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In Pale Fire, Nabokov offers a cornucopia of deceptive pleasures: a 999-line poem by the reclusive genius John Shade; an adoring foreword and commentary by Shades self-styled Boswell, Dr. Charles Kinbote; a darkly comic novel of suspense, literary idolatry, one-upmanship, and political intrigue.
This centaur work, half poem, half proseis a creation of perfect beauty, symmetry, strangeness, originality and moral truth.
Pretending to be a curio, it cannot disguise the fact that it is one of the great works of art of this century. Mary McCarthy