Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024517, Sat, 24 Aug 2013 01:27:58 +0100

Dr. Kinbote is Alive & Well
I noticed a bizarre fact a couple of years back - there's a Dr. Allan
Botkin of Illinois, who works at an institute with more than passing
similarities to Shade's IPH: The Center For Grief & Traumatic Loss, at
which he practices IADC ("Induced After Death Communication") - mediating
communication between bereaved and deceased, as a technique for treating
PTSD. The kind of place where one might "meet solid bodies and glissade
right through,
or let a person circulate through you", or try to resurrect a dead
daughter, if only for a conversation.

The similarities spurred me to get in touch a few months ago. Below are a
couple of quotes from personal correspondence - the man hadn't heard of
Pale Fire, and, unfortunately, the overlap seems to be coincidence - though
I wouldn't put it past Appalachia's happy hunters to play fast and loose
with metaphysics, or dates, outside of the novel with the same fevered
apophenia as they do within.

For the dirty minded: try shuffling the letters of the doctor's name - the
doubled L allows a rearrangement with the symmetry of a Viennese butterfly.

Take care,

"My first publication on IADC was in the spring 2000 ed. of the Journal of
Near Death Studies. This was also my very first public presentation on IADC
of any kind. *In 1962 I was in junior high school and was in a few local
newspapers for athletic accomplishments. Back then, IADC was the furthest
thing from my mind. Nothing professional is available prior to 1972*."

"My family of origin has done some research on our name and our ancestors.
While nearly all of our ancestors came to the US from Germany, the name "
Botkin" is apparently Russian. I am not sure how this all fits together."

"There are well know examples of "Botkin" in Russia, such as the personal
physician to the last Czar, "Botkin Hospital" in Moscow, and "Botkin's
disease". The latter is a liver disorder (too much vodka?). When I meet
people from Russia and they hear my name, they generally ask me if I am
Russian. One Russian nurse told me I look very Russian."

A couple more excerpts:

"I began working with PTSD veterans at the North Chicago VA Medical Center
(now the James Lovell Federal Health Care Center) in 1982/83 as a
psychology intern. I was hired full time as a staff psychologist when I
completed my internship. And no, this wasn't written up anywhere as far as
I know. At that time I was just a student trying to figure out what
direction I wanted to take with my career. As it turned out, I loved my
rotation on the PTSD unit and I begged my boss to place me there as a

"And, just to be clear, I do not attempt to make the argument that these
experiences prove anything about an afterlife. What I am clear about is
that IADC heals trauma and grief to a degree that has not been thought to
be possible. In this sense, IADC is a true paradigm shift."

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