NABOKV-L post 0007065, Sun, 10 Nov 2002 09:41:32 -0800

Subject
Fw: reply to Thomas N re Pale Fire
Date
Body
----- Original Message -----
From: "George Shimanovich" <gshiman@optonline.net>
To: "Vladimir Nabokov Forum" <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>

> ----------------- Message requiring your approval (55
lines) ------------------
> > > >'Split personality of poor Shade' approach is the least interesting
of
> > > all I've read in this list. It is one of many traps left by Nabokov in
his
> > > texts for people who prefer template (and inherently banal) way of
> > reading:
> > > was it split personalities 'school' of Dr Wind that was so popular in
> > 1950's?
> > >
> > > I'm not sure it's fair to take Dr Wind's comments - apt and
entertaining
> > > though they are - as sufficient to rule out the idea that Shade and
> > Kinbote
> > > (et Al.?) are the same person. To take an example from the horse's
> mouth,
> > > as it were, John Shade says in Pale Fire: '[.]there are certain
trifles
> I
> > > do not forgive.'[.]'Not having to read the required book. Having read
> it
> > > like an idiot. Looking in it for symbols; example: "The author uses
the
> > > striking image green leaves because green is the symbol of happiness
and
> > > frustration." (p.126 or so). Despite this, Nabokov's use of colour
has
> > > been fairly widely and is - I hope! - acknowledged.
>
> True. While use of colors, music, deranged mind are techniques this
> Shade-is-Kinbote theory tries to explain nothing less then author's
design.
> My problem with 'explain it all' theories other then last, published by Mr
> Boyd, is that they wag the dog. Mr Boyd's theory is convincing when taken
> from projected viewpoints of Hazel Shade, John Shade and Vseslav Botkin
> beyond death of each of them! Note the intristic triple reletivism of such
> construction. And as you allow below, Nabokov left multiple false traces
for
> curious readers to follow. The other theories that were reported so far
> (including Mrs Kunin's) are not artistically convincing: using technical
> jargon, they don't click. Those traces are worth persuing and illuminating
> but one needs to know when to stop.
>
> To me Nabokov is all about texture and nothing about formal theories of
> critisism with solutions predicated by them. Understanding the authorship
of
> Pale Fire to me is less important than the discovering of meanings hidden
in
> text. As no other author Nabokov allows me to detect again and again,
years
> after initial reading, in subtle ways, new perspecitives in that
undeniably
> Nabokovian rich view on the border of the last character of a story,
novel,
> whatever.
>
> That is why I liked Mr Nguyen's presentation and you know the rest of it
:)
>
> > > I'm not convinced by the Shade-is-Kinbote argument - but the evidence
is
> > > compelling and well-presented enough to make it at the very least
> > > interesting, at least to this weary onlooker. If I can half-backtrack
> > here
> > > - perhaps Nabokov did merely leave the suggestions in as a trap for
the
> > > banal but curiously careful reader to pick up on; I don't see that
makes
> > > them less worthy of investigation.
> > >
> > > Nick.
>
>