NABOKV-L post 0020484, Sat, 7 Aug 2010 13:39:35 -0600

Re: THOUGHTs about solutions re: Pale Fire
On Fri, Aug 6, 2010 at 7:50 PM, G S Lipon <> wrote:

> On Aug 6, 2010, at 7:11 PM, Ron Rosenbaum wrote:
> Has anyone else noticed the contradictory logic ... in regard to the role
> of Hazel Shade in <Pale Fire>?
> Actually I'm trying simply to grasp what the basic thesis is! (Beyond the
> simple proposition that Hazel influenced, inspired, parts of the poem).
> Specifically which lines or sections of the poem are seen as influenced by
> Hazel and what the specific support for each such interpretation is.

I strongly recommend the book. I've learned all kinds of things from it.
Just one example is my casual mention in an earlier post that Phryne and
Timandra (note to lines 433-434) are characters in *Timon of Athens,* which
I didn't give Boyd credit for*. *It's probably clear by now that Boyd's
proposition, in this part of his book, is that Hazel influenced Kinbote's
delusions of Zembla and when Kinbote told Shade about them, he inspired
Shade's poem. If I tried to answer your questions, I'd end up quoting
several chapters in full.

Boyd also argues that Shade's ghost influenced those delusions of Kinbote's
that he must have come up with after Shade's death, that is, the parts about


> ... I think the problem is that Boyd (and many others) are too eager to
> offer a "solution" to <Pale Fire> as if it were some crossword puzzle rather
> than a luminous numinous work of art.
> I have no problem with readers looking for *solutions* to *Pale Fire*. Why
> shouldn't they? ...

As I said in another post, I agree with you here.

Jerry Friedman

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