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My Potential Patients: Origins, Detection, and Transference in - page 54 / 69

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Cohen 51

additional memories in response. The cycle that results could be called a dialectic of

delusions,15

a collaborative, "dialogic"

(Broolcs

321) effort at building a satisfactory

narrative.

What possible bearing on Pale Five could "Constructions in Analysis" have?

After all, Kinbote is hardly interested in any kind of dialogue with Shade's person or

poem. As a parody of the Freudian analyst, he draws exclusively from his own

repressions, obsessions, and desires in interpreting the latent content behind the

manifest material of "Pale Fire," constructing a self-validating narrative aimed at his

own glorification and immortalization. If anything, he provides a living example of

the latter day Freud taken to his logical extreme, where an analyst who once ignored,

denied, or downplayed his own repressions now justifies and defends them. Indeed,

Kinbote subverts the analytic roles to his advantage, first becoming patient in the

hope that Shade "would recreate in a poem the dazzling Zembla burning in my brain"

(80),

and then, when the poem turns out to be "Pale Fire" and not

"Solus

Rex"

(296),

swapping the patient's couch for the analyst's chair in offering a construction where

he is the poem's protagonist and hero. Though Kinbote partly faults Shade for failing

to tell his story

(296),

he mostly blames Sybil, his competitor for Shade's attention

and a rank "anti-Karlist" (74) who certainly must have encouraged her husband to

strike out any references to Charles Xavier and his Zembla (91). Claiming that this

"domestic censor" (81) of resistance has suppressed Shade's intended utterance

simultaneously empowers Kinbote as the poem's

analystlinterpreter

and protects even

the most outlandish of his claims from criticism.

Thank you to John Limon for this apt and useful articulation.

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