Pale Fire

Pale Fire

Vladimir Nabokov / Feb 20, 2020

Pale Fire This is an alternate cover ed for ISBN The urbane authority that Vladimir Nabokov brought to every word he ever wrote and the ironic amusement he cultivated in response to being uprooted a

  • Title: Pale Fire
  • Author: Vladimir Nabokov
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 200
  • Format: Paperback
  • This is an alternate cover ed for ISBN 0679723420.The urbane authority that Vladimir Nabokov brought to every word he ever wrote, and the ironic amusement he cultivated in response to being uprooted and politically exiled twice in his life, never found fuller expression than in Pale Fire published in 1962 after the critical and popular success of Lolita had made him an inThis is an alternate cover ed for ISBN 0679723420.The urbane authority that Vladimir Nabokov brought to every word he ever wrote, and the ironic amusement he cultivated in response to being uprooted and politically exiled twice in his life, never found fuller expression than in Pale Fire published in 1962 after the critical and popular success of Lolita had made him an international literary figure.An ingeniously constructed parody of detective fiction and learned commentary, Pale Fire offers a cornucopia of deceptive pleasures, at the center of which is a 999 line poem written by the literary genius John Shade just before his death Surrounding the poem is a foreword and commentary by the demented scholar Charles Kinbote, who interweaves adoring literary analysis with the fantastical tale of an assassin from the land of Zembla in pursuit of a deposed king Brilliantly constructed and wildly inventive, this darkly witty novel of suspense, literary one upmanship, and political intrigue achieves that rarest of things in literature perfect tragicomic balance.

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    About "Vladimir Nabokov"

      • Vladimir Nabokov

        Russian .Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, also known by the pen name Vladimir Sirin, was a Russian American novelist Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, then rose to international prominence as a master English prose stylist He also made significant contributions to lepidoptery and had an interest in chess problems.Nabokov s Lolita 1955 is frequently cited as his most important novel, and is at any rate his most widely known one, exhibiting the love of intricate wordplay and descriptive detail that characterized all his works.


    1. I. ForewordWith deepest sorrows, I regret to inform everyone to the death of fellow reviewer, and my dear friend, snkevich. While he may have departed, I, Vincent Kephes, have taken upon myself the burden of collecting his notes and the half-finished reviews that he left behind in order to bestow them upon you all. I am certain beyond the shadow of a doubt that, having been close with s this is in keeping with his wishes, and although they were never overtly expressed, I knew from the first mom [...]

    2. I¹ liked² this book³, especially the poem⁴.____________________________________¹ When I use the first-person singular pronoun, I am here referring to my normal persona. I have also, at various times, maintained other personas. For example, between 1999 and 2001, I used to play chess regularly on the KasparovChess site under the handle "swedish_chick".I find this a strange example of what makes people believe things. Everyone was extremely skeptical on first meeting her; but, for some reaso [...]

    3. Stop it Nabokov, you're making every other writer on this planet look terrible.This novel, which basically rejects every element and characteristic of our common conceptions of "novels", is a masterpiece of form and structure. It is a book made up entirely of footnotes. In the beginning, we are presented with a poem, a 999-line poem called Pale Fire. The "novel" part of this "novel" resides in the commentary and footnotes on this poem. Nabokov constructs an entire narrative, complete with rounde [...]

    4. “The summer night was starless and stirless, with distant spasms of silent lightning.”― Vladimir Nabokov, Pale FireDo you enjoy reading the poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, Lord Byron and William Butler Yates? If so, then Vladimir Nabokov might be your favorite novelist, since this master prose writer's feel for language and precision of words is equal to any of these great poets. However, if you are like most readers of novels, what keeps you turning the pages isn't necessarily [...]

    5. I’ll example you with thievery:The sun’s a thief, and with his great attractionRobs the vast sea; the moon’s an arrant thief, And her pale fire she snatches from the sun;The sea’s a thief, whose liquid surge resolvesThe moon into salt tears; the earth’s a thief, That feeds and breeds by a composture stolenFrom general excrement: each thing’s a thief.Shakespeare, Timon of Athens, Act IV, scene IIIThis is not a regular review, and may not be for you. If you stay to read, never fear, Na [...]

    6. Whoop-dee-doo, five stars to Mr. Nabokov. Do you also feel silly clicking on the ratings? You throw gold stars into Pale Fire and the vanity of star-ratings is exposed. We here are a community trying to reclaim our authority over writers who for pages have manipulated our thoughts and beings. Generals get stars, good students too, and my 2-year-old every time she uses the potty. Only the higher-ups get to hand them out, but c'mmon, is there a higher-up for Nabokov? Whoever can, hand him a real s [...]

