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Thread: How best to read Pale Fire?

  1. #16
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    It's almost tempting to rip the poem out of the front, but anyway, read from the Forward until the commentary begins, then flip back when reading the commentary, as that creates the narrative.

  2. #17
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    Read the entire poem first, then revisit the poem as you go through the commentary. I think the book is one of the greatest technical achievements in the century (2nd to The Sound and the Fury), so ignore the naysayers. It's unbelievably rewarding, and it demands rereadings.

    I wrote a very arduous paper comparing Pale Fire to Swift's Tale of the Tub. The structure of the two works are both incredibly innovative, with plenty of links -- digressions, unreliability of the narrator, madness, and of course -- the necessity of an open mind and endless rereadings.

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