Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0002496, Fri, 24 Oct 1997 10:23:15 -0700

Re: PALE FIRE: Kinbote & "The X-Files" (fwd)
From: Seth Young <ayoung@email.gc.cuny.edu

I hate to admit that I'm an "X Files" addict; nevertheless! a la Kinbote,
confessions sometimes slip out. As far as the 'Lord Kinbote' episode's
relation to _Pale Fire_, I am of the opinion that Chris Carter, who is in
the habit of throwing this or that allusion into his programs (e.g., the
last rerun in which Dostoevsky syndrome is mentioned), is probably aware
of Nabokov's character(s). Whether the allusion is anything other than a
kind of name-drop, that is, whether Carter intended "Kinbote" as a clue to
the structure of the episode or not,--I leave that for others to decide.
Although, it is possible to see a kind of similarity between _Pale
Fire_ and the "X Files" episode, inasmuch as the viewer (this viewer, at
any rate) of the episode is confronted with a kind of en abyme situation
(the aliens being abducted by aliens; who are the "real" aliens?) in which
the up/down, "real"/fictional seems to fall prey to mirror-play. -Seth