...Botkin, like VN, detests Freud, but uses the psychological
framework as a plot device to stage this second allegory. The Freudianism has to
be shown to be a prop.
Botkin destroys the illusion of viewing Kinbote as a
dissociated piece of Shade merely by revealing his own presence: Kinbote can't
be Shade because Kinbote is Botkin! Botkin writes himself into his novel in
order to discredit his own tale of metamorphosis. This device allows Botkin to
tell this tale despite its Freudian underpinnings, and is similar to the
distancing device used by Cervantes, mentioned by Jansy.
Kinbote's role can thus be seen as the teller of his own
metamorphosis. His tales of Zembla are intended to make us think he is mad and
his tale therefore symbolic and allegorical. Therein he tells us
other things to see and believe... Hazel's birth occurs fifteen years into the
JM: Thanks for the
information about the date of Hazel's birth. Interesting hypothesis related
to Botkin who "writes himself into his novel in order to discredit his own tale
There are no "Freudian underpinnings", though,
related to attributing to three PF characters the functions
of "Id/Ego/Superego" , nor does Freud subscribe to American psychologist's
theories about "multiple personality disorder." (this has been already discussed
in the Nab-List, but not conclusively).
Inspired by what we find
in RLS's "Jekyll &Hyde" creative fiction, we'll tread a
safer route into working over Shade's "split personality."
(However, I find it equally difficult to see Kinbote as a sort of monstrous