NABOKV-L post 0014048, Mon, 13 Nov 2006 06:38:17 +0000

Re: PF reference in the Onion
From The Onion, '6 Memorable Books About Writers Writing',

*Vladimir Nabokov, /Pale Fire /**(1962)*


Nabokov's lovely classic /Pale Fire/ isn't just a book about writers
writing, it's also a book about rewriters rewriting. In an intricately
nested story, Nabokov presents an epic poem about death and the
possibility of the afterlife, ostensibly written by an American poet,
John Shade. Then he presents the story of how the poem came to be
written, and how it came into the hands of Shade's neighbor Charles
Kinbote. Finally, Kinbote presents his own editorial explanation of the
poem, recasting it all as a metaphorical image of Kinbote and his
homeland. Many interpretations of the book have been offered, but the
entire thing works beautifully as a smart, skillful satire on the way
well-meaning scholars dissect and deconstruct literature, sometimes
warping it unrecognizably. On some level, it's a tremendously sad book,
raising the question of why writers bother at all, since their
intentions may not survive them, and their works become vulnerable the
moment they leave the brain and hit the page. But in spite of all the
misinterpretation and willful predation, /Pale Fire/ is still a wryly
hilarious book, particularly as a portrait of writerly delusion and

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