NABOKV-L post 0017885, Tue, 10 Mar 2009 23:10:13 -0300

Re: [NABOKOV-L] Through the Looking Glass, a Post-Scriptum
J.Aisenberg [ to JM: In Kinbote's eyes the poem is the "I" ("shadow"), Shade and Gradus "the ashen fluff" and Kinbote "lives on" until he meets another reflection that shall shatter him? Really, why did Shade write " I was.. I was.. I lived on...I'd let"- using the past tense? Who is the doomed but still living poet? And...does this confirm M.R and C.Kunin's idea?] I assumed that all this represented the mortal contemplation of a man who had suffered a heart attack and come back from death, rather literally, which he philosophically uses as a springboard to poetically speculate about what might lay beyond, where hopefully his dead daughter also awaits. In other words, he hit died of a heart attack, but unlike the bird whacking itself against a fake reflection of infinite life, he flies on...for now

JM: So did I, focusing only on "poetical speculations about what might lay beyond" because I hadn't realized that I could read the novel using two perspectives: (a) the common reader's ( Pale Fire with no intervention by Kinbote); (b) Kinbote's theories as we find in his commentary to lines 131-132.
The tripartite view with Gradus, Shade and Kinbote already present in the first lines ( as shadow,fluff and living on) would result from reading PF only through Kinbote's eyes ("I"s).
I think that we, as readers are also expected to "split" in two - but I'm not sure, yet.

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