Frances Assa [to JM: Once in a
while I've the feeling that Kinbote bears traits inspired in how Nabokov sees
critic E.Wilson."] I've been thinking along those lines as well.
Kinbote is certainly filling a role that Wilson has, when, for example
Fitzgerald died leaving "The Last Tycoon" unfinished, which Wilson
completed. It's hard to think of other similarities.
RSGwynn [to JM her calling
John Shade "a didactic kaytid" could reflect the way she saw her father.]
Hazel is calling Sybil a "didactic katydid," not JS.
JM: Thank you, RS Gwynn, for
the correction that it's Sybil, not John Shade, who's been indicated
as a "didactic katydid."
I'm also grateful to Frances Assa because,
in her posting, she brought up my initial suggestion concerning
Kinbote/Wilson, in its first, very tentative, rendering. Her
contribution with a link to Fitzgerald's unfinished work completed by Wilson is
an excellent point.
Great part of the scholarship related to this
matter is outside my scope of learning, as it must be obvious by now...
In the heat of my argumentation I
equally lost a more flexible stand about what is, after
all, only a "feeling." Even the
lines in which Nabokov attributes the term "red wop," to Wilson, still
need to be researched more thoroughly, with a return to their correspondence to
follow up their exchanges about this particular word, to check
chronologies, to evaluate the effects, on VN, of Wilson's amphisbaenic
technique* and his short observation (p.244) that Nabokov had not
yet "grasped" it.
I just discovered (or had read it before,
but without registering it) that Wilson's inspiration for
"amphisbaenic" might have derived from Alexander Pope's
Dunciad: ( a new problem now for the Kinbote/Wilson
The lines in question are: "Thus Amphisbaena (I have
At either end
None knows which leads, or which is
For both Heads are but Tails."
this example, recently mentioned in a posting, we find one of
the Wilson reversions which Nabokov uses in the lines
he addressed to him (step/pets). Who has access to Wilson's other
creations might check in them for a "red wop/powder" instance (if there is one
But tonight I come lone and belated-- Foreseeing in every detail, And resolved for a day to sidestep My friends and their guests and their pets.