Pale Fire (1962)

"Pale Fire" is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov that was first published in 1962. It is a complex and multi-layered work that tells the story of Charles Kinbote, a self-proclaimed scholar and exiled king, and his relationship with his neighbor, the poet John Shade.

The novel is structured as a long and rambling commentary on Shade's final work, a long poem called "Pale Fire," which Kinbote interprets as a coded autobiography of his own life. As he delves deeper into the poem, Kinbote becomes increasingly obsessed with its supposed hidden meanings, and begins to see himself as the central character of the work.

Throughout the novel, Nabokov uses Kinbote's commentary to explore themes of identity, madness, and the relationship between art and reality. The writing is playful and erudite, and Nabokov employs a range of techniques, including satire, parody, and absurdity, to convey the complex and often absurd nature of Kinbote's worldview.

Overall, "Pale Fire" is a clever and innovative novel that offers a unique and thought-provoking exploration of the relationship between art and reality. It is a testament to Nabokov's skill as a writer and his ability to create a compelling and intellectually engaging story.

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