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My Potential Patients: Origins, Detection, and Transference in - page 62 / 69

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Cohen 59

in which to talk, though, he shows a retrospective fondness for Shade's habit,

reenacting the four stroke "lass-male" hole in the Index by

taking

the reader from

"Word

golf'

(315) to "Lass" (310) to "Mass, Mars, Mare" (311) to "Male" (310)-its

opposite-and back. Kinbote does not appreciate, however, that these seemingly

trivial games express Shade's worldview as much as

Zembla

does his. Shade hopes

that he "in life could find Some

/

kind

of link-and-bobolink, some

kind /

Of coi-related

pattern in the game, Plexed artistry, and something of the same Pleasure in it as

/

/

they who played it found"

(63,ll.

811-15). The existence of this greater organizing

power can never be validated, only suspected and postulated:

It did not matter who they were. No sound,

No furtive light came from their involute

Abode, but there they were, aloof and mute,

Playing a game of worlds, promoting pawns

To ivory unicorns and ebon fauns;

. . . . . . . . . . . . . coordinating these

Events and objects with remote events

And vanished objects. Making ornaments

Of accidents and possibilities.

(63,11.816-20

and 826-29)

"I feel I understand Existence," he says later, "or at least a minute part Of my

/

/

existence, only through my art"

(68-69,ll.

970-72). As a mere chess piece in this

grand game, Shade holds no hope of ever knowing the identities and stratagems of the

players. By manipulating pieces of his own, though, he can at least imitate in art the

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