Abstract

Many responses to Nabokov's Pale Fire: The Magic of Artistic Discovery drew attention to suggestive particulars in Pale Fire whose purpose I here try to ascertain. There are details and designs still to be traced at every phase of reading Pale Fire: a first reading (the A-Z pattern, which may also indicate the key role of Hazel that I proposed in NPF); rereading (a "Botkin" implied in the "catkin" evoked but eschewed late in the poem; implications hidden in place-names like Kobaltana or in personal names like Sylvia O'Donnell); and re-rereading (the echo of "The Vane Sisters" in the Vanessa at the end of Shade's poem and his life; the scene starring Gordon, the boy from whom Gradus recoils but whom the king has clearly possessed, as an ironic variation on the pattern of women spurned; the echo of Pope's "distant northern land" in the last three words of the Index).

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9965
Print ISSN
1080-1219
Pages
pp. 163-199
Launched on MUSE
2010-10-13
Open Access
No
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