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My Potential Patients: Origins, Detection, and Transference in - page 10 / 69

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Cohen 7

his text; we are placed-to use a favorite trope of both Freud and Nabokov-in the

detective's shoes.

In the pages that follow, we will

take

a comparative look at The Wolf-Man and

Pale

Fire,

considering in each the role of origins and primal scenes, detection and

repetition. Finally, we will consider Freud's concepts of constructions and

transference, making a case for their adoption and adaptation by Nabokov in Pale

Fire. Throughout, we will operate under the premise that Nabokov's combativeness

toward Freud is compelled by a deeper respect for his writing, and that Freud's often

aggressive rhetoric and sweeping claims disguise a current of artistic thought that

could be called Nabokovian. We will, in short, regard Freud and Nabokov less as

enemies than as competitors, two writers with similar understandings of how texts

work, what readers do, and how we create meaning.

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