Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Pale Fire: Introduction
Pale Fire: Plot Summary
Pale Fire: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Pale Fire: Themes
Pale Fire: Quotes
Pale Fire: Characters
Pale Fire: Symbols
Pale Fire: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Vladimir Nabokov
Historical Context of Pale Fire
Other Books Related to Pale Fire
- Full Title: Pale Fire
- When Written: 1962
- Where Written: Montreux, Switzerland
- When Published: 1962
- Literary Period: Postmodernism
- Genre: Fiction
- Setting: New Wye (a town in the United States) and Zembla (a fictional country near the Russian border)
- Climax: Jakob Gradus kills John Shade.
- Antagonist: Jakob Gradus
- Point of View: First Person
Extra Credit for Pale Fire
Literary Irony. At a social event in 1916, Zinaida Gippius, a famous Russian writer and philosopher, reportedly said to Nabokov’s father, “Please tell your son he will never be a writer.” Gippius made her request after Nabokov published his first book of poetry, and Nabokov went on to become a celebrated writer of both poetry and prose.
Accidental Death. In 1922, Nabokov’s father was shot and killed in Berlin trying to shield Pavel Milyukov, a fellow exile and leader of Russia’s Constitutional Democratic Party, from an assassin’s bullet. A similar tragedy is seen in Pale Fire.