Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000766, Thu, 19 Oct 1995 14:32:22 -0700

Re: "Cloud, Castle, Lake": RJ response to Zimmer
In your message dated Monday 16, October 1995 you wrote :

Many thanks to Dieter Zimmer for his thoughtful comments.
I accept his reading of the story as being "a cartoon of a cartoon"
and it is certainly true that VN was alerting readers to the grotesque
and degrading aspects of intolerance and totalitarianism throughout
the 1930s [and I wonder as an aside if there are any examples in his
work of Germans who are sympathetically portrayed].

> A second point: It is not made explicit that the author is the "boss"
> of the poor man who wins that trip,

On the second point - the identity of the outer narrator - the salesman
["representative"] at the end of the story goes back to Berlin:

"he called on me ... kept on repeating that he must
resign his position, begged me to let him go,
insisted that he could not continue ...
Of course I let him go."

Who else but the salesman's boss would have the power to make
this decision? I would be interested to know how other
people read this.

Dr Roy Johnson | Roy@mantex.demon.co.uk
PO Box 100 | Tel +44 0161 432 5811
Manchester 20 | Fax +44 0161 443 2766