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"His and My Reader": Rereading Pale Fire hypertextually

Rowberry S (2012) "His and My Reader": Rereading Pale Fire hypertextually, Nabokov Online Journal, VI.

Traditionally, Pale Fire scholarship has focused on the question of authorship, ignoring the markers within the text referring to various readers of the text. Kinbote explicitly refers to both the Shadean and the Kinbotean reader, but there are also a few implicit references to the Nabokovian reader, who rereads the text in a non-linear manner, following their own intuition, rather than accepting Kinbote’s cross-references. This paper will argue that the Nabokovian reader is strongly promoted throughout the text as Nabokov’s ideal reader, and as an extension to this, is utilized in order to teach the reader how to explore the hypertextuality of the text. This hypertextuality plays an important role throughout the Nabokov corpus, but no more so than within Pale Fire, where Nabokov has introduced enough multiplicity and ambiguity in the text that the text is a triumph of the reader over the authority of Nabokov. This paper will consider why Nabokov a hypertextual methodology suits Nabokov’s aims in the novel, despite the fact that it presents the reader with a greater role both the production and interpretation of the text.

AuthorsRowberry Simon
Publication date2012
PublisherDalhousie University

Nabokov Online Journal: Volume VI

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