In a message dated 27/09/2006 14:00:04 GMT Standard Time, NABOKV-L@HOLYCROSS.EDU writes:
'The Circle' - the story flows into itself (as middle part of Pale Fire)
There is no middle part of Pale Fire, and no evidence as far as I know, apart from Kinbote's unsubstantiated assertion that, in the second part, the poem itself, line 1000 = line 1.
Dmitri Nabokov, answering my question about this some months ago, said that his father had at an early stage pointed out the "round the corner" nature of the last line, but he has not yet answered my question just what he or his father meant by that, or whether that actually implies line 1000 = line 1 in the mind of Shade or of VN (or indeed DN).
I think Susan Elizabeth Sweeney's suggestion for line 1000 (in the great competition at the turn of this last year) was the nicest, but it still lacks the consonne d'appui.
As a general rule, is it not crucial not to fall for the symmetries and circularities proposed by self-absorbed narcissists like Hermann and Kinbote? A large part of VN's challenge to the reader is not to be seduced by such unreliable (to put it absurdly mildly) narrators. It may seem easy not to be seduced, as these narrators are so outrageous, but in fact people do seem to me to accept some of their assertions far too readily (as happened with Humbert too, of course). Such acceptance does not seem to me the mark of what VN called a good reader.    
Anthony Stadlen 

Search the Nabokv-L archive at UCSB

Contact the Editors

All private editorial communications, without exception, are read by both co-editors.

Visit Zembla

View Nabokv-L Policies