NABOKV-L post 0014055, Wed, 15 Nov 2006 08:04:52 -0500

CK responds to AB (Korean student in PF)
Dear Andrew Brown,

I have some answers for your questions. But in order for them to make sense you will have to at least temporarily accept the possibility that my reading of Pale Fire is not an aberrant one - - that Shade having suffered a cerebral stroke is taken over by an alternate personality, King Charles the Beloved, or Kinbote.

I may be mistaken, but isn't the Korean with whom Hazel sits on football days a former nun, and therefore a women?

First of all your memory correctly links the nun and the Korean student, but they are Hazel's two friends - - her only two friends so far as we know. We have this from Shade's poem, lines 341-343).

When you say that the Korean is ³very possibly² her half brother, which ³her² do you refer to, Hazel or Sybil?

By half-brother I mean that he is the possible fruit of Sylvia O'Donnell's brief "marriage" to an "Oriental prince." In my reading Disa is Kinbote's translation of Sybil into Zemblan, and both Sybil and Disa are idealizations.

The more objective portrait of Sybil/Disa - - though expressed in Kinbote's glamorous Zemblan transformation - - is found in the index under O'Donnell, Sylvia (note similarities to name Sybil Irondell). These glamorous "marriages" I have guessed, are the affairs of a sexually spurned wife (Disa, Sybil) and the glamorous travels are probably her reading list.

Is your claim that this student¹s name is ³probably Caspar² based on your theory of the names of the other two biblical wizards or ³wise men² inferred in the book?

Yes, but the names are given - - that is two out of three. The gardener is named Balthasar (check the archives for references - - can't find the place in the text), the Pope is named Melchiorre (see comment to line 85), but the name of the third magus, Caspar, does not appear. And we know there is at least one name that can't be mentioned (see the index under "Shadows"). I did a simple equations B + M + X = the 3 magi and solved for X.

What evidence do you have to support the claim that this infrequently referred to Korean student (who is following Shade¹s course of study) is ³definitely² a homosexual interest of Shade¹s?

Kinbote as we know is proud of his male conquests and takes every opportunity to mention as many of them as he can manage. But he never discusses this boy, except to express jealousy that the student was invited to Shade's birthday party while he, Kinbote, wasn't. To avoid a long "proof" let me just say that I took all the references to Oriental princes, Asian potentates, padishahs and sons of padishahs and assumed they referred to one person - - or as it turned out, one man and his son, identified as the Korean student.

In short, in order to read Pale Fire - - I de-Zembled it.


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