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Re: Introducing myself...

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  • April
    In any case, I think I ll be skipping Light In August and joining you all for Pale Fire because I m swamped with 3 books for school and then the stuff I m
    Message 1 of 25 , Dec 1, 2003
      In any case, I think I'll be skipping "Light In August" and joining
      you all for "Pale Fire" because I'm swamped with 3 books for school
      and then the stuff I'm in the middle of on my own. So I'll pop my
      head in when you get around to that =)

      April

      --- In modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, hecon_99
      <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > I'm not sure when Light in August has to be read by. It is our
      > November book, but no start date for Pale Fire is posted. Whenever
      > you read it, I think we'd be interested in your posting your
      comments.
      > Henry
      > --- In modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, "April"
      > <gearbird@h...> wrote:
      > > I'm not sure...when does "Light In August" have to be read by?
      > I've
      > > read Toni's Morrison's latest one. If you liked her in the past
      > > you'll like this one. I loved it.
      > >
      > > April
      > >
    • hecon_99
      I just got this yesterday and have just begun to read it. I m glad someone told me it was a novel in adance or I might not have guessed. So far I don t know
      Message 2 of 25 , Dec 7, 2003
        I just got this yesterday and have just begun to read it. I''m glad
        someone told me it was a novel in adance or I might not have guessed.
        So far I don't know if I like it or not. Anyone else starting this book?
        Henry
      • Kathy Vidovich
        Henry, Some advice: if you don t really like reading the poem, skip it. You do have to read the Foreword, however, so that you can notice some weird stuff,
        Message 3 of 25 , Dec 8, 2003
          Henry,

          Some advice: if you don't really like reading the poem, skip it. You do
          have to read the Foreword, however, so that you can notice some weird stuff,
          like the seemingly inexplicable presence of the last sentence of the third
          paragraph: "There is a very loud amusement park right in front of my present
          lodgings."

          Anyway, once you get past the poem, what you should do is either don't
          bother to look up the line in the poem that the "notes" are supposedly
          referring to, OR do that just long enough into the book to realize that
          actually the notes have very little connection to the poem anyway. The
          book is really more about the editor, Charles Kinbote.

          Hope this helps,
          Kathy
          -----Original Message-----
          From: hecon_99 [mailto:no_reply@yahoogroups.com]
          Sent: Sunday, December 07, 2003 7:12 AM
          To: modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [ModernLibrary 100 Greatest Books] Pale Fire


          I just got this yesterday and have just begun to read it. I''m glad
          someone told me it was a novel in adance or I might not have guessed.
          So far I don't know if I like it or not. Anyone else starting this book?
          Henry


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        • hecon_99
          Kathy: Thanks. Actually I did not mind the poem. I m wondering if it has anything to do with the book I found some parts to be good--some to be bad, and I
          Message 4 of 25 , Dec 8, 2003
            Kathy:
            Thanks. Actually I did not mind the poem. I'm wondering if it has
            anything to do with the book I found some parts to be good--some to be
            bad, and I wonder if I found the parts to be bad because of my taste
            or Nabokov's design.
            I have just started the commentary. I am starting to wonder if Zembla
            is a real country, within the book, or our commentator' fantasy.
            That line about the amusement park is a shock, and an obvious tip off
            to the real subject of the foreword and commentary. I also like the
            later line about how he owuld not let the commentary grow into a
            novel. Our commentator is not too self-aware.
            THis book is a puzzle, and I am enjoying it a lot.
            Henry

            --- In modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, "Kathy Vidovich"
            <kvidovich@e...> wrote:
            > Henry,
            >
            > Some advice: if you don't really like reading the poem, skip it. You do
            > have to read the Foreword, however, so that you can notice some
            weird stuff,
            > like the seemingly inexplicable presence of the last sentence of the
            third
            > paragraph: "There is a very loud amusement park right in front of my
            present
            > lodgings."
            >
            > Anyway, once you get past the poem, what you should do is either don't
            > bother to look up the line in the poem that the "notes" are supposedly
            > referring to, OR do that just long enough into the book to realize that
            > actually the notes have very little connection to the poem anyway. The
            > book is really more about the editor, Charles Kinbote.
            >
            > Hope this helps,
            > Kathy
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: hecon_99 [mailto:no_reply@yahoogroups.com]
            > Sent: Sunday, December 07, 2003 7:12 AM
            > To: modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: [ModernLibrary 100 Greatest Books] Pale Fire
            >
            >
            > I just got this yesterday and have just begun to read it. I''m glad
            > someone told me it was a novel in adance or I might not have guessed.
            > So far I don't know if I like it or not. Anyone else starting this
            book?
            > Henry
            >
            >
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            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Kathy Vidovich
            Henry, IMO a few parts of it are bad by Nabokov s design. Some lines were so bad they made me laugh - I think it s because lots of the poetry is good, but
            Message 5 of 25 , Dec 9, 2003
              Henry,

