NABOKV-L post 0017931, Sat, 14 Mar 2009 10:44:53 -0700

one damned mind after the other
Dear SKB,

Ironic that though you do not buy into my understanding of PF, you
express the general concept so very well:
Should Shade and Kinbote be "one body; two distinct minds, or one
damned mind after the other"

This is really a very apt description. Shade (hadeS) is very much a
damned person, but he does try and he does fight while Kinbote is very
much a devil reveling uninhibitedly in his wickedness. So it is very
much a case of one damned mind after the other.

To those concerned about the ethics of the situation, I should think
Shade more culpable than Kinbote. Jekyll is culpable not so much for
letting Hyde out the first time (the kinbote event) but for allowing
him out subsequently. However a comparison between Shade and Jekyl,
who has actually to imbibe a drug in order to release the other,
leaves Shade the less guilty, since Kinbote 's two breakthroughs - -
the first when he arrives in New Wye, the second when he takes over
completely - - are preceded by cerebral strokes suffered by Shade.
On the other hand, Shade is very likely the author of his daughter's
suicide - - Kinbote's sins are picadillos in comparison.


Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors:,
Visit Zembla:
View Nabokv-L policies:
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:"

Manage subscription options: