2021 Reading Challenge discussion

Pale Fire
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message 1: by Mary Pat (new)

Mary Pat | 2186 comments This thread is to discuss Vladimir Nabokov‘s book, Pale Fire.


***Please remember to mark spoilers.***

Participants: Chrissy, Tuğba


message 2: by Mary Pat (new)

Mary Pat | 2186 comments Suggested break down of reading so that you can check in and let us know how you're doing. The following breakdown is purely a suggestion and is therefore not set in stone.

Rather than putting dates for each section I've done it so that it takes into account that not everybody will necessarily have the book at the same time.

Week 1: 62
Week 2: 62
Week 3: 62
Week 4: 62



Chrissy | 224 comments I got an ebook and plan to start reading, but might need to find a hard copy for format reasons. Anyone else planning to start soon?


message 4: by Tuğba (new)

Tuğba Hey, I've been MIA for a while but I'm going to start as soon as I finish the book I'm in the middle of, so probably some time next week.


Chrissy | 224 comments I read the forward, and the first canto. I like the poetry, but I am terrible at understanding what a poem is about!


message 6: by Tuğba (new)

Tuğba I just finished the foreword and the poem, and I think the foreword was extremely interesting. It kind of reminded me of Bartleby the Scrivener. In any case, I love an unreliable narrator. Especially how he heaps so much praise on Shade, but honestly, the poem is just awful. Well, maybe not awful, but horribly amateurish and purposefully oblique. I don't really get poetry, to be honest, so you have to take what I say with a grain of salt, of cours.


Chrissy | 224 comments I actually liked a lot of the poem... not sure how to tell whether a poem is good or not, but there were some interesting and well-worded lines I thought. What about it did you find amateurish? (I almost always find poetry oblique, I'm a pretty literal person.)

One favorite, because it is kind of funny and meta:
(lines 869-872)
For there are those mysterious moments when
Too weary to delete, I drop my pen;
I ambulate—and by some mute command
The right word flutes and perches on my hand.

I started the commentary yesterday, and I like how clueless he is... seems like he has delusions of grandeur and also he is kind of creepy. I don't find that referring back to the poem text is that helpful, so the footnotes don't really function as I thought they would. The book isn't as non-linear as I had expected, but that's ok.


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