              IMO a few parts of it are bad by Nabokov's design. Some lines were so bad
              they made me laugh - I think it's because lots of the poetry is good, but
              then he'll suddenly slip in a really incongruous, vulgar line.

              When we started the book our instructor gave us a list of themes that often
              appear in Nabokov novels:

              ghosts
              chess
              butterflies
              riddles
              word puzzles
              obscure puns

              She also asked us to look up the definitions of any words that we didn't
              recognize. After one too many interruptions I started to make a list so
              that I could continue on with my reading. What I found when I looked a
              bunch of them up in my dictionary, Webster's College dictionary, is that my
              dictionary didn't know lots of them either. Some are words Nabokov coined
              himself, and many others you would need a copy of the O.E.D. to figure out.
              Apparently Nabokov's English is so excellent because he, like many wealthy
              Russians, grew up with an English governess.

              Another important personal note about Nabokov is that he spent years as a
              professor in American universities.

              I'm not going to answer any of your other comments yet because I've finished
              the book and don't want to spoil anything for you or anyone else. I will
              note that you're asking all the right questions, however. ;-)

              --Kathy

              -----Original Message-----
              From: hecon_99 [mailto:no_reply@yahoogroups.com]
              Sent: Monday, December 08, 2003 7:20 PM
              To: modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [ModernLibrary 100 Greatest Books] Re: Pale Fire


              Kathy:
              Thanks. Actually I did not mind the poem. I'm wondering if it has
              anything to do with the book I found some parts to be good--some to be
              bad, and I wonder if I found the parts to be bad because of my taste
              or Nabokov's design.
              I have just started the commentary. I am starting to wonder if Zembla
              is a real country, within the book, or our commentator' fantasy.
              That line about the amusement park is a shock, and an obvious tip off
              to the real subject of the foreword and commentary. I also like the
              later line about how he owuld not let the commentary grow into a
              novel. Our commentator is not too self-aware.
              THis book is a puzzle, and I am enjoying it a lot.
              Henry

              --- In modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, "Kathy Vidovich"
              <kvidovich@e...> wrote:
              > Henry,
              >
              > Some advice: if you don't really like reading the poem, skip it. You do
              > have to read the Foreword, however, so that you can notice some
              weird stuff,
              > like the seemingly inexplicable presence of the last sentence of the
              third
              > paragraph: "There is a very loud amusement park right in front of my
              present
              > lodgings."
              >
              > Anyway, once you get past the poem, what you should do is either don't
              > bother to look up the line in the poem that the "notes" are supposedly
              > referring to, OR do that just long enough into the book to realize that
              > actually the notes have very little connection to the poem anyway. The
              > book is really more about the editor, Charles Kinbote.
              >
              > Hope this helps,
              > Kathy
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: hecon_99 [mailto:no_reply@yahoogroups.com]
              > Sent: Sunday, December 07, 2003 7:12 AM
              > To: modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: [ModernLibrary 100 Greatest Books] Pale Fire
              >
              >
              > I just got this yesterday and have just begun to read it. I''m glad
              > someone told me it was a novel in adance or I might not have guessed.
              > So far I don't know if I like it or not. Anyone else starting this
              book?
              > Henry
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
              > ADVERTISEMENT
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              > modernlibrary100greatestbooks-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >
              >
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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            • April
              I just started the book today. I read the Foreword and started the poem, but I was wondering, did you guys read the poem and then the commentary? Or did you
              Message 6 of 25 , Dec 12, 2003
                I just started the book today. I read the Foreword and started the
                poem, but I was wondering, did you guys read the poem and then the
                commentary? Or did you refer to the commentary throughout the poem?
                I'm not sure how to go about it.

