NABOKV-L post 0013624, Sun, 15 Oct 2006 15:44:51 -0700

PF Index query:" great conspiracy"
I see that among the Index entries under "Kinbote, Charles, his quiet warning to G, 171" .

Line 171 (and part of 170 all of 172) at the start of Canto Two read:

170 ............................................I alone
171 Knew nothing, and a great conspiracy
172 Of books and people hid the truth from me.

This is Shade voicing his adolescent suspicion that everyone but him knows the secret of survival after death. (The phrase "great conspiracy" is picked up again on pp.153 where, weirdly, we read "a great conspiracy against Gradus" apparently referring to the possibly rigged selection of him as the royal assassin and/or fate ultimately denying him the deed of killing the King.)

Whatever -- the Index entry seems to me to be in error. Apart from the obvious fact that it is Shade (not K) who pens the poem's "great conspiracy" and K is merely seizing on the phrase as a convenient place to hang his long note,
isn't Kinbote's pseudo-warning not to Gradus (G), but to Shade (S)? That is, K's "quiet warning" be to Shade. Having K warning G makes no sense.

I have checked the Library of America "definitive" text and also Vera's Russian text. Both contain what seems to me an error, i.e., G, not S.

Any thoughts on this??

Don Johnson

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