Teacher Guide

Pale Fire Lesson Plan

Introduction to Pale Fire

Within the chronology of Nabokov's works, Pale Fire was published in 1962, years after Lolita and The Real Life of Sebastian Knight. Pale Fire conjures up the unreal world of Zembla, and one can't help but consider Zembla in terms of the transformation of Russia into the Soviet Union. Certainly, the theme of exile is autobiographical, and it is also worth noting that politically, Nabokov remained a Tsarist. He never condoned the Russian Revolution that forced his family into exile, and he dreaded the Soviet Union. It is no stretch of the imagination, then, to conclude that Nabokov's sympathy for King Charles stems from his own experiences of exile. His contempt for Gradus (who is...

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