In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Nabokov Studies 4 (1997) Forum BRIAN BOYD (Auckland) Shade and Shape in Pale Fire which, I hope, sufficiently approximates the text, or is at least faithful to its spirit —Pale Fire, Note to Lines 39-40 For those who have been following the story so far: this will not lead where you expect. Setting out the Problem The longest-running and the fiercest disagreement in the interpretation of any of Nabokov's works has been over me internal authorship of Pale Fire.1 Nabokov wrote the novel in 1. New York: Vintage, 1989 (a corrected version of die first edition , New York: Putnam, 1962). All citations will be in the form F, P. xxx, C. xxx, I (for Foreword, Poem, Commentary and Index) plus page number. Further corrections and annotations are added in Vladimir Nabokov, Novels 1955-1962: Lolita, Pnin, Pale Fire, Lolita: A Screenplay, ed. Brian Boyd (New York: Library of America, 1996). 174 Nabokov Studies 1960-1961, and published it in 1962, but Charles Kinbote signs the Foreword on October 19, 1959, after having also written the Commentary to John Shade's 999-line poem, "Pale Fire," which he reports was composed between July 2 and July 21, 1959. Kinbote has evidently also compüed the Index. In the fictive world where Kinbote can sign his Foreword in "Cedarn, Utana," there seems no doubt about who wrote what in this annotated edition of Shade's magnum opus. Nevertheless since shortly after publication of Pale Fire readers have proposed that these attributions are perhaps as deceptive as the novel's characters and events. Jakob Gradus, the stalker of the former Charles II of Zembla, seems likely to be no more than a fantasy superimposed on the real Jack Grey by Kinbote, who thinks he is the Zemblan king but is probably not, and may in fact be a Russian scholar named Vseslav Botkin . That much readers can suspect or even deduce on a first or second reading.2 But after more prolonged immersion in Pale Fire some critics have suggested that Shade seems in fact to have written the entire volume, not just the poem; others have argued instead that Kinbote wrote it all, poem included; still others maintain that Nabokov undermines the apparent dual authorship but deliberately leaves attributions unresolved, so that while there is evidence that either Shade or Kinbote could have written the whole, the reader, like someone looking at the perceptual psychologists' pet image, now sees duck, now rabbit, but cannot settle on a single stable response. In Shakespeare attribution studies, those who question the integrity of some of the canonical plays are called "disintegrators." Curiously, for readers of Pale Fire, most Shakespeare scholars now accept recent evidence that Timon of 2. Mary McCarthy reread the novel to write her celebrated review, "A Bolt from The Blue," expanded in "Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire," where she identifies Kinbote as Botkin and Gradus as Grey. Shade and Shape in Pale Fire 175 Athens contains scenes written by Christopher Middleton;3 most Nabokov readers on the other hand reject with disgust and exasperation the claims of the "integrators" of Pale Fire. For even most advanced readers of the novel its integrity and its consummate formal harmony come solely from Nabokov, while the comedy and pathos of its disintegratedness, so essential to its effect, derive from the absurd breach between Shade's contribution and Kinbote's. An often intense debate about who wrote what in Pale Fire has recently (December 1997-January 1998) broken out in the Nabokov discussion group on the internet, Nabokv-L, and has drawn on and added to the published critiques.4 Of the integrators, Shadeans dominate. The case for Shade as sole author was first made by Andrew Field in 1967 (291-332) more arguments were added by Julia Bader in 1972 (31-56); I added more in Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years in 1991 (42556 ) and still more in a long contribution to the internet discussion (22 December 1997), but others like Gennady Barabtarlo (242 and NABOKV-L, 9 January 1998), Chris Ackerley and Sergey Il'yn have also taken up the Shadean cause in print or on screen. The first Kinbotean...