Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0004782, Fri, 18 Feb 2000 21:42:34 -0800

Re: Pale Fire & homophobia (fwd)
From: Malcolm Reynolds <reynoldsm001@hawaii.rr.com>

How sensitive we are. I deplore the descriptions of Kinbote as a
homosexual stereotype. I found him weirdly charming and fully human,
as far as the humans I know. With these sorts of arguments, I could
become a full-fledged heterophobe. There's hundreds of disgusting
examples of heteros in popular culture and VN had some of his own,
including the monstrous Humbert Humbert.

Kinbote, in my opinion, is fully as creative as Shade. He makes up or
"remembers" a past so brilliant in its details it's stunning, just as
Shade's poem is, just as VN's writing is. To narrow VN's Kinbote to
a homophobic example is as ridiculous to me as me reading any piece of
literature, including Nabokov's, looking for examples of heterophobic

And---times do change. My Dad once chided me for reading Gore Vidal
because he was "a queer." My father was a fine man who had coached
Gore Vidal's uncle, Pick, in high school.
His path in life was as natural to him as my gay daughter's is to her
and mine is to mine. I read Gore Vidal's essays with pleasure just as
I read PALE FIRE knowing full well that every charming word was
written by Pnin. Pace, pace, Brian Boyd.

An amateur signs in,

Malcolm Reynolds