Vladimir Nabokov

Alternative Theory of Pale Fire: Erik Eklund

By Erik Eklund, 10 January, 2024

Erik Eklund has published an alternative theory of Pale Fire's authorial enigmas, titled "The Mirror and the Icon: A Theological Perspective on Nabokov's Pale Fire." The article is published in Partial Answers 22, no. 1 (Jan. 2024): 117–40 and is available via this link.


The search for the author(s) of Nabokov’s Pale Fire arises from a fundamental misunderstanding of the problem of repetition and its relation to the question of origins, temporal and timeless. For insofar as an origin is a thing (res) that is not always already in the movement of repetition (identical or otherwise), however distantly removed from its source (finite or otherwise), there can be no finite or immanent origin in the book or in the world. There is only its sign, which incorporates and refracts within its generative gaze all the temporalities and identities as non-identical repetition. In Pale Fire such as sign is represented by St. Sudarg of Bokay’s triptych of bottomless light.