NABOKV-L post 0017787, Sun, 1 Mar 2009 23:08:55 -0800

Three Faces of Eve

On Mar 1, 2009, at 6:48 PM, Tim Henderson wrote:

OK, I'll bite after finishing the movie -- I didn't hear a "ditch" and shows "ditch" on pages 106, 126 and 133 -- not
counting the "fold or furrow" in the poem -- what are we talking about
here? Gotta I thought of "Botkin" as more of a clumsy pretense than
an alternate personality, but I'm ready to be persuaded...I will say
the film, or thinking of the film and book at the same time, does make
me think that Kinbote and Shade could be seen as two parts of the same
literary mind, but I don't know if that really holds up or it's just a
fleeting impression.
Tim Henderson

Dear Tim Henderson,

And in Pale Fire? Did you find the ditches? In my opinion there is no
Botkin of any importance in Pale Fire (nikto = nobody in Russian). I
developed my solution to Pale Fire over a long period of puzzling it
out, during which time I posted my discoveries to the List. But in a
nutshell, I believe Kinbote is what becomes of Shade who suffers a
brain hemorrage just as he is finishing his long autobiographical
poem, allowing the previously suppressed homosexual personality to
take over. Kinbote steals the poem and is confined to an asylum from
which he escapes, as Kinbote he writes his notes to Shade's poem and
commits suicide. It's pretty simple really. By the way, Nabokov did
something similar though far less complicated in an earlier novel set
in Berlin.


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