Volpone, Annalisa. "See the Web of the World": the (Hyper) Textual Plagiarism in Joyce's Finnegans Wake and Nabokov's Pale Fire. 2009

Author(s)
Bibliographic title
"See the Web of the World": the (Hyper) Textual Plagiarism in Joyce's Finnegans Wake and Nabokov's Pale Fire
Periodical or collection
Nabokov Online Journal
Periodical issue
v. 3
Publication year
Abstract

The article proposes a comparison between James Joyce's Finnegans Wake and Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire in terms of a textual dialogue, which according to Bakhtin is incipient in the genre of the novel itself. In particular, Volpone suggests a reading of the texts from a postmodernist point of view. The way Joyce and Nabokov refer to the past and to literary tradition seems to anticipate some of the most prominent issues of postmodernism, such as the concept of plagiarism. Furthermore, they continuously deconstruct the novel as a genre in the author-reader relation, in the way characters are presented and in the peculiarities of the language, which often turns into an idiolect that is resistant to any decoding. Annalisa Volpone tries to demonstrate that there is an indissoluble link between Finnegans Wake and Pale Fire that goes beyond a simple intertextual exercise. This relationship strongly affects the very structure of Nabokov's novel, allowing the reader to consider new patterns of meaning.