NABOKV-L post 0004852, Fri, 3 Mar 2000 09:21:41 -0800

Re: Boyd on Pale Fire & homophobia (fwd)
>Othello is indeed one of the great poets in Shakespeare, which is exactly why
>he subverts so wonderfully the racist stereotypes that Brabantio suddenly
>believes in and Iago coolly exploits. And Kinbote is one of the great poets in
>Nabokov--greater than Humbert, Van and Ada Veen, and I would think even
>Fyodor--which surely undermines any possibility of dismissing him as a "mere"
>or "typical" homosexual, as an object of the pitiless contempt that
>Christopher Berg seems to recall the novel invites.

I have been following the argument about Nabokov's alleged homophobia
with a vaguely Pninian sense of alienation since it seemed to be
about a different author altogether. Finally, Professor Boyd has
suggested the most sensible thing: in Nabokov the easy moral
categories of politics are trumped by the more subtle moral
categories of art. I wonder why no one has mentioned in this context
Victor Wind's art teacher, the great professor Lake, who is both
obviously homosexual and apparently a repository of Nabokov's
aesthetic ideals.