mistakes, misprints, irregular bold letters, among other items that cause a reader to be aware of an editor or of an author and, in this way, he was able to interact and manipulate the reader. Nevertheless, humor and some of his clever moves ("style") seem to escape authorial misguiding intentions and break the frame that establishes something as "fiction","novel", "past".... On the unsolved issue of Shadeans versus non-Shadeans (et alii), in Pale Fire, it is my impression that Nabokov managed to stay aloof ( I mean, unreachable as an author) exactly because of Kinbote's interventions.

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