Pale Fire (Penguin Modern Classics)

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9780141185262: Pale Fire (Penguin Modern Classics)

The American poet John Shade is dead; murdered. His last poem, Pale Fire, is put into a book, together with a preface, a lengthy commentary and notes by Shade's editor, Charles Kinbote. Known on campus as the 'Great Beaver', Kinbote is haughty, inquisitive, intolerant, but is he also mad, bad - and even dangerous? As his wildly eccentric annotations slide into the personal and the fantastical, Kinbote reveals perhaps more than he should. Nabokov's darkly witty, richly inventive masterwork is a suspenseful whodunit, a story of one-upmanship and dubious penmanship, and a glorious literary conundrum.

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Review:

Like Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire is a masterpiece that imprisons us inside the mazelike head of a mad émigré. Yet Pale Fire is more outrageously hilarious, and its narrative convolutions make the earlier book seem as straightforward as a fairy tale. Here's the plot--listen carefully! John Shade is a homebody poet in New Wye, U.S.A. He writes a 999-line poem about his life, and what may lie beyond death. This novel (and seldom has the word seemed so woefully inadequate) consists of both that poem and an extensive commentary on it by the poet's crazy neighbor, Charles Kinbote.

According to this deranged annotator, he had urged Shade to write about his own homeland--the northern kingdom of Zembla. It soon becomes clear that this fabulous locale may well be a figment of Kinbote's colorfully cracked, prismatic imagination. Meanwhile, he manages to twist the poem into an account of Zembla's King Charles--whom he believes himself to be--and the monarch's eventual assassination by the revolutionary Jakob Gradus.

In the course of this dizzying narrative, shots are indeed fired. But it's Shade who takes the hit, enabling Kinbote to steal the dead poet's manuscript and set about annotating it. Is that perfectly clear? By now it should be obvious that Pale Fire is not only a whodunit but a who-wrote-it. There isn't, of course, a single solution. But Nabokov's best biographer, Brian Boyd, has come up with an ingenious suggestion: he argues that Shade is actually guiding Kinbote's mad hand from beyond the grave, nudging him into completing what he'd intended to be a 1,000-line poem. Read this magical, melancholic mystery and see if you agree. --Tim Appelo

From the Inside Flap:

With an Introduction by Richard Rorty


The urbane authority that Vladimir Nabokov brought to every word he ever wrote, and the ironic amusement he cultivated in response to being uprooted and politically exiled twice in his life, never found fuller expression than in Pale Fire published in 1962 after the critical and popular success of Lolita had made him an international literary figure.
An ingeniously constructed parody of detective fiction and learned commentary, Pale Fire offers a cornucopia of deceptive pleasures, at the center of which is a 999-line poem written by the literary genius John Shade just before his death. Surrounding the poem is a foreword and commentary by the demented scholar Charles Kinbote, who interweaves adoring literary analysis with the fantastical tale of an assassin from the land of Zembla in pursuit of a deposed king. Brilliantly constructed and wildly inventive, this darkly witty novel of suspense, literary one-upmanship, and political intrigue achieves that rarest of things in literature--perfect tragicomic balance.

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Vladimir Nabokov
Editore: Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2010)
ISBN 10: 0141185260 ISBN 13: 9780141185262
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Descrizione libro Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Repr.. Language: English . Brand New Book. The American poet John Shade is dead; murdered. His last poem, Pale Fire, is put into a book, together with a preface, a lengthy commentary and notes by Shade s editor, Charles Kinbote. Known on campus as the Great Beaver , Kinbote is haughty, inquisitive, intolerant, but is he also mad, bad - and even dangerous? As his wildly eccentric annotations slide into the personal and the fantastical, Kinbote reveals perhaps more than he should. Nabokov s darkly witty, richly inventive masterwork is a suspenseful whodunit, a story of one-upmanship and dubious penmanship, and a glorious literary conundrum. Codice libro della libreria AAW9780141185262

