Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0002498, Fri, 24 Oct 1997 12:58:27 -0700

Re: PALE FIRE: Kinbote & "The X-Files" (fwd)
From: Flapjack <smith@skipper.physics.sunysb.edu>

Well, I don't remember the X-Files episode clearly, and I, uh, don't
remember Pale Fire as clearly as I should either. But in a nut-shell I
remember noticing a parallel with Pale Fire in that the entire episode
seemed to be about people who made up stories about alien abductions in
order to get rich. I believe that the name of the alien abductor was Lord
Kinbote. Anyway, throughout the show I had the feeling that the Mulder
and Scully (2 FBI agents) were being led on a wild goose chase by people
who just wanted to be shown on a 20/20 (or some other gossip TV show).
Then, in the final scene the viewer actually sees Lord Kinbote abduct
somebody. You'll have to trust me that there was a lot more to the
epsiode than few sentences I present here.

One final note, the X-Files occasionaly does more artsy episodes like
this, probably a few a year. Any Nabokov fan would probably enjoy the
show on a regular basis. I certainly do. (btw, last season's cliff
hanger will be re-run this week, with the season premiere next week)


> 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
> Young