Pale Fire (1962) is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov. The novel is presented as a poem titled "Pale Fire" by John Shade, a fictional author, with an introduction and commentary by a fictional friend of his, Charles Kinbote. Together these elements form a narrative in which both authors are central characters.
- The heating system was a farce, depending as it did on registers in the floor wherefrom the tepid exhalations of a throbbing and groaning basement furnace were transmitted to the rooms with the faintness of a moribund's last breath.
- I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
by the false azure in the windowpane;
- No free man needs a God; but was I free?
- What moment in that gradual decay
- Does resurrection choose? What year? What day?
- Who has the stopwatch? Who rewinds the tape?
- Are some less lucky, or do all escape?
- A syllogism: other men die; but I
- Am not another: therefore I'll not die.
- For we die every day; oblivion thrives
- Not on dry thighbones but on blood-ripe lives,
- And our best yesterdays are now foul piles
- Of crumpled names, phone numbers and foxed files.
- Solitude is the playfield of Satan.
- "You have hal..... real bad, chum."
- "What!" cried Bretwit in candid surprise, "They know at home that His Majesty has left Zembla?"
- We can at last describe his tie, an Easter gift from a dressy butcher, his brother in law in Onhava: imitation silk, colour chocolate brown barred with red, the end tucked into the shirt between the second and third buttons - a Zemblan fashion of the ninteen thirties.
- This brand of paper (used by macaroon makers) was not only digestible but delicious.
- "I certainly do speak Russian. You see, it was the fashionable language par excellence, much more than French, among the nobles of Zembla at least."
- http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm (Official site of the International Vladimir Nabokov Society)