Saturday, April 13, 2013

Pale Fire - Vladimir Nabokov

At the risk of stating the very obvious, but for the not-yet-initiated :
Nabokov is not your average, conventional writer and his books are as extraordinarily atypical as they are nonconformist.

The very structure of 'Pale Fire' follows no commonplace outline : A fictional foreword is followed by a 999-line long poem in iambic pentameter ensued by a lengthy commentary - shedding precious little light on the poem - telling three different plots, piecemeal.  

Needless to say, reading it required concentration!
It also left me frustrated, as the crisscross of references, the multidimensional stories, the patent unreliability of the principal narrator and the luxuriance of the text make it very plain that this is a book that wants to be read several times, in several ways - the linear way, but also skipping between poem, textual references and commentary - and above all properly analyzed.
I. e. give me a university course and some extra time, and I'll live it up!

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