Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0004576, Wed, 17 Nov 1999 09:45:06 -0800

Paris-V. Troubetskoy (fwd)
Wladimir Troubetzkoy
In DESPAIR, VN demonstrates the intrinsic perversity of the
aesthetics of the double, pushingit to the pointof absurdity in the person
of his creature Hermann Karlovich, who is, consequently, reduced to
The question of the double, "a frightful bore," interests Nabokov
more than he realizes, for it is the question of the artist himself. The
double represents an unrealizable fantasm of absolute and complete control
over the text. The double is the shadow of himself which the
narrator-agent projects on the world in order to master illusorily, in
fact to vail its difference. The double figuresconsequently in the texture
of the text the impossibility of the text, and he is the literary illusion
which lulls Hermann Karlovich, narrating narrator of DESPAIR, in fact
narrator narrated by the real author. VN unmasks in the end his
"galley-slave," who is his excluded but at all times possible double.