Nabokov's "Pale Fire": The Magic of Artistic Discovery

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One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2000

"My award for Novel of the Century goes to Nabokov's Pale Fire . . . .The book that prompted these reflections and confirmed me in my choice for Novel of the Century was Brian Boyd's remarkable, obsessive, delirious, devotional study. . . ." --Ron Rosenbaum, New York Observer

"It seems impossible for any scholar to write about Pale Fire, Nabokov's novel disguised as a poem and a pseudo-scholarly consideration of that poem, without appearing to be offering a mimicry of the great work. Nabokov's Pale Fire is no exception. Writing with an intensity that would suit Pale Fire's own narrators, Brian Boyd, a leading authority on Nabokov, gives an exquisitely detailed reading of the book and advances a new thesis about which fictional character (or characters) is supposed to have written the book." --Publishers Weekly

"Brian Boyd's strength as a critic . . . is that his compendious knowledge of Nabokov's biography and writings, especially those in English, is matched by his level-headedness and attention to detail." --Catriona Kelly, Times Literary Supplement

"[Boyd] is far and away Nabokov's best-informed and most subtle critic. . . [He] bases his new interpretation on a staggering wealth of textual and extratextual detail and is clearly right on every major argument." --Choice

"A readable, elegantly written and witty guide through [the] process of discovery to which Nabokov himself invariably invites us, in what is arguably his finest novel. . . ." --Helen McLean, The Globe and Mail

"This critical study . . . is not merely a brilliant search for the 'truth' of Pale Fire--it is also a study of the way we read texts and think about existence." --Irving Malin, Review of Contemporary Fiction

"[E]ye-opening. . . . Boyd's singular reading . . . suggests a novel that is in fact startlingly harmonious, one in which life and death blend in seamless unity." --Daniel Zalewski, New York Times Book Review

"Writing with an intensity that would suit Pale Fire's own narrators, Brian Boyd, a leading authority on Nabokov, gives an exquisitely detailed reading of the book." --Publishers Weekly

"This startling new theory is not only hard to refute--it makes it impossible for anyone to see Pale Fire under the same light. . . . For the discoveries that lie ahead we are now indebted to Boyd's scrupulous research and pertinent interpretation. Nabokov's Pale Fire: The Magic of Artistic Discovery is truly the essential companion/mode d'emploi to one of the greatest masterpieces of the 20th century." --Alexandre O. Philippe, Bloomsbury Review

"Boyd's Pale Fire will change how we read Nabokov's. Boyd brilliantly shows the intensity with which the three parts of the novel 'recall' one another. . . . Above all, Nabokov's Pale Fire is a manifesto for close reading. There can be no better recommendation than that." --Eric Naiman, Slavic Review

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"Boyd's "Pale Fire" will change how we read Nabokov's. Boyd brilliantly shows the intensity with which the three parts of the novel 'recall' one another. . . . Above all, Nabokov's "Pale Fire "is a manifesto for close reading. There can be no better recommendation than that."--Eric Naiman, "Slavic Review"

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