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ISBN 10: 0141185260 ISBN 13: 9780141185262
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Descrizione libro Penguin Books Ltd 2000-08-31, London, 2000. paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria 9780141185262

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Vladimir Nabokov
Editore: Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2010)
ISBN 10: 0141185260 ISBN 13: 9780141185262
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Descrizione libro Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Repr.. Language: English . Brand New Book. The American poet John Shade is dead; murdered. His last poem, Pale Fire, is put into a book, together with a preface, a lengthy commentary and notes by Shade s editor, Charles Kinbote. Known on campus as the Great Beaver , Kinbote is haughty, inquisitive, intolerant, but is he also mad, bad - and even dangerous? As his wildly eccentric annotations slide into the personal and the fantastical, Kinbote reveals perhaps more than he should. Nabokov s darkly witty, richly inventive masterwork is a suspenseful whodunit, a story of one-upmanship and dubious penmanship, and a glorious literary conundrum. Codice libro della libreria AAW9780141185262

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Descrizione libro Condizione libro: New. Publisher/Verlag: Penguin UK | A novel constructed around the last great poem of a fictional American poet, John Shade, and an account of his death. The poem appears in full and the narrative develops through the lengthy, and increasingly eccentric, notes by his posthumous editor. | The American poet John Shade is dead; murdered. His last poem, Pale Fire, is put into a book, together with a preface, a lengthy commentary and notes by Shade's editor, Charles Kinbote. Known on campus as the 'Great Beaver', Kinbote is haughty, inquisitive, intolerant, but is he also mad, bad - and even dangerous? As his wildly eccentric annotations slide into the personal and the fantastical, Kinbote reveals perhaps more than he should.Nabokov's darkly witty, richly inventive masterwork is a suspenseful whodunit, a story of one-upmanship and dubious penmanship, and a glorious literary conundrum. | Format: Paperback | Language/Sprache: english | 198 gr | 245 pp. Codice libro della libreria K9780141185262

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Descrizione libro Penguin Books Ltd, 2000. PAP. Condizione libro: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Codice libro della libreria CP-9780141185262

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Descrizione libro Penguin Books, 2010. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria M0141185260

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Descrizione libro 2000. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Paperback. A novel constructed around the last great poem of a fictional American poet, John Shade, and an account of his death. The poem appears in full and the narrative develops through the length.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 256 pages. 0.250. Codice libro della libreria 9780141185262

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Nabokov, Vladimir (Author)
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Descrizione libro Penguin Classics, 2000. Paperback. Condizione libro: Brand New. 256 pages. In Stock. Codice libro della libreria zk0141185260

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Descrizione libro Penguin UK Mrz 2010, 2010. Taschenbuch. Condizione libro: Neu. Neuware - The American poet John Shade is dead; murdered. His last poem, Pale Fire, is put into a book, together with a preface, a lengthy commentary and notes by Shade's editor, Charles Kinbote. Known on campus as the 'Great Beaver', Kinbote is haughty, inquisitive, intolerant, but is he also mad, bad - and even dangerous As his wildly eccentric annotations slide into the personal and the fantastical, Kinbote reveals perhaps more than he should. Nabokov's darkly witty, richly inventive masterwork is a suspenseful whodunit, a story of one-upmanship and dubious penmanship, and a glorious literary conundrum. 245 pp. Englisch. Codice libro della libreria 9780141185262

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Vladimir Nabokov
Editore: Penguin UK (2001)
ISBN 10: 0141185260 ISBN 13: 9780141185262
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Descrizione libro Penguin UK, 2001. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. The famous American poet John Shade was murdered in 1959. This book contains his last poem, Pale Fire, together with a foreword, a lengthy commentary and notes by Shade's editor Charles Kinbote. Known on campus as the 'Great Beaver', Kinbote is haughty, inquisitive, intolerant, but is he - can he possibly be - mad, bad, even dangerous? As his wildly eccentric annotations slide into the personal, he reveals perhaps more than he should about 'the glorious friendship that brightened the last months of John Shade's life. Paperback. Codice libro della libreria MM-40012821

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