    7. I loved this, especially as my copy of the book seemed to operate on a meta-meta-meta-meta-level.The book initially appears to be an unfinished poem, 'Pale Fire', by a dead writer named John Shade, together with a foreword, detailed commentary and index by a friend of his, Charles Kinbote.But Kinbote is less interested in the poem than he is in discussing the country of 'Zembla' and its flamboyantly gay, deposed King. It's more or less apparent, as the book progresses, that Kinbote is EITHER a) [...]

    8. I was mesmerized with the planes of collision of this unusual novel. We get a pompous, self-serving introduction by a fictional editor to a poem, the poem itself, rendered in wonderful old-fashioned lyrical verse dancing life against death, and then a commentary that twists the content of the poem and the scholar’s connection to the author into an absurd dramatic framework. For dessert, an index that pulls your leg in case you weren’t sure. It’s clever, but not smug. There are challenging [...]

    9. It’s a well-known fact that dogs have a talent for smelling far better than our own. They can detect much fainter scents from much farther away. What’s more, when a stew is cooking and all we smell is stew, they can pick out each ingredient –- the potatoes, carrots, beef and even the bay leaf and parsley flakes. Close readers who are analogous to these super sniffers are the ones who will enjoy this book the most, I suspect. No worries for the rest of us, though. I’m proof that this can [...]

    10. Death is the termination of all biological functions that sustain a living organism*. Is that it? No! It is an eternal loss of a lively soul; a sudden departure from the precious present; an endless termination of familial bonds. Nothing can affect anyone more than a death in one’s family, especially a life purloined from us before its time. Such is the memory misery of our poor, dear poet Mr.Shade, the father of the departed bride, Hazel!“For we die every day; oblivion thrives Not on dry th [...]

    11. Life is a message scribbled in the dark.One of the reasons I’ve decided to rehash a love affair with poetry this year is because of what Jane Hirshfield says in Nine Gates: “No matter how carefully we read or how much attention we bring to bear, a good poem can never be completely entered, completely known.” When I’ve been reading a Thomas Hardy novel longer than anticipated (a novel known for its preachiness, albeit seasoned sentence structures), a narrative poem and novel like Pale Fir [...]

    12. Pale Fire presents a 999-line poem from murdered poet John Shade, followed by an unreliable commentary (and earlier intro) from his stalker and apparent chum Charles Kimbote. The commentator takes an arch tone to his union with shade, exaggerating and distorting his position in the poet’s life, and uses the space to expand on the history of his homeland Zembla in lieu of discussing the poem’s content. Upon a first reading I found the book something of an extended academic titterfest, albeit [...]

    13. “All the seven deadly sins are peccadilloes but without three of them, Pride, Lust, and Sloth, poetry might never have been born.” ― Vladimir Nabokov, Pale FireOne of the funniest, most absurdly brilliant books I've ever read. I find it amazing that Nabokov would have written this novel (which oddly is a haunting retelling of my life story) without mentioning me by name at all. There must be a reason for this. Perhaps Nabokov was trying to not just protect me, but my whole family from the [...]

    14. Foreword:"Canon Fire", a poem in heroic couplets, of thirty-six lines, consisting of only one canto, was composed by Ian Vinogradus (born March 4, 1957) during the last two days of his life (up to that point in time), at his residence in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. He started the poem on Saturday, July 16, 2016, on the evening that the military coup occurred in Turkey. He completed it the following day, Sunday, July 17, 2016, after it became clear that the coup had failed.Canon Fire[After a [...]

    15. What a beautiful work of art, Nabokov was such a master at both prose and poetry. This unique blend of prose and poetry offers a delightful sojourn to cherish !!

    16. Nefariously Fun Satire of Literary Criticism, Satyriasis and "Bold Virilia"Nabokov was such a pure genius in performing brilliant magic with words of the English language, as well as in creating playful and at times side-splitting satire that lacerates the objects of its scorn. In Pale Fire, Nabokov targeted academia of literature and literary criticism and, to a degree, all males' preoccupation with sex . Nabokov isn't my favorite author by a longshot, but given his masterpieces in Lolita and P [...]

    17. Now I shall spy on beauty as none as Spied on it yet.I read Pale Fire under the bed. I didn't roll around in the sheets and get sweaty and come at the same time like all of the sex scenes on HBO tv shows. I hid under the bed and I didn't look first to see who the bed belonged to. So long as it wasn't mine Another sweaty body did the dirty on top and I could feel the springs pushing into my back down below. Paranoid body on top and apprehensively hopeful body below. Just below, me. Jealous wives [...]

    18. I am resisting this unmistakable urge to write the review in the form of a poem supplemented with annotations. I would really like it but it just feels rather too obvious, and mind you, better reviewers than I have done it. snkevich and Manny Rayner have done marvelous jobs at it and so it is with a heavy heart that I have decided, with complete control over my faculties, to write a rap song called “Flameboi” instead (with four verses, 24 lines) complete with commentary from one of my deares [...]

