NABOKV-L post 0013628, Mon, 16 Oct 2006 17:30:36 +1300

Re: PF Index query:" great conspiracy"
No, it's correct: end of note: "But Gradus should not kill kings.
Vinogradus should never, never provoke God. Leningradus should not
aim his peashooter at people even in dreams, because if he does, a
pair of colossally thick, abnormally hairy arms will hug him from
behind and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze."

Brian Boyd

On 16/10/2006, at 11:44 AM, D. Barton Johnson wrote:

> I see that among the Index entries under "Kinbote, Charles, his
> quiet warning to G, 171" .
> Line 171 (and part of 170 all of 172) at the start of Canto Two
> read:
> 170 ............................................I alone
> 171 Knew nothing, and a great conspiracy
> 172 Of books and people hid the truth from me.
> This is Shade voicing his adolescent suspicion that everyone but
> him knows the secret of survival after death. (The phrase "great
> conspiracy" is picked up again on pp.153 where, weirdly, we read "a
> great conspiracy against Gradus" apparently referring to the
> possibly rigged selection of him as the royal assassin and/or fate
> ultimately denying him the deed of killing the King.)
> Whatever -- the Index entry seems to me to be in error. Apart from
> the obvious fact that it is Shade (not K) who pens the poem's
> "great conspiracy" and K is merely seizing on the phrase as a
> convenient place to hang his long note,
> isn't Kinbote's pseudo-warning not to Gradus (G), but to Shade
> (S)? That is, K's "quiet warning" be to Shade. Having K warning G
> makes no sense.
> I have checked the Library of America "definitive" text and also
> Vera's Russian text. Both contain what seems to me an error, i.e.,
> G, not S.
> Any thoughts on this??
> Don Johnson
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