NABOKV-L post 0017830, Fri, 6 Mar 2009 18:45:52 -0800

Pale Fire's (fatal?) Flaw
On Mar 6, 2009, at 1:40 PM, Stan Kelly-Bootle wrote:
I’m sure this is all useful in understanding RLS’s novel with its drug-
induced, graduatedpersonality changes in a single character. What I’m
anxious to understand is its relevance toPale Fire. For here we find,
in the text, Shade and Kinbote, as two distinct corporeal entities,
two clearly delineated characters, both, at various points in the
“surface plot,” interacting side by side, and going about their
separate ways.

Dear Stan,

You have found the major flaw in Pale Fire. And it is a BIGGY - - in
order to fool the reader into accepting Shade and Kinbote as " two
distinct corporeal entities " he shows them in scenes in which they
appear to interact in public. I got this argument years ago on the
list and Don Johnson came to my rescue by pointing out that Nabokov
had done the same thing in his early (originally in Russian) novel The
Eye. The narrator and the character Smurov appear as two DCEs but the
reader is lead to the conclusion eventually that they are one person.

Thank you for the sweet marital offer, but I don't think I'm ready to
tackle a mixed marriage at this rawther late stage of my life.

your friend,

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