On Oct 3, 2010, at 5:04 PM, James Twiggs wrote:
In Pale Fire, thanks to the proliferation of clues, allusions, and apparent storylines, we can never be certain of anything--not even of whether our uncertainty is justified or not. I think I'm agreeing with Gary Lipon on this, but we need to remember that the uncertainty interpretation of Pale Fire goes back a long way.
I would not want to be seen as claiming to be the first reader to write about the uncertainty abiding in Pale Fire. Hardly.
But since the issue is raised I guess I do feel I can claim some primacy, perhaps, in seeing the need for, and a way to, reconcile the transformational-ism limned by Matt Roth's researches; with Nabokov's dictum: that Botkin was the author, first espoused by Mary McCarthy, but supported by the text, and insisted upon recently by Ron Rosenbaum.
Botkin is the author of Kinbote's notes. Botkin enjoys going about pretending to be Kinbote. Botkin composes Kinbote's notes in a way that suggests that Shade turns into Kinbote as alter-ego. Is this original and deeply insightful, or rather obvious and to be readily accepted? Does someone else also deserve divine credit? Is there another way of interpreting the top-most level, the whole codology?
I guess I think this insight is the brighter: whatever other reasons he might have, Botkin wants to show the Shade's marriage, and Sybil, in an altogether different light.