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My Potential Patients: Origins, Detection, and Transference in - page 49 / 69

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Cohen 46

explanatory certainty, however, Freud ends up repeating in the text the historical

ambiguity of the primal scene and the ambivalence he sees in the patient's mind, a

state of fragmentation in turn imparted to the reader. And third, we applied Shoshana

Felman's

critique of Edmund Wilson's reading of The Turn of the Screw to Brian

Boyd's book on Pale Fire. By offering a supernatural solution to the text, diagnosing

and dismissing Kinbote as insane, and reading through him to the ostensibly real

world behind his delusions, Boyd's orthodox Nabokovian reading uncannily yields a

psychoanalytic case history with the novel as his patient. We have gone through a

rather convoluted route to come to these claims, and in doing so have been rather

harsh with the world's greatest Nabokov scholar. The least we can do now is to

acknowledge that this discussion enjoys no privileged vantage point, that it is as

inside language as the texts it has investigated. "It is nothing other than the process

of detection that constitutes the crime"

(176),

Felman says. The Wolf-Man and Pale

Fire make it particularly clear that all readers are criminals.

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