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My Potential Patients: Origins, Detection, and Transference in - page 41 / 69





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Cohen 38

sometimes Sybil Shade would trip by [the Shades' window] with the velocity

and swinging arms of one flouncing out in a fit of temper, and would return a

little later, at a much slower gait, having, as it were, pardoned her husband for

his friendship with an eccentric neighbor. (24)

"As it were" is partially whimsical, an acknowledgment that Sybil's behavior does

not, in fact, have to do with Kinbote; but it is also hopeful, betraying the wish that

perhaps his life is indeed relevant enough to the Shades' to warrant anger and

forgiveness. "But the riddle of her behavior was entirely solved one night," Kinbote

admits, "when by dialing their number and watching their window at the same time I

magically induced her to go through the hasty and quite innocent motions that had

puzzled me" (24). Rather than being guilty of conspiring against him, Kinbote is

presented with incontrovertible evidence that Sybil is in fact "innocent" (24).

Kinbote takes pleasure in having "magically induced Sybil to act, but this suggestion

of smug control seems to be compensation for the blow to his self-importance.

Like Wilson, Boyd offers a "diagnosis"

accompany his solution, an answer


to the "thematic question" (Felman 105) of the text. Boyd takes as "symptoms" the

correspondences between poem and Commentary, explaining them as the effects of

otherworldly influence by deceased characters on the living. Additionally, he

explicitly diagnoses Kinbote. Citing Kinbote's admission in his note to Line 1000



is in fact Grey, Boyd argues that


in this last note does the

alternative account of


Grey clinch our doubts and confirm for us that Kinbote is

indeed thoroughly mad. With

Gradus jdentified

as Grey and Kinbote marked as

mad," he continues, "we can diagnose from his behavior and his Commentary that he

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