                Btw, it's pretty funny so far. At first I thought the commentator
                was (excuse my language) a BS artist but now I'm starting to think he
                really did care about John Shade in his own way.

                April
              • hecon_99
                April: I d read the poem first. I am just past halfway, and I do not find myself referring to the poem much as I read the commentary. In fact, they are not
                Message 7 of 25 , Dec 12, 2003
                  April:
                  I'd read the poem first. I am just past halfway, and I do not find
                  myself referring to the poem much as I read the commentary. In fact,
                  they are not really closely related. Our commentator keeps going off
                  on his other interests.
                  I think the book is quite funny too.
                  (Spoiler)
                  S
                  s
                  s
                  s
                  s
                  s
                  s
                  s
                  s
                  ss
                  s
                  I agree that the commentator cares about Shade, but it quickly
                  becomes obvious that Shade doesn't care for him.
                  Henry




                  --- In modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, "April"
                  <gearbird@h...> wrote:
                  > I just started the book today. I read the Foreword and started the
                  > poem, but I was wondering, did you guys read the poem and then the
                  > commentary? Or did you refer to the commentary throughout the
                  poem?
                  > I'm not sure how to go about it.
                  >
                  > Btw, it's pretty funny so far. At first I thought the commentator
                  > was (excuse my language) a BS artist but now I'm starting to think
                  he
                  > really did care about John Shade in his own way.
                  >
                  > April
                • elizabeth davis
                  I ve just started reading Pale Fire also. I read quite a few books at once, can someone tell me if this is a book I need full focus on. Elizabeth ...
                  Message 8 of 25 , Dec 12, 2003
                    I've just started reading Pale Fire also. I read
                    quite a few books at once, can someone tell me if this
                    is a book I need full focus on.

                    Elizabeth
                    --- April <gearbird@...> wrote:
                    > I just started the book today. I read the Foreword
                    > and started the
                    > poem, but I was wondering, did you guys read the
                    > poem and then the
                    > commentary? Or did you refer to the commentary
                    > throughout the poem?
                    > I'm not sure how to go about it.
                    >
                    > Btw, it's pretty funny so far. At first I thought
                    > the commentator
                    > was (excuse my language) a BS artist but now I'm
                    > starting to think he
                    > really did care about John Shade in his own way.
                    >
                    > April
                    >
                    >


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                  • hecon_99
                    So far I d say yes, it would reward full attention.
                    Message 9 of 25 , Dec 12, 2003
                      So far I'd say yes, it would reward full attention.
                      --- In modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, elizabeth davis
                      <emd233@y...> wrote:
                      > I've just started reading Pale Fire also. I read
                      > quite a few books at once, can someone tell me if this
                      > is a book I need full focus on.
                      >
                      > Elizabeth
                      > --- April <gearbird@h...> wrote:
                      > > I just started the book today. I read the Foreword
                      > > and started the
                      > > poem, but I was wondering, did you guys read the
                      > > poem and then the
                      > > commentary? Or did you refer to the commentary
                      > > throughout the poem?
                      > > I'm not sure how to go about it.
                      > >
                      > > Btw, it's pretty funny so far. At first I thought
                      > > the commentator
                      > > was (excuse my language) a BS artist but now I'm
                      > > starting to think he
                      > > really did care about John Shade in his own way.
                      > >
                      > > April
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      > __________________________________
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                      > New Yahoo! Photos - easier uploading and sharing.
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                    • April
                      I finished the poem and I really liked it a lot. I could really relate to Shade when he talked about his quest for knowledge about the afterlife, especially
                      Message 10 of 25 , Dec 13, 2003
                        I finished the poem and I really liked it a lot. I could really
                        relate to Shade when he talked about his quest for knowledge about
                        the afterlife, especially the first two stanzas of Canto II. That
                        canto was heartbreaking. I can't wait to start the commentary - this
                        book is really enjoyable so far. The style is so different from
                        anything I've read before. How's everyone else coming along?

                        April
                      • elizabeth davis
                        I m with you, I just finished the poem and really enjoyed it. Normally I can t understand poetry, but this one was different, I had no problems. Question,
                        Message 11 of 25 , Dec 15, 2003
                          I'm with you, I just finished the poem and really
                          enjoyed it. Normally I can't understand poetry, but
                          this one was different, I had no problems.

