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YMMV / Pale Fire

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: This is where the real work starts.
  • Death of the Author: Nabokov hated this trope and was happy to tell you exactly what his books meant. When he stated in an interview what he thought happened to the novel's narrator, one critic called it "authorial trespassing," and invited readers to completely ignore it.
  • Epileptic Trees : Kinbote is not the only person given to outlandish comment and analysis given the many, many interpretations of this work.
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  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory : Reading Mary McCarthy's introduction to the novel will make your head hurt.
  • Genius Bonus: King of Zembla Charles II the Beloved is a reference to a French king Charles VI who early in his reign indeed had this nickname attributed to him. Later he received another one, becoming famous as Charles the Mad.
  • Mary Suetopia: Zembla
  • The Woobie: Hazel Shade, an intellectually gifted girl whose extreme plainness seems to have doomed her to an isolated lonely existence. Even her devoted parents pity her as a hopeless case. Kinbote, another outsider, feels a vague affinity for her, but he completely fails to realise that the sequence about Hazel's suicide is the emotional heart of Shade's poem, and is selfishly enraged that Shade didn't use all that cool Zembla stuff Kinbote gave him.

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