I can find no starting point. I love almost all of Nabokov’s work, yet I can convince myself I see where some of his other books began, the plot hook or creep. Not Pale Fire.
The novel boasts obvious innovations in style and technique, and in other ways it fits plainly into literary tradition, but it seems somehow to be above influence. Yes, you’ll find some Pope and campus comedy and references to Shakespeare and a whiff of Cervantes and a broad satire of Eastern European communism, but…but those seem just the tools he had at hand. Nothing about that combination would lead anyone else to Pale Fire. There are books that eventually somebody was going to write. This is not one of them.
I don’t know how he did it. I can play the technician. I can tweeze out the twenty ways his characters inadvertently disclose secrets, or the like. But this is no more impressive than counting his adjectives or identifying his font. Pale Fire is, for me, the one that resists all professional inspection, and, finer still, envy. The novel has burned in me so long that it is now just an object of purest beauty and wonder.
Йеп. При этом сам Филлипс пытался сымитировать структуру "Бледного огня" дважды: в "Египтологе" (двойной нарратив плюс игры с расшифровкой текстов Атум-хаду) и в "Трагедии Артура" (неизвестная пьеса Шекспира и громадное "предисловие", почти те же сноски Кинбота, к ней).