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Cohen 62

much to events as to other tales, to man as a structure of the fictions he tells about

himself' (277). While the manuscript of The Wolf-Man depicts on "the two-

dimensional descriptive plane" (214) a causal web bounded within the sphere of a

single person, Freud's textual additions threaten to endlessly defer the moment of

origin and the limits of explanatory possibility.

It is tempting to keep going in this way, to construct visual models of The

Wolf-Man

and Pale Fire, described in geometric

terns

and accompanied by

meticulously drawn figures. For example, one could argue that since Nabokov's

artistic web is oriented temporally and Freud's psychological web is oriented

thematically, their essential armature is shown to be the same if rotated, say, ninety

degrees. Armed with enough contemporary literary criticism on Freud, one could

torture the sweeping, aggressive rhetoric of The Wolf-Man into one of Nabokov's

aestheticized, subjective worlds. Or mobilizing enough of Freud's rhetorical

reversals and Pale Fire's

minors,

crystals, doubles, and palindromes, one could

undermine the very real differences between Freud's unconscious-dwelling

repressions and Nabokov's deistic, ambivalent chessmasters. In short, one could

continue abstracting from Freud and Nabokov until each looks like the mirror image

of the other and their uniqueness has been completely effaced.

This impulse to draw, model, and encapsulate is profoundly paranoid, but not

inappropriate. It is Freud who urges us to combine the puzzle pieces of The

Wolf-

Man and the Wolf-Man's neurosis "together into a living whole"

(214),

Kinbote who

hopes his detailed map of the Onhava palace will be reproduced "in later editions"

(107) of Pale Fire, and Nabokov who forces his students away from an allegorical

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