NABOKV-L post 0014070, Thu, 16 Nov 2006 04:11:38 -0200

Fw: [NABOKV-L] VN's comments on PF
Steven: "Multiple personalities take a lot of the fun out of a very fun reading experience."
Jansy: Carolyn Kunin is not necessarily describing the so-called "MPD": she states that Shade suffered a stroke that created his delusional state as Kinbote. This is not MPD.
Matthew Roth conceded that he has his "own reservations about the 'secondary personality" theory (the term I prefer)'.
There are various ways to enjoy Pale Fire and, probably, C.Kunin and M. Roth are having fun, too! Why would their ideas spoil another people's?

It is my belief that Gradus is a creation of Kinbote because this is written all over the commentary. For example, when Kinbote describes Gradus as a clockwork and, then, while speaking about clockworks, asserts that "he has its key".
Also when he explains how Gradus is something that gradually advances and grows out of the paragraphs and words. He might be a "figure of speech" or, as someone pointed out( I think it was Jerry Friedman) Gradus is a contrapuntal necessity for the development of Pale Fire. He thrives through language.

Steven: A problem I've always had is with the figure of Gradus. If Kinbote is insane, then who is this fellow? If Gradus is a real assasin, then it follows that Kinbote isn't insane and IS the exiled king. No?
Jansy: As SKB noted elsewhere, it's impossible to reason with incorrect or distinct "premises".
Do you in any way doubt that Kinbote is insane? Do you believe Zembla exists in maps, dictionaries, departments and books which may be found in a library in Wordsmith?
Gradus, as many commentators often observed, might simply be the outcome of Kinbote's delusional interpretation for a real Jack Grey murderer intent on taking revenge on Judge Goldsworth (who Shade resembled, it seems). They hold that Kinbote's commentaries (and index?) were written in retrospect and re-interpreted both events and poem.

Anthony Stadlen: "l do not know how to account for ... Kinbote's having a "Zemblan translation of Timon of Athens" and referring unseeingly to the exact passage from which Shade, in the English original, gets his title."
Jansy: An important observation.
I would like to ask him a question. Why, under "translations, poetical" in the "Index" there is an entry as follows:
"Timon Afinsken, of Athens". What are we supposed to understand by "Afinsken"? Why was ",of Athens" added only in the Index?

CHW wrote: However, I wonder what would have been VN's bedrock belief on the problems of translation?
Jansy: I was reading a translation of "Pale Fire" today. The Index is rather different ( the entry on Waxwing is at the very begining since the bird is here called Ampelis, and this is only one of various alterations. Crown Jewels are under "J" as "Joias da Coroa"). Also the page references are different and even the commentaries have to be placed in a different sucession, since they apply to specific lines of the poem. Once translated, several lines do not exactly correspond to the original.
The translator was faithful to the "letter", but there was no way he could avoid the loss of possible allusions through the indication of page numbers, or of sequencing. I doubt that Nabokov would not have been aware of this almost burocratic dilemma as he envisioned Pale Fire's translations into other languages.
The "korona,vorona, korova/ crown,crow,cow" may be kept unaltered with the addition of translator's notes. Still, other golf-games such as going from Lass to Male ( Lass-Mass-Mars-Mare-Male) and other paired opposites ( Love-Hate, Life-Death) require a translation, since they are part of various Index entries, where they come completely out of order and cross-referencing... Their transformation is very suggestive of Shade's and Kinbote's not only at the extremities, but along the entire process of "metamorphosing".

PS: An Anthology is also a "Florilegium" ( both refer to a bouquet of flowers). I've seen once a "Shakespearean Florilegium" where a selection of lines from his poems was displayed. They chose WS references to a flower, printed on its left side, with a painting or engraving of the flower described on the opposite side. I wonder if there was a line about the date-palm in it, as of other non-flowering plants: it looked easy to get, but I've never found the booklet again.

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