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Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
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Pale Fire (1962)

by Vladimir Nabokov

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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5,23875848 (4.28)1 / 272
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English (72)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (75)
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
Credo sia un privilegio poter essere nato in una epoca dove i libri di Nabokov vengono stampati.
--
A volte, con lievi errori di traduzione (uno, al verso 962 e' tuttavia evidente, strano sia sfuggito in modo cosi' grossolano)
--
Come qualcuno ebbe a dire, la scrittura di N. e' estatica, ed e' in questa estasi di intelligenza e di cultura - e di umorismo - che ci si ritrova piacevolmente avviluppati.
Questo libro e' geniale, ma forse un po' piu' di geniale. E' davvero impegnativo pensare che qualcuno su questa Terra abbia potuto pensarlo, imbastirlo, scriverlo.
Forse, come diventa lecito pensare, forse questo libro e' stato scritto su Anti-terra, e da li' fatto naufragare quaggiu', assieme a immagini di uccelli e farfalle terrestri.

http://www.naturephoto-cz.eu/beccofrusone-pic-423.html ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
Review to follow next week.. ( )
  wjmcomposer | Nov 5, 2014 |
Review to follow next week.. ( )
  wjmcomposer | Nov 5, 2014 |
How is Mr. Nabokov not one of our national heroes? I know he's Russian born, asswipe, but he loved, and wrote in, English. This guy blows my mind. I'm not going to review it. Others have done it better than I ever could, but you need to read this. It is important and funny and deep and has the best unreliable narrator I've come across so far. ( )
  DanielAlgara | Sep 26, 2014 |
A very unique style -- using the form of literary criticism to tell the story of 3 men whose lives intersect very briefly. The ostensible main character, the American poet & academic John Shade, gives his story in the form of a poem in 4 Cantos (written in a style somewhat reminiscent of Longfellow). The actual main character, the Zemblan exile Charles Kinbote, gives his story in the form of literary commentary on Shade's poem. Kinbote also includes in the commentary the story of the 3rd man, Jacob Gradus, who is also from Zembla & is on an assassination mission to kill the former King of Zembla.

Nabokov doesn't deviate from the format of literary criticism one jot -- no subtle winks or nudges that this is all a big joke. He even includes a detailed Index at the end! ( )
  leslie.98 | Aug 30, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
If the introduction and notes are eccentric, the index is of a similar quality ... Kinbote's index is a symptom of his insanity.
added by KayCliff | editNew Writing 9, Robert Irwin (Dec 12, 2010)
 
The integration of events described in the index into the text of Pale fire clearly qualifies this index as an example of indexes as fiction. The complex trail of cross-references by which the whole book may be alternatively read makes it possible also to regard this novel as an example of fiction as
index.
added by KayCliff | editThe Indexer, Hazel K. Bell (Aug 5, 1997)
 
In fact, “Pale Fire” is a curiosity into which it is agreeable to dip rather than a book which can be read straight through with pleasure.
 

» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nabokov, Vladimirprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kinbote, CharlesForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rorty, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verstegen, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
This reminds me of the ludicrous account he gave Mr. Langton, of the despicable state of a young gentleman of good family. "Sir, when I heard of him last, he was running about town shooting cats." And then in a sort of kindly reverie, he bethought himself of his own favorite cat, and said, "But, Hodge shan't be shot: no, no, Hodge shall not be shot."

--James Boswell, the Life of Samuel Johnson
Dedication
To Véra
First words
I was the shadow of the waxwing slain / By the false azure in the windowpane.
Pale Fire, a poem in heroic couplets, of nine hundred ninety-nine lines, divided into four cantos, was composed by John Francis Shade (born July 5, 1898, died July 21, 1959) during the last twenty days of his life, at his residence in New Wye, Appalachia, U.S.A.
Quotations
I have no desire to twist and batter an unambiguous apparatus criticus into the monstrous semblance of a novel.
No lips would share the lipstick of her smoke.
Shadows, the, a regicidal organization which commissioned Gradus (q.v.) to assassinate the self-banished king; its leader’s terrible name cannot be mentioned, even in the Index to the obscure work of a scholar; his maternal grandfather, a well-known and very courageous master builder, was hired by Thurgus the Turgid, around 1885, to make certain repairs in his quarters, and soon after that perished, poisoned in the royal kitchens, under mysterious circumstances, together with his three young apprentices whose pretty first names Yan, Yonny, and Angeling, are preserved in a ballad still to be heard in some of our wilder valleys.
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Haiku summary
The curse of the verse!
(Note: this refers to Zembla.)
So: king, or madman?

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679723420, Paperback)

Like Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire is a masterpiece that imprisons us inside the mazelike head of a mad émigré. Yet Pale Fire is more outrageously hilarious, and its narrative convolutions make the earlier book seem as straightforward as a fairy tale. Here's the plot--listen carefully! John Shade is a homebody poet in New Wye, U.S.A. He writes a 999-line poem about his life, and what may lie beyond death. This novel (and seldom has the word seemed so woefully inadequate) consists of both that poem and an extensive commentary on it by the poet's crazy neighbor, Charles Kinbote.

According to this deranged annotator, he had urged Shade to write about his own homeland--the northern kingdom of Zembla. It soon becomes clear that this fabulous locale may well be a figment of Kinbote's colorfully cracked, prismatic imagination. Meanwhile, he manages to twist the poem into an account of Zembla's King Charles--whom he believes himself to be--and the monarch's eventual assassination by the revolutionary Jakob Gradus.

In the course of this dizzying narrative, shots are indeed fired. But it's Shade who takes the hit, enabling Kinbote to steal the dead poet's manuscript and set about annotating it. Is that perfectly clear? By now it should be obvious that Pale Fire is not only a whodunit but a who-wrote-it. There isn't, of course, a single solution. But Nabokov's best biographer, Brian Boyd, has come up with an ingenious suggestion: he argues that Shade is actually guiding Kinbote's mad hand from beyond the grave, nudging him into completing what he'd intended to be a 1,000-line poem. Read this magical, melancholic mystery and see if you agree. --Tim Appelo

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:57:13 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Nabokov's parody, half poem and half commentary on the poem, deals with the escapades of the deposed king of Zemala in a New England college town.

» see all 5 descriptions

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2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141185260, 0141197242

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