Vladimir Nabokov

Chart of PF and Finnegans Wake comparison

By MARYROSS, 2 March, 2021

I want to add to my previous post (http://thenabokovian.org/node/52191) a brief chart I made demonstrating many of the similarities between Pale Fire and Finnegans Wake (attached). My suggestion, as above, is that it seems possible that VN was influenced by Northrup Frye’s acclaims of Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, and purposely plagiarized the themes and motifs, possibly as parody or as a demonstration of how the same could be employed in a novel that is actually readable on a number of literary levels.


I am a “lay” scholar, and not expert on Joyce, (nor Nabokov, nor Jung, nor Frye), and would probably have to devote the rest of my life to Finnegans to claim anything definite about these relationships, but I hope this may be of some interest to scholars. With the exception of Annalisa Volpone’s “See the Web of the World” the (Hyper) Textual Plagiarism in Joyce’ s FINNEGANS WAKE and Nabokov’s PALE FIRE http://www.nabokovonline.com/volume-3.html, which covers some of these similarities, I am not aware of any other writings comparing these two novels. I am curious if anyone is aware of any other writing or discussion. Thanks, Mary

PF&FWchart_1.docx (123.31 KB)