X hits on this document

PDF document

My Potential Patients: Origins, Detection, and Transference in - page 48 / 69

153 views

0 shares

0 downloads

0 comments

48 / 69

Cohen 45

an invitation to the reader, a simple invitation to undertake its reading. But in

the case of The Turn of the Screw, the invitation to undertake a reading of the

text is perforce an invitation to repeat the text, to enter into its labyrinth of

mirrors, from which it is henceforth impossible to escape. (190)

To naively trust Kinbote is to repeat the text quite literally, to chase his cross-

references and re-read his notes in perpetuity. But to dismiss Kinbote as insane and

to then use him as a screen through which to uncover the "real" world of

Botkin

and

New Wye is to read as he does, to interpret the text according to our need for

self-

validation and explanatory coherence. In Lolita, Nabokov wants us to chart a

difficult course between moral condemnation and artistic delight; in Pale Fire, we

must

also tack between reductive skepticism and incurious (or willful)

naivetk.

There is, however, no truly safe passage, and even our most careful efforts are

doomed: narrative is a "virus"

(221),

as Peter Brooks says, a contagion passed on and

on from teller to listener. Like Freud, Boyd, Wilson, and Kinbote, we simply cannot

help repeating-acting out-that which we hear. We have heard and passed on a

number of narratives in this chapter, and it will be helpful for us to retrace the vectors

through which the infection has spread. We first noted that Freud and Nabokov share

an interest in detective fiction, and that like the Sherlock Holmes story, "The Final

Problem,"

The

Wolf-Man and Pale Fire invite the reader to investigate a text that has

itself called into question the act of detection. Second, we saw that Freud puts the

reader in the roles of both analyst to and patient of his text, inviting us to fit its puzzle

pieces into a coherent whole in the hope that the explanatory power we experience

will convince us of the validity of infantile experience. In trying to create

Document info
Document views153
Page views153
Page last viewedFri Dec 02 23:02:20 UTC 2016
Pages69
Paragraphs2108
Words19252

Comments