NABOKV-L post 0005878, Sat, 31 Mar 2001 10:18:03 -0800

Pale Fire Boswell epigram]
On Fri, 30 Mar 2001, Automatic digest processor wrote:
> In _Pale Fire_ someone gets shot, as
> Hodge seems to be threatened with, and the _Life_ is a book about a
> sycophant following around a noted literary figure, as is the case with
> _PF_, but surely there must be more to it that that?

My impression when I recently re-read _Pale Fire_ was that the anecdote
illustrates the difference between the modes people operate in when
discussing public and private matters, and how quickly and drastically
can switch between them when one discovers that public matters will
one's private life; what is comic in one instance can be tragic or
profound in the other. Kinbote's prose is full of such pendulum-like
swings, some of which are through his own reflections, and some of which
occur through the ironic distance between the madman and the reader.

Kevin Troy