NABOKV-L post 0019488, Mon, 22 Feb 2010 17:17:38 -0500

Re: Wilson as Kinbote??

Apropos your comment I happened to be reading a biography of HG Wells and came across this description of Wells's and Shaw's renewal of friendship during WWI:
"In fact this marked a renewal of Wells's and Shaw's friendship and they exchanged a number of happily insulting letters over the next few years..."
Insults I suspect can be a "guy" bonding thing, if done in the right way.

Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 07:03:27 -0800
From: chaiselongue@EARTHLINK.NET
Subject: [NABOKV-L] Wilson as Kinbote??

Frances Assa [to JM: Once in a while I've the feeling that Kinbote bears traits inspired in how Nabokov sees critic E.Wilson."] I've been thinking along those lines as well. Kinbote is certainly filling a role that Wilson has, when, for example Fitzgerald died leaving "The Last Tycoon" unfinished, which Wilson completed. It's hard to think of other similarities.

Dear Jansy and Frances,

This idea that VN is poking fun (and it would have been really vicious fun) at Wilson in 1962 (!!) is absurd. They were not only very good friends at the time, but VN owed a great debt to Wilson who had helped him enormously. The idea that he would repay his good friend's kindness and generosity with a portrait resembling Kinbote is grotesque and irreligious.

Carolyn Kunin

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