March 13, 2007

Remember when things made sense?

As I began reading the novel by Nabokov I couldn't help but think that he had to have lived a twisted life. For one author to write about two other fake persona to show his work is fascinating to me. As I read the introduction to the novel that was written I couldn't help but feel a tad confused at first until Lorin mentioned to me that it was a fake person writing about a fake person. It seemed to me that if Nabokov wanted to write a poem all he had to do was write it and publish it. Why create two different people to give your poem life? Now, I know that authors use pen names all the time, but the fact that Nabokov is emphasizing the relationship between the two authors more than the poem through the introduction and commentary than he did the actual poem that the whole emphasis of the novel is supposed to be based off of.

The fact that the commentary is (in Kinbote's words) supposed to help one understand the poem at hand also baffles me. It is even stated in the introduction that "the reader is advised to consult them first and study the poem with their help." In my opinion they just made me more confused. Take for instance the very first four lines of the poem and the commentary that goes along with it. I don't see how what the religion that Kinbote practices should have anything to do with the first four lines of the poem or even what it matters that he was playing chess with an exchange student. This book just gives me some creepy feelings and it is comforting to know that many others in the class feel the same way as I do.

Nabokov, Pale Fire -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at March 13, 2007 12:03 AM | TrackBack

I really loved the commentary. I felt like Kinbote was deeply in love with Shade. The fact that he's watching through his widow. Then he(Kinbote) is the one writing the commentary. I just kept seeing Kinbote as some deranged stalker, so I guess yeah it is creepy.I really thought Nabokov showed his genius with this work.

Posted by: Mitchell Steele at March 15, 2007 11:26 AM

I found this to be the mark of a true genius and also a source of envy.

I admired the way in which Nabokov pulled the table cloth out from under the flowers without knocking anything over. I had said in my entry that I, too, had to do something like this in high school by writing a one-act Shakespearean play, in which he wad to write our own foreword and criticism as different personas.

I envy this because I could never, ever do something as witty or as well executed as this.

Posted by: Kevin at March 15, 2007 4:22 PM
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