NABOKV-L post 0015740, Sun, 2 Dec 2007 10:48:20 -0500

Subject
THOUGHTS: Wenches, hands, and apples
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Date
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RS Gwynn responds to several recent posts:

***
Jansy Mello:... But it’s no accident that we later learn how greatly
Shade dislikes
attacking the fortress of an apple, whereas vegetarian Kinbote knows no
fruit he
cannot love.

This is, as they say, a "fruitful" comment.

***
Carolyn Kunin:... It is clear that something sexual (at least) is very
wrong with Shade.

In what sense, pray tell? He has been married to the same woman for
many years, has good standing in his community and with his wife, has
produced a child (about whom he is guilty because she has, alas,
inherited his looks), and has the usual eye for attractive female
students. By all accounts, even including those of Kinbote, it has been
a successful marriage, one that (if we are to believe Kinbote's count)
has been celebrated many times. Where is the evidence? Are you saying
that his tolerance of Kinbote means that there is something "wrong" with
him? Whatever happened to compassion? Shade obviously knows that
Kinbote is a madman; still, he does not refuse his cries for help. What
decent neighbor and colleague would do less?

***
Carolyn Kunin:... The answer is in another sly sexual metaphor that
Nabokov has Shade
indulge in as he trims his cuticles (I don't know how, but scarfskin
probably is a reference to foreskin)

So in trimming his fingernails, Shade is metaphorically circumcizing
himself? Oh dear.

R S Gwynn

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