                          Question, Nabokov is Russian and has written some
                          works in Russian, Pale Fire was originally written in
                          English wasn't it? Did Nabokov become an American
                          citizen?

                          Elizabeth
                          --- April <gearbird@...> wrote:
                          > I finished the poem and I really liked it a lot. I
                          > could really
                          > relate to Shade when he talked about his quest for
                          > knowledge about
                          > the afterlife, especially the first two stanzas of
                          > Canto II. That
                          > canto was heartbreaking. I can't wait to start the
                          > commentary - this
                          > book is really enjoyable so far. The style is so
                          > different from
                          > anything I've read before. How's everyone else
                          > coming along?
                          >
                          > April
                          >
                          >


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                        • Kathy Vidovich
                          He became an American citizen but nevertheless moved back to Europe in 1958. He eventually died in Switzerland in 1977. I found some good online biographies
                          Message 12 of 25 , Dec 15, 2003
                            He became an American citizen but nevertheless moved back to Europe in 1958.
                            He eventually died in Switzerland in 1977.

                            I found some good online biographies for Nabokov but I'm going to wait to
                            share those with you all. They give away way too much about Pale Fire, and
                            I don't want to wreck it for you. It's much more fun to find out everything
                            as you go! So instead, here are some excerpts from one in the meantime (the
                            first excerpt is describing his life after he had already left Russia):
                            "When Hitler released the killer of his father, Nabokov moved to Paris in
                            1937. There he met the Irish novelist James Joyce. With a loan he received
                            from the composer Rachmaninov, Nabokov moved three years later with his wife
                            and son to the United States. Nabokov taught at Wellesley College and
                            Cornell University, where he delivered highly acclaimed lectures on
                            Flaubert, Joyce, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and others. He also continued his
                            extensive researches in entomology, becoming a recognized authority on
                            butterflies. He also held an official position at the Museum of Comparative
                            Zoology at Harvard University. His years at the museum Nabokov later
                            described "the most delightful and thrilling in all my adult life." In his
                            boyhood Nabokov had already made notes on butterflies and in 1920 The
                            Entomologist had published his article 'A Few Notes on Crimean Lepidoptera'.
                            "My pleasures are the most intense known to man: writing and butterfly
                            hunting," Nabokov once said. Nabokov's first publication in English was an
                            article titled 'A Few Notes on Crimean Lepidoptera'. Changing language was
                            not easy - ''What agony it was, in the early 'forties, to switch from
                            Russian to English,'' he said in a letter in 1954."

                            "After the publication and success of Lolita, that shocked many people but
                            whose humor and literary style were praised by critics, he eventually
                            retired from teaching and moved to Switzerland in 1958 to concentrate on
                            writing. The Montreux Palace Hotel became his permanent home."




                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: elizabeth davis [mailto:emd233@...]
                            Sent: Monday, December 15, 2003 7:08 AM
                            To: modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [ModernLibrary 100 Greatest Books] The Poem


                            I'm with you, I just finished the poem and really
                            enjoyed it. Normally I can't understand poetry, but
                            this one was different, I had no problems.

                            Question, Nabokov is Russian and has written some
                            works in Russian, Pale Fire was originally written in
                            English wasn't it? Did Nabokov become an American
                            citizen?

                            Elizabeth
                            --- April <gearbird@...> wrote:
                            > I finished the poem and I really liked it a lot. I
                            > could really
                            > relate to Shade when he talked about his quest for
                            > knowledge about
                            > the afterlife, especially the first two stanzas of
                            > Canto II. That
                            > canto was heartbreaking. I can't wait to start the
                            > commentary - this
                            > book is really enjoyable so far. The style is so
                            > different from
                            > anything I've read before. How's everyone else
                            > coming along?
                            >
                            > April
                            >
                            >


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                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • elizabeth davis
                            Thanks, that helps a lot. A lot of the things I have read on Nabokov mostly discuss Lolita and Ada. Thus far I am very impressed with Pale Fire since the
                            Message 13 of 25 , Dec 15, 2003
                              Thanks, that helps a lot. A lot of the things I have
                              read on Nabokov mostly discuss Lolita and Ada. Thus
                              far I am very impressed with Pale Fire since the plot
                              seems much more tasteful to me then his more famous
                              works. My mind can't comprehend how someone can grasp
                              a second (maybe even for Nabokov a third) language
                              fluently enough to write moving literature. Halfway
                              through and still loving it.

