The Uncollected Fiction and Other Prose. Notes the inclusion of this review and says Carver asks the question: Uncollected Writings By Raymond Carver. Brautigan was a bohemian, while Ray was temperamentally a bourgeois and always longed to pay his bills on time.
Novel structure[ edit ] Starting with the epigraph and table of contents, Pale Fire looks like the publication of a line poem in four cantos "Pale Fire" by the fictional John Shade with a foreword, extensive commentary, and index by his self-appointed editor, Charles Kinbote. Kinbote's Wordsmith a guide to paragraphs and short essays takes the form of notes to various numbered lines of the poem.
Here and in the rest of his critical apparatusKinbote explicates the poem very little. Focusing instead on his own concerns, he divulges what proves to be the plot piece by piece, some of which can be connected by following the many cross-references.
Espen Aarseth noted that Pale Fire "can be read either unicursally, straight through, or multicursally, jumping between the comments and the poem. The novel's unusual structure has attracted much attention, and it is often cited as an important example of metafiction ;    it has also been called a poioumenon.
Kinbote writes his commentary from then to October in a tourist cabin in the equally fictitious western town of Cedarn, Utana. Both authors recount many earlier events, Shade mostly in New Wye and Kinbote in New Wye and in Europe, especially the "distant northern land" of Zembla.
Plot summary[ edit ] Shade's poem digressively describes many aspects of his life. Canto 1 includes his early encounters with death and glimpses of what he takes to be the supernatural. Canto 2 is about his family and the apparent suicide of his daughter, Hazel Shade.
Canto 3 focuses on Shade's search for knowledge about an afterlife, culminating in a "faint hope" in higher powers "playing a game of worlds" as indicated by apparent coincidences. Canto 4 offers details on Shade's daily life and creative process, as well as thoughts on his poetry, which he finds to be a means of somehow understanding the universe.
In Kinbote's editorial contributions he tells three stories intermixed with each other. One is his own story, notably including what he thinks of as his friendship with Shade.
After Shade was murdered, Kinbote acquired the manuscript, including some variants, and has taken it upon himself to oversee the poem's publication, telling readers that it lacks only line King Charles escaped imprisonment by Soviet -backed revolutionaries, making use of a secret passage and brave adherents in disguise.
Kinbote repeatedly claims that he inspired Shade to write the poem by recounting King Charles's escape to him and that possible allusions to the king, and to Zembla, appear in Shade's poem, especially in rejected drafts.
However, no explicit reference to King Charles is to be found in the poem. Kinbote's third story is that of Gradus, an assassin dispatched by the new rulers of Zembla to kill the exiled King Charles.
In the last note, to the missing lineKinbote narrates how Gradus killed Shade by mistake. Towards the end of the narrative, Kinbote all but explicates that he is in fact the exiled King Charles, living incognito; however, enough details throughout the story, as well as direct statements of ambiguous sincerity by Kinbote towards the novel's end, suggest that King Charles and Zembla are both fictitious.
In the latter interpretation, Kinbote is delusional and has built an elaborate picture of Zembla complete with samples of a constructed language as a by-product of insanity; similarly, Gradus was simply an unhinged man trying to kill Shade, and his backstory as a revolutionary assassin is also made up.
Nabokov said in an interview that Kinbote committed suicide after finishing the book. Explanation of the title[ edit ] As Nabokov pointed out himself,  the title of John Shade's poem is from Shakespeare 's Timon of Athens: Kinbote quotes the passage but does not recognize it, as he says he has access only to an inaccurate Zemblan translation of the play "in his Timonian cave", and in a separate note he even rails against the common practice of using quotations as titles.
Some critics have noted a secondary reference in the book's title to Hamletwhere the Ghost remarks how the glow-worm "'gins to pale his uneffectual fire" Act I, scene 5. Initial reception[ edit ] According to Norman Page, Pale Fire excited as diverse criticism as any of Nabokov's novels.
Dwight Macdonald responded by saying the book was "unreadable" and both it and McCarthy's review were as pedantic as Kinbote. He expanded this essay into a book in which he also argues that, in order to trigger Shade's poem, Hazel Shade's ghost induced Kinbote to recount his Zemblan delusions to Shade.
Botkin, to whose delusions John Shade and the rest of the faculty of Wordsmith College generally condescend. Nabokov himself endorsed this reading, stating in an interview in the novel's year of publication that Pale Fire "is full of plums that I keep hoping somebody will find.
For instance, the nasty commentator is not an ex-King of Zembla nor is he professor Kinbote.
He is professor Botkin, or Botkine, a Russian and a madman. The Index, supposedly created by Kinbote, features an entry for a "Botkin, V.
In this interpretation, "Gradus" the murderer is an American named Jack Grey who wanted to kill Judge Goldsworth, whose house "Pale Fire's" commentator—whatever his "true" name is—is renting. Goldsworth had condemned Grey to an asylum from which he escaped shortly before mistakenly killing Shade, who resembled Goldsworth.
Other readers see a story quite different from the apparent narrative. According to Boyd,  Andrew Field invented the Shadean theory  and Julia Bader expanded it;  Boyd himself espoused the theory for a time. Boyd  credits the Kinbotean theory to Page Stegner  and adds that most of its adherents are newcomers to the book.
Some readers see the book as oscillating undecidably between these alternatives, like the Rubin vase a drawing that may be two profiles or a goblet. The name "Zembla" taken from "Nova Zembla", a former latinization of Novaya Zemlya  may evoke popular fantasy literature about royalty such as The Prisoner of Zenda.
Still other readers de-emphasize any sort of "real story" and may doubt the existence of such a thing. In the interplay of allusions and thematic links, they find a multifaceted image of English literature,  criticism,  or glimpses of a higher world and an afterlife.Encouraging writers to think logically and communicate clearly, this practical and comprehensive book presents writing and grammar in an organized and appealing way, with myriad examples and exercises to support concepts and hone skills.
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Introduction by Graham Davies. A “concordance”, according to the Collins Cobuild English Language Dictionary (), is “An alphabetical list of the words in a book or a set of books which also says where each word can be found and often how it is used.”.
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