NABOKV-L post 0020829, Mon, 4 Oct 2010 11:56:57 -0400

Re: Poltergeists and DJ West

On Oct 3, 2010, at 5:04 PM, James Twiggs wrote:

> Mightn't the elements of conscious purpose and outright fraud that
> VN apparently wants us to see in Hazel's bizarre behavior apply
> equally well to Botkin's development of "a secondary personality"?

If we take Botkin to be the one doing research, singling out items in
old copies of the NYT at Wordsmith University Library, connecting the
items to the major characters of Pale Fire, then it should not be hard
to imagine him putting on his Kinbote persona whilst mingling with the
denizen of New Wye as its own form of scholarly, authorial, research;
i.e. we should view the relation between Botkin and Kinbote chiefly as
author to character, noting, of course, that such relationships often
are based upon identification and wishfulness. Or to put it another
way, Botkin's impersonations make a certain amount of sense from an
authorial point-of-view, but how compelled he is, otherwise, to play
this game is difficult to know since we know so little about Botkin.
Given the comments attributed to Shade at the Hurley's party one
imagines Kinbote changing from drab and unhappy to Kinbotean
exuberance and liberation. This can be seen as positive and enjoyable
in its own right. This line also seems to infer that Botkin is
homosexually repressed, since a heterosexual male who is simply
painfully shy would not likely choose for a new persona one that is
flamboyantly gay.
Shade's transformation into Kinbote, though, as suggested by Botkin's
narrative in Kinbote's notes, is to be seen as uncontrollable and
partially neurologically based.

Hopefully this helps confuse things.
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