NABOKV-L post 0006840, Tue, 24 Sep 2002 16:31:20 -0700

Subject
Fw: Query re Plausibility (was Re: Friedman to Malign D re Pale
Fire)
Date
Body
----- Original Message -----
From: "Walter Miale" <wmiale@acbm.qc.ca>
To: "Vladimir Nabokov Forum" <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
>
> ---------------- Message requiring your approval (125
lines) ------------------
> From: Walter Miale <wmiale@acbm.qc.ca>
> Subject: Query re Plausibility (was Re: Friedman to Malign D re Pale
Fire)
>
> Alfred Hitchcock was impatient with viewers of who found fault with
> implausibilities in the plots of his pictures, and who demanded
> plausibility, and he referred to such viewers derisively as "the
> Plausibles." But was he right? Shouldn't we at least sometimes expect
> plausibility in plots, and if so when and when not? Personally, in this
> case of Kinbote's hireability, I'm with Hitchcock all the way. But why? I
> don't know exactly. I don't suppose that on college faculties crackpots
are
> such rare bugs (?), but Kinbote really is a horse of a different feather.
> Even so...
>
> Weren't the chances that the royal boat would so timely sail by Prospero's
> island infinitesmal?
> What was that herb that put Juliet to sleep for 24 hours?
> Those switches in All's Well that Ends Well and Measure for Measure -
> Plausible??
> How about that ending of The Winter's Tale?
> Do Shakespeare's comedies REQUIRE some implausibility?
>
> Was the world of Lolita one of perfect verisimilitude?
>
> But we do require truth from authors, both higher truth and internal
> consistency. If I understand Nabokov on poshlust, one function of
> literature is to distinguish truth from the seductively false. So again:
> when should, and when shouldn't, we hold authors to account for
> implausibility?
>
>
>
>
>
> >----- 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
>
> >> 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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> >>
>