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Pale Fire - (Vintage International) by Vladimir Nabokov (Paperback)

Pale Fire - (Vintage International) by  Vladimir Nabokov (Paperback) - image 1 of 1
Pale Fire - (Vintage International) by  Vladimir Nabokov (Paperback) - image 1 of 1
$11.79 sale price when purchased online
$18.00 list price

About this item

Highlights

  • A darkly comic novel of suspense, literary idolatry and one-upmanship, and political intrigue from one of the leading writers of the twentieth century, the acclaimed author of Lolita.
  • About the Author: VLADIMIR VLADIMIROVICH NABOKOV was born on April 23, 1899, in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • 320 Pages
  • Fiction + Literature Genres, Classics
  • Series Name: Vintage International

Description



About the Book



"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 clear?"--Amazon.com.



Book Synopsis



A darkly comic novel of suspense, literary idolatry and one-upmanship, and political intrigue from one of the leading writers of the twentieth century, the acclaimed author of Lolita.

"Half-poem, half-prose...a creation of perfect beauty, symmetry, strangeness, originality and moral truth. One of the great works of art of this century." --Mary McCarthy, New York Times bestselling author of The Group

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, Vladimir Nabokov's witty novel achieves that rarest of things in literature--perfect tragicomic balance.



Review Quotes




"Nabokov writes prose the only way it should be written, that is, ecstatically."--John Updike

"This centaur work, half-poem, half-prose ... is a creation of perfect beauty, symmetry, strangeness, originality and moral truth. Pretending to be a curio, it cannot disguise the fact that it is one of the great works of art of this century." --Mary McCarthy



About the Author



VLADIMIR VLADIMIROVICH NABOKOV was born on April 23, 1899, in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Nabokovs were known for their high culture and commitment to public service, and the elder Nabokov was an outspoken opponent of antisemitism and one of the leaders of the opposition party, the Kadets. In 1919, following the Bolshevik revolution, he took his family into exile. Four years later he was shot and killed at a political rally in Berlin while trying to shield the speaker from right-wing assassins.

The Nabokov household was trilingual, and as a child Nabokov was already reading Wells, Poe, Browning, Keats, Flaubert, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, alongside the popular entertainments of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne. As a young man, he studied Slavic and romance languages at Trinity College, Cambridge, taking his honors degree in 1922. For the next eighteen years he lived in Berlin and Paris, writing prolifically in Russian under the pseudonym Sirin and supporting himself through translations, lessons in English and tennis, and by composing the first crossword puzzles in Russian. In 1925 he married Vera Slonim, with whom he had one child, a son, Dmitri.

Having already fled Russia and Germany, Nabokov became a refugee once more in 1940, when he was forced to leave France for the United States. There he taught at Wellesley, Harvard, and Cornell. He also gave up writing in Russian and began composing fiction in English. In his afterword to Lolita he claimed: "My private tragedy, which cannot, and indeed should not, be anybody's concern, is that I had to abandon my natural idiom, my untrammeled, rich, and infinitely docile Russian tongue for a second-rate brand of English, devoid of any of those apparatuses-the baffling mirror, the black velvet backdrop, the implied associations and traditions-which the native illusionist, frac-tails flying, can magically use to transcend the heritage in his own way." [p. 317] Yet Nabokov's American period saw the creation of what are arguably his greatest works, Bend Sinister (1947), Lolita (1955), Pnin (1957), and Pale Fire (1962), as well as the translation of his earlier Russian novels into English. He also undertook English translations of works by Lermontov and Pushkin and wrote several books of criticism. Vladimir Nabokov died in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1977.

Dimensions (Overall): 8.05 Inches (H) x 5.31 Inches (W) x .7 Inches (D)
Weight: .53 Pounds
Suggested Age: 22 Years and Up
Number of Pages: 320
Genre: Fiction + Literature Genres
Sub-Genre: Classics
Series Title: Vintage International
Publisher: Vintage
Format: Paperback
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
Language: English
Street Date: April 23, 1989
TCIN: 11453495
UPC: 9780679723424
Item Number (DPCI): 248-02-7453
Origin: Made in the USA or Imported
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Shipping details

Estimated ship dimensions: 0.7 inches length x 5.31 inches width x 8.05 inches height
Estimated ship weight: 0.53 pounds
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