NABOKV-L post 0020847, Thu, 7 Oct 2010 13:10:43 -0300

Re: DJ West
Stan K-Bootle: Bravissimo, Tom. Power to your pen. Pale Fire is a damn fine read and finer re-read... there are ineffable differences in finding the origins of mass, and determining if Pale Fire reveals anything we didn't know about the After Life or the perils of poor parenting and pedantic Literary Criticism.I've always thought it risky (but worthwhile) for authors to include a MAD character in their narratives. Whether the mad person is truly insane or just playing daft, the normal 'contract' between writer and reader is disturbed. I mean, the writer is free to invent abnormal utterances and actions, forcing us to suspend the judgments we apply to rational actors.

JM: Congs to T(R) for his uncancelled sunsets and ensuing "barred" clouds in his fiction. A taste of two realities, each experienced in separate.
Like in Stan's appraisal, Pale Fire is for me a fine re-read while critical discussions enrich what my private (and limited) sensibility doesn't present at a first bite.

What a relief to meet Stan's illumined wording related to what Pale Fire may, or may not, reveal about IPH, poor parenting and Lit.Crit.. Also to find his observation about how a mad character (daft or insane or both) is important to force readers into suspending their common-sense judgements, once the "contract between writer and reader is disturbed.' Real madness doesn't deserve to be treated with flippancy or by generalized categorical or "categorologic" mixes enhanced by a thousand-isles scholarly sauces, even though the real pain permeates any work of fiction ( such as "Kinbote"'s moments of de-personalization or de-realization and inner turmoil at times reaches me) to demand a writer's art to provide it with a setting.


Dave Haan: Given the turn taken with Hazel/Maud and Botkin/Kinbote, I find it odd that DJ West's _Psychical Research Today_ should be cited without also citing DJ West's _Homosexuality: Its Nature And Causes_ (1955).
Tom Rymour Re the hunt for codology in Pale Fire(AKA the Higgs boson of Nabokov studies) I recall ... it strikes me that Old McNab has given an awful lot of people a great deal to be getting on with. Personally, I'm content to look at the Taj Mahal by
moonlight, rather than pore over architectural drawings of it.

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