Does the exclamation point on "even a 'pale' one!" suggest that it's Kinbote's amusingly clumsy attempt at humor?

Jerry Friedman

On Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 9:53 AM, Roth, Matthew <> wrote:


But since we’re on the topic of PF, I have a query concerning Kinbote’s note to line 680 and his related Index entry.  Here is the note, in its entirety:


Line 680: Lolita


Major hurricanes are given feminine names in America. The feminine gender is suggested not so much by the sex of furies and harridans as by a general professional application. Thus any machine is a she to its fond user, and any fire (even a "pale" one!) is she to the fireman, as water is she to the passionate plumber. Why our poet chose to give this 1958 hurricane a little-used Spanish name (sometimes given to parrots) instead of Linda or Lois, is not clear.


In the Index, under the “Kinbote” entry, Kinbote gives us the following: “his sense of humor, 680;”  While there may be a touch of wit in Kinbote’s entry, it doesn’t seem to merit special mention. Am I missing something?



Matt Roth

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