Pale Fire

Necromancy Never Pays

I read Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov recently with my son, Walker, who studies Russian Literature. It’s not a book that many people read just for fun, but they should. I started it at 3 am, during a bout of insomnia, and it took me no time at all to find out that the narrator is not only unreliable, he’s absurd, and the reader is meant to realize that at some point. The book is even funnier if you delve into the details.
We read the 1989 Vintage International paperback edition. Pale Fire was published in 1962, when Nabokov had been working on commentary and translation of the Russian classic Eugene Onegin for a decade (this was finally published in 1964). Writing Pale Fire was a break from his serious work, a parody, a way of making fun of himself for taking academic commentary so seriously.
Our purpose in discussing

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