                              Elizabeth
                              --- Kathy Vidovich <kvidovich@...> wrote:
                              > He became an American citizen but nevertheless moved
                              > back to Europe in 1958.
                              > He eventually died in Switzerland in 1977.
                              >
                              > I found some good online biographies for Nabokov but
                              > I'm going to wait to
                              > share those with you all. They give away way too
                              > much about Pale Fire, and
                              > I don't want to wreck it for you. It's much more
                              > fun to find out everything
                              > as you go! So instead, here are some excerpts from
                              > one in the meantime (the
                              > first excerpt is describing his life after he had
                              > already left Russia):
                              > "When Hitler released the killer of his father,
                              > Nabokov moved to Paris in
                              > 1937. There he met the Irish novelist James Joyce.
                              > With a loan he received
                              > from the composer Rachmaninov, Nabokov moved three
                              > years later with his wife
                              > and son to the United States. Nabokov taught at
                              > Wellesley College and
                              > Cornell University, where he delivered highly
                              > acclaimed lectures on
                              > Flaubert, Joyce, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and others. He
                              > also continued his
                              > extensive researches in entomology, becoming a
                              > recognized authority on
                              > butterflies. He also held an official position at
                              > the Museum of Comparative
                              > Zoology at Harvard University. His years at the
                              > museum Nabokov later
                              > described "the most delightful and thrilling in all
                              > my adult life." In his
                              > boyhood Nabokov had already made notes on
                              > butterflies and in 1920 The
                              > Entomologist had published his article 'A Few Notes
                              > on Crimean Lepidoptera'.
                              > "My pleasures are the most intense known to man:
                              > writing and butterfly
                              > hunting," Nabokov once said. Nabokov's first
                              > publication in English was an
                              > article titled 'A Few Notes on Crimean Lepidoptera'.
                              > Changing language was
                              > not easy - ''What agony it was, in the early
                              > 'forties, to switch from
                              > Russian to English,'' he said in a letter in 1954."
                              >
                              > "After the publication and success of Lolita, that
                              > shocked many people but
                              > whose humor and literary style were praised by
                              > critics, he eventually
                              > retired from teaching and moved to Switzerland in
                              > 1958 to concentrate on
                              > writing. The Montreux Palace Hotel became his
                              > permanent home."
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > -----Original Message-----
                              > From: elizabeth davis [mailto:emd233@...]
                              > Sent: Monday, December 15, 2003 7:08 AM
                              > To: modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com
                              > Subject: Re: [ModernLibrary 100 Greatest Books]
                              > The Poem
                              >
                              >
                              > I'm with you, I just finished the poem and really
                              > enjoyed it. Normally I can't understand poetry,
                              > but
                              > this one was different, I had no problems.
                              >
                              > Question, Nabokov is Russian and has written some
                              > works in Russian, Pale Fire was originally written
                              > in
                              > English wasn't it? Did Nabokov become an American
                              > citizen?
                              >
                              > Elizabeth
                              > --- April <gearbird@...> wrote:
                              > > I finished the poem and I really liked it a lot.
                              > I
                              > > could really
                              > > relate to Shade when he talked about his quest
                              > for
                              > > knowledge about
                              > > the afterlife, especially the first two stanzas
                              > of
                              > > Canto II. That
                              > > canto was heartbreaking. I can't wait to start
                              > the
                              > > commentary - this
                              > > book is really enjoyable so far. The style is
                              > so
                              > > different from
                              > > anything I've read before. How's everyone else
                              > > coming along?
                              > >
                              > > April
                              > >
                              > >
                              >
                              >
                              > __________________________________
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                              >
                              >
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                              >
                              >
                              >
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                              > Terms of Service.
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been
                              > removed]
                              >
                              >


