-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] Botkin
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2010 00:29:18 -0300
From: Jansy Berndt de Souza Mello <jansy@aetern.us>
References: <4C82B8BE.4030601@utk.edu> <AANLkTimzu0UX0y1F-Bzuc5zUrF42RRRz=5-tQ9bRs7Xn@mail.gmail.com>

David Powelstock:..." isn't it clear that Botkin imagines he is Kinbote, and
at the same believes that Botkin is the fake (his "beard," his disguise),
created so that he won't be tracked down and assassinated? ...In fact, this
sort of reversal of "reality" and "fantasy" seems quite typical for Nabokov,
even as early as Mashen'ka, although Ganin is able to return from his
soujourn into the remembered past. Luzhin, of course, is a classic example.
Even HH's solipsism can be seen as another variation on this theme."

JM: Do you mean that Botkin is a paranoid psychotic with delusions of
grandeur and persecution, who is able to give shape to his repressed
homosexual fantasies through the invention of Kinbote/King Charles and
Zembla, while their "reality" ends up by crushing his conscious knowledge of
his actually being Botkin?
It makes a lot of sense to me ( too much so). This makes me wonder if
Nabokov would have intended to render a classical "mad" character (even
while harboring a satirical intention)? Unless his creator's pride chiefly
derived from having built Botkin/Kinbote's delusions, creating in rich
detail his behavior, hallucinations and Zemblan world, instead of having
shaped him as a unique type. Besides, how would Shade, and his own
pathologies, fit into the picture?

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