NABOKV-L post 0020830, Mon, 4 Oct 2010 13:06:45 -0400

THOUGHT: the whole codology

On Oct 3, 2010, at 5:04 PM, James Twiggs wrote:

> In Pale Fire, thanks to the proliferation of clues, allusions, and
> apparent storylines, we can never be certain of anything--not even
> of whether our uncertainty is justified or not. I think I'm agreeing
> with Gary Lipon on this, but we need to remember that the
> uncertainty interpretation of Pale Fire goes back a long way.

I would not want to be seen as claiming to be the first reader to
write about the uncertainty abiding in Pale Fire. Hardly.
But since the issue is raised I guess I do feel I can claim some
primacy, perhaps, in seeing the need for, and a way to, reconcile the
transformational-ism limned by Matt Roth's researches; with Nabokov's
dictum: that Botkin was the author, first espoused by Mary McCarthy,
but supported by the text, and insisted upon recently by Ron Rosenbaum.

Botkin is the author of Kinbote's notes. Botkin enjoys going about
pretending to be Kinbote. Botkin composes Kinbote's notes in a way
that suggests that Shade turns into Kinbote as alter-ego. Is this
original and deeply insightful, or rather obvious and to be readily
accepted? Does someone else also deserve divine credit? Is there
another way of interpreting the top-most level, the whole codology?

I guess I think this insight is the brighter: whatever other reasons
he might have, Botkin wants to show the Shade's marriage, and Sybil,
in an altogether different light.

humbly yours,
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