I love this passage from Nabokov’s Pale Fire. The title of Pale Fire, of course, comes from Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens. Ironies aside, I dig the sentiment here, and would extend it to the glut of contemporary novels that rest heavily on the weight of other, better would-be precursor texts.
2 thoughts on “See it and condemn (Nabokov’s Pale Fire)”
Are you sure he’s condemning it?
Hard to tell—he wraps it up in so many ironies—Kinbote, the narrator/commentator is using the verb “condemn,” but Pale Fire is a Shakespeare reference—although if I recall, Kinbote doesn’t remember or realize this.