Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire

Duncan White
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Pale Fire

is Vladimir Nabokov’s masterpiece, an astonishingly clever and formally intricate novel that crystallises his great themes into what Mary McCarthy called “one of the very great works of art of this century”. For all its complex elusiveness and allusiveness, its games of inversion and reflection, it remains a novel of thrilling dynamism, demanding that an energised reader take on the role of metafictional sleuth and solve this bizarre novel’s multitudinous mysteries.

Pale Fire

has been cited as playing a fundamental role in the development of literary postmodernism, has inspired a whole generation of experimental novelists, and remains the Nabokovian text that provokes the most incendiary of interpretative debates.

Pale Fire was published in 1962: it was Nabokov’s

2256 words

Citation: White, Duncan. "Pale Fire". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 January 2007 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2978, accessed 22 June 2024.]

2978 Pale Fire 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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