NABOKV-L post 0017849, Sun, 8 Mar 2009 09:53:41 -0300

Re: PF fugue made simple: Escape/Chase/Insanity (repeat)

Jansy: In PF, following C.Kunin's hypothesis, the two characters that share the same body either shrink, hobble, fatten, love a woman, hate salads and fruit, shave off facial growths, get old and grey...or, grow tall, lean, young, hairy, are vegetarian, play ping-pong, love boys (the change must be induced by imbibing golden burgundy.
C.Kunin: I protest -- I don't think any such thing! [...] I'll repeat that: Shade has gone insane. He is therefore incarcerated in a mental hospital [...] There is no beautiful dashing young Kinbote - - this is who the insane Shade perceives himself to be, it is not who he is. He is old, fat, etc. John Shade. There is no Zembla. There is no King Charles. The simplest way I can think to put it is that the whole thing is a great big fugue. It is also a pun on the word fugue: Escape/Chase/Insanity (repeat).

JM: The word "Ricercare" (Search!) for this "fugue" is equally fitting. It's an anagram and puzzle created in J.S.Bach's dedication of his "Musical Offering" to King Frederick II : it starts with Regius Iustus...and you can find the marvellous story in Douglas Hofstadter's "GEB, the eternal golden braid."

Pale Fire, the poem, contains believable loving lines addressed to Sybil, among other items already long debated. Lines such as these a Kinbote-cum-Shade personality could never have set down, not even while writing as a still unsplit JohnShade. There are implicit and explicit rules about writing fiction related to a minimal core of credibility or consistence that the vague label "madness", even in fiction, cannot suppress.
Besides, do you think the novel could accomodate this Fanny story as being further proof of the debt PF owes to RSLS? In the last paragraphs of his lecture VN mentioned RLS' death, wife & last words, all the while stressing the exceptional nature of adding such "real life" information.
You could try to demonstrate ( in coherence with RLS and VN's J&H lecture) some Shadian "tweedy remains" in Kinbote, or his distilled presence as a "horrified halo" hovering around Kinbote.
I now remember the parallels you traced between Sybil and Queen Disa ( right?) whom Kinbote, in a dream, finds himself capable of loving. I'll be convinced by your interesting theory after you show Shadian bits and pieces shining thru, or around K Like JF and Steve Arons, I still think the multiple personalities may be Kinbote and Botkin ( as stated by VN himself) and that they are distinct characters (and distinct bodies/minds) from Shade's.

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