Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0014116, Mon, 20 Nov 2006 10:54:50 EST

Re: Mary McCarthy's review of PALE FIRE

In a message dated 20/11/2006 15:51:10 GMT Standard Time, mushtary@YAHOO.COM

Many years ago I read Mary McCarthy's review of PALE FIRE which had appeared
in NEW REPUBLIC on June 4th 1962. Years later when I came across a Penguin
PALE FIRE with her review as an introduction to the novel it struck me as
having been reworked.
In order to answer the question whether McCarthy had identified the source
of VN's title in her original review, and knowing that I, at that time, had
xeroxed her review, searched two attics, and finally found it as reprinted in
Norman Page, NABOKOV: THE CRITICAL HERITAGE (Routledge & Kegan Paul 1982),pp.
124-136, where she admits:

"I have not been able to find, in Shakespeare or anywhere else, the source
of 'pale fire.' In the commentary there is an account of the poet burning his
rejected drafts in 'the pale fire of the incinerator.' " p. 136

A. Bouazza.

Aha! So in between 4 June 1962 and October 1962, somebody (Nobody?) told
her. And this seems to confirm that she did write the rest of it, or anyway some
of the rest of it.

Anthony Stadlen

Anthony Stadlen

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