Another Botkin problem: if Kinbote is an alternative personality of V. Botkin, why is he so clearly a mirror opposite (and sometimes analog) of John Shade?
The Shade/Kinbote dichotomy includes the following oppostitions and analogs...:
The Shade/Kinbote [reworked a little]
live across the lane from one another
born on the same day,
wives resemble each other,
both seem to be experts on Pope, etc...
[Kinbote] came to New Wye at same time as John Shade's attack,
Foreword: John Shade's heart attack (Oct. 17, 1958) practically coincided with the disguised king's arrival in America..
Never shall I forget how elated I was upon learning, as mentioned in a note my read shall find, that the suburban house (rented for my use from Judge Goldsworth who had gone on his Sabbatical to England) into which I moved onFebruary 5, 1959, stood next to that of the celebrated American poet whose verses I had tried to put into Zemblan two decades earlier!
Foreword: The poem was begun at the dead center of the year, a few minutes after midnight July 1, while I played chess with a young Iranian enrolled in our summer school; and I do not doubt that our poet would have understood his annotator's temptations to synchronize a certain fateful fact, the departure from Zembla of the would-be regicide Gradus, with that date. Actually, Gradus left Onhava on the Copenhagen plane on July 5.
Foreword: Canto One was begun in the small hours of July 2 and completed on July 4.A great conspiracy(171): We place this fatidic moment at 0:05, July 2, 1959--which happens to be also the date upon which an innocent poet penned the first lines of his last poem.five minutes were equal to forty ounces(120-1): On the day (July 4) John Shade wrote this, Gradus the Gunman was getting ready to leave Zembla for his steady blunderings through two hemispheresToday(181): On July 5th, a noontime, in the other hemisphere, on the rain-swept tarmac of the Onhava airfield, Gradus, holding a French passport, walked towards a Russian commercial plane bound for CopenhagenA male hand(408); On July 10, the day John Shade wrote this, and perhaps at the very minute he started to use his thirty-third index card for lines 406-416, Gradus was driving in a hired car from Geneva to Lex, where Odon was known to be resting,Foreword: He started the next canto on his birthday and finished it on July 11.Points at the puddle in his basement room(596):Shade composed these lines on Tuesday, July 14th. What was Gradus doing that day? Nothing. Combinatorial fate rests on its laurels. We saw him last on the late afternoon of July 10th when he returned from Lex to his hotel in Geneva, and there we left him.For the next four days Gradus remained fretting in Geneva.Foreword: Another week was devoted to Canto Three.Conclusive destination(697): Gradus landed at the Cote d'Azur airport in the early afternoon of July 15, 1959.The outer glare(741):On the morning of July 16 (while Shade was working on the 698-746 section of his poem) dull Gradus, dreading another day of enforced inactivity in sardonically sparkling, simultatingly noisy Nice...Foreword: Canto Four was begun on July 19,
My best time(873): As my dear friend was beginning with this line his July 20 batch of cards (card seventy-one to card seventy-six, ending with line 948), Gradus, at the Orly airport, was walking aboard a jetliner, fastening his seat belt, reading a newspaper, rising, soaring, desecrating the sky.And all the time(949): And all the time he was coming nearer.A formidable thunderstorm had greeted Gradus in New York on the night of his arrival from Paris (Monday, July 20)...It was now July 21. At eight in the morning New York roused Gradus with a bang and a roar.
|Search the archive||Contact the Editors||Visit "Nabokov Online Journal"|
|Visit Zembla||View Nabokv-L Policies||Manage subscription options|
All private editorial communications, without exception, are read by both co-editors.