NABOKV-L post 0006839, Mon, 23 Sep 2002 15:02:54 -0700

Subject
Friedman to Malign D re Pale Fire
Date
Body
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jerry Friedman" <jerry_friedman@yahoo.com>
To: "Vladimir Nabokov Forum" <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
Sent: Monday, September 23, 2002 12:45 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Fw: reply to Malign D


> This message was originally submitted by jerry_friedman@YAHOO.COM to
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> ----------------- Message requiring your approval (84
lines) ------------------
> But Kinbote is insane, and it seems many people know it (Foreword
> and note to line 629). Would a college really have hired an
> instructor who believed he was from an imaginary country? (And
> not to teach Russian, if we can trust Kinbote in the note to line
> 172.) One who it seems couldn't be counted on to avoid scandalous
> gay behavior? And who has, as Carolyn Kunin says, poor social
> skills? That's not a rhetorical question. Robertson Davies (who
> admired _Pnin_ and _Lolita_ and maybe others, by the way) puts a
> shell-shocked veteran who climbs the water pipes in a fictitious
> boarding school between the world wars, so were small colleges
> that desperate for teachers in the fifties? This seems important
> as one of the things that make me doubt *everything* in the book.
>
> Speaking of doubt, the trustee's (Sylvia's) existence seems rather
> blurry, since she supposedly lived for ten years in Zembla and is
> the mother of Odon and presumably the doomed Oleg.
>
> Speaking of the note to line 172, I'd like to mention to Malign D.
> that that's one of the two places where Pnin is explicitly mentioned,
> the other being the note to line 949. However, I enjoy the idea
> that Nabokov is in the book--as a writer whose prose Kinbote
> is imitating. See for instance "faunlet". More seriously, has
> anyone ever identified any writer as the subject of imitation by
> Kinbote, or was he just bragging in the note to line 991 without
> giving any examples?
>
> Speaking of corrections, Victoria Alexander convinced me by e-mail
> that I had misread her extract from D'Arcy Thompson. I apologize.
> I still think he's wrong, though, but the physics of bird flight is
> so far off the topic that probably anyone interested should e-mail
> me directly.
>
> Jerry
>
> --- "D. Barton Johnson" <chtodel@cox.net> wrote:
> > EDITOR's NOTE. Kinbote is apparently wealthy and a good friend of a
> > trustee. Anyone who studied Russian in American colleges in the 40-50s
> > encountered Russian instructors whose qualifications were
> > quite modest.
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Michael Donohue" <michaeldonohue@hotmail.com>
> > To: <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
> > >
> > > ----------------- Message requiring your approval (44
> > lines) ------------------
> > > C. Kunin notes: "One of the problems with Kinbote/Botkin is that
> > neither
> > > would be hired to teach (even at Waindell College)."
> > >
> > > Really? Judging from Nabokov's depiction of the "Russian teachers" at
> > > Cornell (who didn't know a shred of the language, relying instead on
> > > "linguistics"), you didn't exactly have to have top qualifications to
> > get
> > a
> > > position like Kinbote's (or Botkin's).
> > >
> > >
> > > >From: "D. Barton Johnson" <chtodel@cox.net>
> > > >Reply-To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
> > > >To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
> > > >Subject: Fw: reply to Malign D
> > > >Date: Sat, 21 Sep 2002 10:32:25 -0700
> > > >
> > > >----- Original Message -----
> > > >From: "Carolyn Kunin" <chaiselongue@earthlink.net>
> > > >To: "Vladimir Nabokov Forum" <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
> > > > > ---------------- Message requiring your approval (105
> > > >lines) ------------------
> > > > > Dear Malign D,
>
> [snip]
>
> > The othr russian
> > > > > professor is Professor Pnin, a wonderful character from a
> > wonnderful
> > > >earlier
> > > > > novel by Nabokov, which I think you will enjoy reading.
> > > > >
> > > > > Carolyn Kunin
>
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