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                            • hecon_99
                              Anyone have any further thoughts on this book. I thought it was really great. The book is highly crafted. He wrote it around the time he was writing his large
                              Message 14 of 25 , Dec 26, 2003
                                Anyone have any further thoughts on this book. I thought it was really
                                great. The book is highly crafted. He wrote it around the time he was
                                writing his large commentary on Pushkin, and I suspect he used it to
                                way of giving himself a break from that effort--gently laughing at the
                                work he was immersed in. I was wondering to what extent the narrator
                                was like Nabokov, and I was amused by the answer on the last page.
                                The book seems more than just a parody though. (spoiler space)
                                s
                                s
                                s
                                s
                                s
                                s
                                s
                                s
                                s
                                s
                                s
                                s
                                It also seems an interesting character study. Particularly when we get
                                to the real tragedy at the end, I think we get more knowledge of, and
                                sympathy for, the narrator than I expected.
                              • Kathy Vidovich
                                Yes, as you say the book seems to be a mixture of parody and serious novel writing and character study. It is fascinating that there are so many obvious
                                Message 15 of 25 , Dec 26, 2003
                                  Yes, as you say the book seems to be a mixture of parody and serious novel
                                  writing and character study. It is fascinating that there are so many
                                  obvious parallels between Nabokov and Kinbote. It does soften the parody
                                  considerably, since Nabokov is clearly poking fun at himself as well as the
                                  academic world.

                                  I wrote about Pale Fire in my final paper for the class I took on narrative
                                  theory. The book also has much to say on the relationship between modern
                                  writers and readers, since Kinbote is first a reader and fan of Shade, then
                                  his editor, and finally becomes, in the process, a fellow writer. I wrote
                                  about "Pale Fire" in conjunction with Paul Auster's "New York Trilogy",
                                  which contains three post-modern detective stories; detectives put people
                                  under surveillance, and so does Kinbote. Another link between these books
                                  is that modern novels often concentrate on everyday life, and the way the
                                  reader reacts to them can reveal much about the reader's attitude toward the
                                  everyday as opposed to the fantastic. Kinbote is especially interesting as
                                  a reader because he has his feet in both worlds, if you see what I mean, and
                                  yet appreciates Shade's descriptions of his everyday life in the poem "Pale
                                  Fire".

                                  I hope this makes sense. Since I'm trying to summarize or hint at the
                                  contents of a seven-page paper without revealing much about the ending of
                                  "Pale Fire" and without saying much about "New York Trilogy" (which you
                                  probably haven't read), I can see how it might be hard to follow.
                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: hecon_99 [mailto:no_reply@yahoogroups.com]
                                  Sent: Friday, December 26, 2003 6:28 AM
                                  To: modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: [ModernLibrary 100 Greatest Books] Pale Fire


                                  Anyone have any further thoughts on this book. I thought it was really
                                  great. The book is highly crafted. He wrote it around the time he was
                                  writing his large commentary on Pushkin, and I suspect he used it to
                                  way of giving himself a break from that effort--gently laughing at the
                                  work he was immersed in. I was wondering to what extent the narrator
                                  was like Nabokov, and I was amused by the answer on the last page.
                                  The book seems more than just a parody though. (spoiler space)
                                  s
                                  s
                                  s
                                  s
                                  s
                                  s
                                  s
                                  s
                                  s
                                  s
                                  s
                                  s
                                  It also seems an interesting character study. Particularly when we get
                                  to the real tragedy at the end, I think we get more knowledge of, and
                                  sympathy for, the narrator than I expected.





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                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • April
                                  I just finished it, and I really enjoyed it too. Spoilers: s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s So basically, Charles Kinbote was crazy and all his stories about
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Dec 27, 2003
                                    I just finished it, and I really enjoyed it too.

                                    Spoilers:

                                    s
                                    s
                                    s
                                    s
                                    s
                                    s
                                    s
                                    s
                                    s
                                    s
                                    s
                                    s
                                    s
                                    s
                                    s

                                    So basically, Charles Kinbote was crazy and all his stories about
                                    being King of Zembla were delusions, right? It seemed like it was
                                    safe to assume so throughout the novel, but if that's true, who
                                    really killed John Shade, and why?






