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2015 | 24/1 | 41-57

Article title

Vladimir Nabokov’s Aerial Viaduct: Pale Fire and the Return to the Forbidden Past


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Pale Fire may be read as an elaborate parody of literary criticism, or even Nabokov’s selfparody. This paper reconsiders the puzzle of identities in the novel in this context, with the trio of the author, the critic/annotator and the mysterious third man tracking the progress of both with clearly insidious intent. This analysis aims to uncover the suppressed trauma of Kinbote’s past, hiding behind Kinbote’s narrative. A memory of traumatic past forces Kinbote into ecstatic fiction-making. He constructs the marvellous Semberland (the land of resemblers) as a bridge between his lonely life in the foreign culture and his obscure past in the culture that no longer exists. This mythologization also mirrors a much grander theme: the theme of death and – always mysterious, never graspable – afterlife, and an attempt to bridge the gap between the quotidian realm of one’s existence and the glorious and unexplainable potustoronnost’, the other side of the mirror, the other side of consciousness.


  • University of Social Sciences and Humanities


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