Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0015612, Fri, 26 Oct 2007 01:48:25 -0300

Re: THOUGHTS: Preamblings
Jerry Frieman wrote to JM: I'm sorry if I was unclear. There wasn't supposed to be any algebra in my most recent post.... I didn't realize till you mentioned it that "foreword" applies especially to something not written by the main author. Kinbote's use of "preface" can probably be taken as evidence in favor of a single-author reading--if it hasn't been already. I made the unimaginative suggestion that it could be a mistake on Kinbote's or Nabokov's part.
The Vintage Edition of /Pale Fire/ starts with the dedication, then has the quotation from the /Life of Johnson/, then the "Contents". I take it the table of contents is part of the fiction--either Kinbote or good old Frank is responsible....

JM to JF: In "Pale Fire's" Foreword we read: Frank has acknowledged the safe return of the galleys I had been sent here and has asked me to mention in my Preface - and this I willingly do - that I alone am responsible for any mistakes in my commentary. Insert before a professional. Therefore your suggestion, added to RSGwynn"s comments, set the ball rolling! If it were a mistake on Kinbote's part, what would have VN intended by it? A "lapsus" that revealed a single author?
Or could "Preface" have been employed, as it sometimes also occurs, only as a synonim of "Foreword"?
Does the entire sentence about prefaces mentioning Frank imply that what we see as a finished book was not actually the end-product of Frank's efforts & that we are reading something else, disguised as a published book? (it was posthumously printed, was it not? S and K were both dead, also G - the three main characters mentioned in the Index )

JF: Is it possible that /Lolita/ could be published without John Ray, Jr.'s Foreword? I'm appalled.
JM: For me the Penguin edition with the cover: "Vladimir Nabokov The Annotated Lolita", and how its contents are listed is as mysterious as the absence of John Ray's foreword in the Collin's edition...

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