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Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
Pale Fire is a 1962 novel by Vladimir Nabokov. The novel is presented as a 999-line poem titled "Pale Fire," written by the fictional poet John Shade, with a foreword and lengthy commentary written by Shade's neighbor and academic colleague, Charles Kinbote. Together these elements form a narrative in which both fictional authors are central characters. Starting with the epigraph and table of contents, Pale Fire looks like the publication of a 999-line poem in four cantos by the fictional John Shade with a foreword, extensive commentary, and index by his self-appointed editor, Charles Kinbote. Kinbote's commentary takes the form of notes to various numbered lines of the poem. Here and in the rest of his critical apparatus, Kinbote 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." Thus, although the narration is non-linear and multidimensional, the reader can still choose to read the novel in a linear manner without risking misinterpretation. 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. The connection between Pale Fire and hypertext was stated soon after its publication; in 1969, the information-technology researcher Ted Nelson obtained permission from the novel's publishers to use it for a hypertext demonstration at Brown University. The interaction between Kinbote and Shade takes place in the fictitious small college town of New Wye, Appalachia, where they live across a lane from each other, from February to July 1959. Kinbote writes his commentary from then to October 1959 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. --wikipedia

Nicola's Books

2513 Jackson Ave · Ann Arbor, mi

$1.00

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Public Group

The Ann Arbor Classics Book Group meets monthly on Sundays at 3pm at Nicola's Books in the Westgate Shopping Center on Ann Arbor's West Side to discuss selections from Boxall's "1001 books you must read before you die."

Group members vote online for monthly selections. There are dues of $1.00 for each meetup attended (to help cover the monthly meetup.com fee).

Occasionally, we will have an after-discussion dinner.

This group is largely driven by its members, so make sure to voice your opinions on the group message board. Don't forget, the full list of 1001 books can be found under our group files in excel format. Download it and see how many you have read! A list of past selections and a guide to which books are available in audio-format and how to obtain them can also be found under group files.

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