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My Potential Patients: Origins, Detection, and Transference in - page 47 / 69





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Cohen 44

door to her father and admires Shade so. . . . The story of Charles the Beloved

reflects Kinbote's hypertrophied sense of his own importance and reverses the

stigma of homosexuality in Appalachia into a sign of nobility, manhood, and

style in Zembla. (153)

In addition to psychoanalytic ("wish-fulfillment") and quasi-medical

("hypertrophied") terminology, Boyd's interpretation significantly takes the form of a

posed and immediately answered question, recalling Felman's contention that to

Wilson, "the question is the answer's hiding place," and "the Freudian critic's job" to

extract it (105). Boyd's explanation of Zemblan homophilia as a reaction against the

mores of New Wye is furthermore reminiscent of Felman's claim that

Like Wilson, the governess is suspicious of the ambiguity of signs and their

rhetorical reversibility; like Wilson, she thus proceeds to read the world

around her, to interpret it, not by looking at it but by seeing through it, by

demystifying and reversing the values of its outward signs. (188)

"One is always, necessarily, in literature"


Felman also says, and "Wilson's

error" in this respect "is to try to situate madness and thereby situate himself outside

it-as thought it were possible, in language, to separate oneself from language"


In Pale Fire, it is the attempt to distinguish ourselves from Kinbote's

madness, to situate ourselves outside it and look through it, that causes us to read as

he behaves. "The trap is but a text," Felman contends,

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