                                    --- In modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, hecon_99
                                    <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                    > Anyone have any further thoughts on this book. I thought it was
                                    really
                                    > great. The book is highly crafted. He wrote it around the time he
                                    was
                                    > writing his large commentary on Pushkin, and I suspect he used it to
                                    > way of giving himself a break from that effort--gently laughing at
                                    the
                                    > work he was immersed in. I was wondering to what extent the narrator
                                    > was like Nabokov, and I was amused by the answer on the last page.
                                    > The book seems more than just a parody though. (spoiler space)
                                    > s
                                    > s
                                    > s
                                    > s
                                    > s
                                    > s
                                    > s
                                    > s
                                    > s
                                    > s
                                    > s
                                    > s
                                    > It also seems an interesting character study. Particularly when we
                                    get
                                    > to the real tragedy at the end, I think we get more knowledge of,
                                    and
                                    > sympathy for, the narrator than I expected.
                                  • Kathy Vidovich
                                    ... King of Zembla were delusions, right? April, for me, the story was similar to Don Quixote. It pauses and makes us compare reality (which is what? is
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Dec 29, 2003
                                      >>So basically, Charles Kinbote was crazy and all his stories about being
                                      King of Zembla were delusions, right?

                                      April, for me, the story was similar to Don Quixote. It pauses and makes us
                                      compare reality (which is what? is there a reality *for human beings*
                                      except that which we interpret?) vs. the appearances and interpretations of
                                      reality.

                                      It seems significant to me that Kinbote was a big fan of John Shade whose
                                      private life he labels "boring" - and yet Kinbote loves Shades work, which
                                      is based on this "boring" private life, and furthermore spends much time
                                      spying on Shade. This makes us also wonder what is meant by our "real
                                      life". Was Kinbote's real life spent observing Shade, or should we consider
                                      that a fantasy too, since he also appeared to distort that experience? If
                                      so, does anyone have a "real life" - since I don't know anyone who doesn't
                                      distort experience, I would say that's not a very good criteria.

                                      Also, it makes us think about primary vs. secondary experience. In other
                                      words, are the acts of reading and watching sports or movies or other people
                                      somehow less "real" and less important than first-hand experiences like
                                      exercise? How does the act of writing fit in? It seems that writing is a
                                      first-hand experience, but then what is Kinbote doing by telling his King of
                                      Zembla story?

                                      Besides raising all these tough questions, I liked the Zembla stories and
                                      thought they were some of the most enjoyable and entertaining parts of the
                                      book. I liked the poem "Pale Fire" too.

                                      SPOILER SPACE (warning: I talk about "the killer" below, which gives away
                                      part of the ending)
















                                      >>who really killed John Shade, and why?

                                      The simple answer, if we assume that Kinbote is totally crazy, is that the
                                      killer was Jack Grey, an escapee from the Institute for the Criminally
                                      Insane. This is what the killer tells the police when they arrive.

                                      -----Original Message-----
                                      From: April [mailto:gearbird@...]
                                      Sent: Saturday, December 27, 2003 6:06 PM
                                      To: modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: [ModernLibrary 100 Greatest Books] Re: Pale Fire


                                      I just finished it, and I really enjoyed it too.

                                      Spoilers:

                                      s
                                      s
                                      s
                                      s
                                      s
                                      s
                                      s
                                      s
                                      s
                                      s
                                      s
                                      s
                                      s
                                      s
                                      s

                                      So basically, Charles Kinbote was crazy and all his stories about
                                      being King of Zembla were delusions, right? It seemed like it was
                                      safe to assume so throughout the novel, but if that's true, who
                                      really killed John Shade, and why?






                                      --- In modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, hecon_99
                                      <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                      > Anyone have any further thoughts on this book. I thought it was
                                      really
                                      > great. The book is highly crafted. He wrote it around the time he
                                      was
                                      > writing his large commentary on Pushkin, and I suspect he used it to
                                      > way of giving himself a break from that effort--gently laughing at
                                      the
                                      > work he was immersed in. I was wondering to what extent the narrator
                                      > was like Nabokov, and I was amused by the answer on the last page.
                                      > The book seems more than just a parody though. (spoiler space)
                                      > s
                                      > s
                                      > s
                                      > s
                                      > s
                                      > s
                                      > s
                                      > s
                                      > s
                                      > s
                                      > s
                                      > s
                                      > It also seems an interesting character study. Particularly when we
                                      get
                                      > to the real tragedy at the end, I think we get more knowledge of,
                                      and
                                      > sympathy for, the narrator than I expected.



                                      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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                                      a.. To visit your group on the web, go to:
                                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/modernlibrary100greatestbooks/

                                      b.. To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                      modernlibrary100greatestbooks-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

                                      c.. Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.




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