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March 8, 2007

Pale Fire: Not so pale, just plain fidgety

I'll tell ya, reading the Intro and the Commentary even before the reading is somewhat helpful, but what we drew me in the most about the writing was the style and his gift for metaphors and word choice. He was a bird-lovin' man and a true Zemblan at that. I have to agree with Karissa that I have no idea what Vlady is doing in this, was he a drinnking buddy of Shade's or what? I liked Lolita (I stopped at the purse part, I swear I'm going to finish it), but I need to know what his role is in this rubber-banded index carded-work of 4 cantos is really about, so it's time for some research, kids! For now, as an "I write favorite quotes on gum wrappers girl," here are some of my favorites, let's discuss:
" Your ruby ring made life and laid the law." (p. 50) This reminds me of his wife's ruling over him almost with just the slightest flick of her wrist, oooh I have a ruby ring, too (lol). I've noticed her kind of guiding him along the bumps and in the commentary the author said she would almost talk for Shade...I wouldn't want her as my wife, thanks.

"A non-dressable in morning dress." (p.54)
This reminds me of his dealing with age, face it as we age we are not so hot-to-trot when it comes to dressing. I'm seeing more and more old men in at Denny's in Rocawear sweats with penny loafers, I don't think they are representing anything or in morning dress, rather just happy to wake up in the morining.

I LOVE the line on p. 66 when he compares himself with Marat as he shaves in the tub. You can't get any lazier than that. It got a little gross after that...
p. 57 "The Year of the Tempest," come on people, we can compare his daughter's death with The Tempest or simply how a tempest is a tough time...now there's a high school paper for ya.

Another favorite is how he compares the 3 chambers of their home in which he, his wife, and daughter shout back and fourth and how that is like a 3-act play. Good metaphor and it reminded me of the happier times with his daughter. Don't we all shout back and forth (sometimes things the neighbors really don't want to hear) to each other because we are too lazy to actually walk down the hall to talk to a family member?

Finally, I was excited for him when he thought someone else shared his death vision, but she saw a mountain. She seemed like one of those women who call KDKA every time the girlscouts ring her bell selling cookies too much or someone's dog fertilizes her lawn. We wouldn't be friends. Speaking of friends, I think the commentary is great for explaining some of the chaotic lines and it depicts the author's close friendship. I'm ashamed to say it, but I actually enjoyed some of the commentary. Especially when he discusses finding frivolous instructions on what to feed the cat and how the blinds should be so as not to damage the furniture. It sounds exactly like the 4-page instructional letter my pap sends us on how to turn on the lights and and unlock his doors in case we randomly decide to drive three hours to sit in his basement while he's living it up in Florida. Better safe than sorry, folks! Please talk :)

Posted by ErinWaite at March 8, 2007 8:09 PM


I actually found the commentary to be more different than the poem by Shade, but the commentary can not still stand on its own feet without the help of Shade. I read the commentary and foreword as its own piece of literature, which I found to be very helpful toward the exercise and understand of Pale Fire. I gained a better understanding by reading the poem and the commentary separately, but understanding that they can not survive without each other as coherent pieces of literature. I do not know if that helps you at all, but I found it to be very helpful to comprehend. Your interpretation was very amusing, but at the same time, full of depth as well.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at March 14, 2007 12:01 PM

Thank you, Jason. That actually does. I was trying to read them at the same time and I think I got the voices crossed and it carried over into my interpretation. I always appreciate your comments and tips because you pay attention to a great deal of the literature that I may not have, so I look forward to your comments :)

Posted by: Erin at March 14, 2007 1:31 PM

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