Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023806, Tue, 19 Mar 2013 07:28:20 +0100

New Pale Fire study
Many thanks to Susan Elizabeth Sweeney for her kind reply. I realize my previous message, announcing the publication of The Darker Shades of Pale Fire, An Investigation into a Literary Mystery (Paris : Michel Houdiard), did not include the back cover text and table of contents. I thought they might be useful.

René Alladaye

Half a century after its publication, Pale Fire, one of Vladimir Nabokov’s most brilliant achievements, remains a literary mystery. Despite the richness of its critical history and the ingenuity of two generations of readers, the ongoing debate about its narrative structure and the identity of its narrator(s) still has not reached a definitive conclusion. This study chronicles the major stages of the novel’s reception, from Mary McCarthy’s groundbreaking review to Brian Boyd’s striking metaphysical interpretation, and offers a critical assessment of the various theories put forward to account for the text’s intricacies. This systematic analysis, which follows in the footsteps of Pierre Bayard and combines the methods of “detective criticism” with the use of the basic tools provided by narratology, leads to the refutation of a number of views and approaches to the novel, and induces a new exegesis resting on the central role played by a famous painting. The re-examination of the Pale Fire case generates a surprising solution to the novel’s puzzle.

Table of Contents

Introduction: In Defence of the “Arrogant Commentator”

Chapter 1: A “Genetic Monster” or a “New Mutation”

Chapter 2: Pale Fire, a User’s Manual

Chapter 3: “A Bolt from the Blue”: The Mother of all Readings

Chapter 4: Coincidences – The Sole Author Approach

Chapter 5: Are You a Shadean, a Kinbotean or a Botkinian?

Chapter 6: How to Refute a Solid Line

Chapter 7: Nabokovian Metaphysics

Chapter 8: Pale Fire as Anamorphosis

Chapter 9: The Darker Shades of Pale Fire: Looking for the Novel’s Dead Centre

Conclusion: Solving Pale Fire?

Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu
Visit Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
View Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com

Manage subscription options: http://listserv.ucsb.edu/