    19. Pale Fire is another great American novel narrated by another great Nabokovian vampire, the academic showboat Dr. Charles Kinbote. This particular parasite wraps the leathery wings of his sexy but suffocating rhetoric (syntax that seduces, diction that deflowers) around the last poetical work of John Shade, a 999 (or 1000) line poem entitled “Pale Fire.” Kinbote is only too happy to abuse his coveted position as the sole editor of “Pale Fire” by infesting the poem’s Forward and line-by [...]

    20. Something tells me that having a conversation with Nabokov would’ve been a real sonofabitch. He would just dominate the conversation, leaving you to wonder at his imaginative wordplay, density; his unparalleled ironic detachment and cynicism. Hard to get a word in edgewise with a guy like that. Dinner parties must have been a nightmare. Look, Pale Fire is flat-out fucking Genius—there’s no way around that one. It has more layers than a lasagna operating at any given time and, because Nabo [...]

    21. The thing you want to know in order to get started is whether you ought to read the poem, the one by Shade at the beginning of this book, or whether, with calm of mind, you might skip straight to the meat of the matter, the novel. Just get on with it. Well, to be honest and such, I’d have to give a strong recommendation to read the poem. Not all at once of course. And certainly not as preparation for the novel. That would be asking too much. But read enough of it somehow. Gradually pass along [...]

    22. After reading 'John Shade' for a time, ICan not help but think in rhyme. GrayCat sits on a sunken chair; Full of Spite and covr'd with mangy hair.Was that the phone? I listen at the door.Pause. Nothing. I resume vaccumingOnce more. And there's the wall ofSound, that nightly wall. FrogsCroak, the 'Yotes howl and frighten all.What torture and yet splendid pain, NabokovHas inflicted on my brain! Ludricous,I say; that I am pleased. When he'sleft me feeling used and thor'ghly teased.

    23. Nabokov's Pale Fire is "what a composer of chess problems might term a king-in-the-corner waiter of the solus rex type."Perhaps even moreso than Luzhin Defense, Pale Fire seems to me Nabokov's ultimate ode to the king's game. A kind of post-modern salad of quirks and quizzes, the structure of the "novel" is a 999-line poem of heroic couplets by the late John Shade, a preface, an index, and most importantly explanatory commentary in the form of end-notes by Charles Kinbote (friend? neighbor? depo [...]

    24. My 3rd Nabokov and this sustains my belief that he was really one of the great storytellers that ever walked on earth.This postmodern novel is an example of meta-fiction. Because of this, it is a difficult read. I had to slow down and oftentimes went back at the start of the paragraph only to understand, even how shallow, what Nabokov is saying. In the end, however, finishing this book especially because I tried to really understand it, gave me a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment. Nobody c [...]

    25. A Zemblan nesting doll* of a novel.*Much like it's Russian counterpart in that the primary feature is that dolls of descending size fit into one another, but unlike the Russian counterpart the Zemblan variety are tasteful and portray virile male youths.I am going to abstain from composing this review in rhyming verse, though it is almost irresistible, largely due to the fact that I know I would bungle it up - a bit of a Gradus in that way. This deceptive and fun novel has at it's heart a poem co [...]

    26. Video review: youtube/watch?v=EjtajFeatured in my Top 20 Books I Read in 2017The most elegant literary experiment I've ever read (and sister, I've read my fair share); possibly the best too.

    27. Excelentíssimo Senhor Nabokov,Quero agradecer-lhe o magnífico presente que me ofereceu, embora ele muito me tivesse confundido. É que está tão embrulhado e enleado, que receio não o ter apreciado tanto quanto ele merece. A culpa é minha, reconheço; deveria ter-lhe obedecido quando me dizia (e, por vezes, ordenava) constantemente, para "ver verso x; ver nota ao verso y; ver prefácio" (mas quem é que consegue estar sempre a avançar e a recuar?) Gostaria de lhe dizer o quanto gostei (e m [...]

    28. My initial strong impression was - Nabokov does not care about his reader. He cares only about his craft, the process of creation and the satisfaction it brings. His ability to squeeze the aesthetic effect from the language is magical. He plays with the words, their musicality - the amount of alliteration in this short novel is more than i’ve seen in a volume of poetry. His character says: “One can harness words like performing fleas and make them drive other fleas.” And this pretty much s [...]

    29. Well, how lucky to start another year with a rare 5-star rating. I'm dying to write some sort of review for this, but it won't be coming any time soon. The prose (and the poem) was delightful, and it's expanded my notions of what can be achieved in literature.I've been reluctant towards poetry in general, never having picked up a book focusing on the spouse of prose, but reading Pale Fire has ignited my interest in the world. If any of you who reads this can suggest where would be some good plac [...]

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