Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0013560, Thu, 12 Oct 2006 17:49:27 EDT

Re: Replies from CK (and note on index to SO)

In a message dated 12/10/2006 22:20:35 GMT Standard Time,
chaiselongue@EARTHLINK.NET writes:

Dear Anthony,

I'll only follow up on two of the quotes you sent (for fear of becoming a

John Shade in Pale Fire leads an intense inner existence, far removed from
what you call a joke. You must be confusing me with Dostoevski.

Surely Kinbote leads at least as intense an inner existence as Shade does -
- and certainly more colorful. I don't understand your point, however.

Do you make a point of puzzling people and playing games with readers?

What a bore that would be!

And I take it that you take this seriously?!


Kinbote's inner existence is hardly far removed from what I, at any rate,
call a joke. If Kinbote and Shade are both aspects of one person, then that
person has an inner existence part of which is not far removed from a joke. This
contradicts what VN says. Or do you actually believe there are separate
"persons" in the one person? As a psychotherapist, I think this is nonsense.
"Multiple personality" is as much a racket as the symbolism VN lambasted.

And I do take seriously, as I believe Brian Boyd does, what VN says about
how boring it would be to puzzle readers and play games with them for its own
sake, as opposed to inviting them to think hard about complex questions of
life and art.

You have ignored the quote I gave you from "Strong Opinions" of VN on
Kinbote's suicide. But this, like what VN says about Shade, has the unmistakeable
ring of a statement about a person, not of a statement about one of the
"personalities" of a "multiple personality".


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