NABOKV-L post 0014065, Wed, 15 Nov 2006 22:51:05 -0500

Subject
VN's comments on PF
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Anthony Stadlen wrote, regarding VN's Herald Tribune statement:
>It is in the light of this sort of statement by the author that
>I have found it very difficult to entertain seriously the
>"multiple personality" hypothesis.

As I've said before, I have my own reservations about the "secondary
personality" theory (the term I prefer), but I don't think VN's
statement nullifies the theory at all. VN asserts that the poet and
commentator are revealed via their respective texts, but this is
equally true in the secondary personality theory. He also asserts
that Kinbote is Botkin; but Botkin could lurk in the Kinbote
personality just as easily--perhaps *more* easily, given the plot
holes that emerge when we try to imagine how the Kinbote/Botkin
personality could have negotiated life in New Wye.

As for VN's assertion that Botkin is "a Russian and a madman,"
I've always found this assertion to be puzzling at best, at
worst completely misleading. In the index, Botkin is an
"American scholar of Russian descent." To me, this very plainly
means that Botkin is not a Russian but an American whose ancestors
were Russian. Matthew Roth is, for instance,an American scholar
of Swiss descent. Back in 2003, Carolyn pointed out that,assuming
for the moment that Lukin (Shade's mother's maiden name) is a
Russian surname, the only American scholar of Russian descent
in the novel is one John Francis Shade.

Matthew Roth

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