NABOKV-L post 0015793, Fri, 7 Dec 2007 00:02:10 -0200

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Re: THOUGHTS: Chess, plotting, and moves in VN
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[ ...a clumsy conspiracy, with nonsensical details and a main plotter who not only knew nothing of its real object but insisted on making inept moves that seemed to preclude the slightest possibility of success. Yet out of those very mistakes he unwittingly wove a web, in which a set of reciprocal blunders on my part caused me to get involved and fulfill the destiny that was the only aim of the plot.]LATH

J. Friedman: ...weak players often match mistake for mistake with unforeseen results ("the winner is the player who makes the second-last mistake") and "move" and "blunder" suggest chess, but I don't think there's any recognizable move or tactic here.

J. Mello:.. The funny problem with LATH's sentence quoted above ( which became clearer to me after J.Friedman's message) derives from the fact that there are no two weak players matching mistake by mistake, only a narrator who must be playing against himself ( what does a "set of reciprocal blunders on my part" actually mean?). Even if we abandon the idea of any chess move or a conspiracy, this kind of "reciprocity" seems to be very peculiar.
The "main plotter" himself is apparently quite a blunderer too ( we are told that he (a)knew nothing about the real object of a conspiracy; (b) hindered its success by inept moves; (c) he wove his web unwittingily ...)
The word "conspiracy" seems to totally alter the meaning of the word " a plot", "a plotter"... does it not?
( and any "complot" must involve more than one)




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S K-Bootle answers D.Zimmer: ...Is this some accepted meta-level of meta-narrative analysis where the author/creator, VN, deliberately sets out to confuse the reader about which of VN's allusions are known or unknown to his creature-characters? This added layer on top of teasing the reader with more direct allusions (searchable by the patient-curious) and, to borrow from a current idiom, possible identity-thefts! At least with the latter, we have His Master's Voice speaking outside the novel

Jerry Katsell: Could "Disa" be another instance of Nabokov transitorily, Alfred Hitchcock-like, peeking out from within PF and winking at the reader to say "I'm really behind Shade's poem and Kinbote's commentary"?

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