Pale Fire


Vladimir Nabokov

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Pale Fire can help.
Conmal is King Charles’s uncle and Queen Blenda’s half-brother. He is a famous Zemblan translator best known for his translation of William Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens, the play from which Shade gets the title for “Pale Fire.” Late in the novel, readers learn that Conmal’s grasp of the English language was actually pretty limited, making his translations quite poor.
Get the entire Pale Fire LitChart as a printable PDF.
Pale Fire PDF

Conmal Character Timeline in Pale Fire

The timeline below shows where the character Conmal appears in Pale Fire. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Commentary: Lines 1-48
Identity, Delusion, and Loneliness Theme Icon
...a bit poorer (which might someday be known as “Kinbote’s Law”). Influenced by his uncle Conmal (a Shakespeare translator), Charles the Beloved developed a passion for literature. At age 40, just... (full context)
Commentary: Lines 101-143
Patterns, Fate, and Coincidence Theme Icon
...the lumber room, opening the closet with the key in the lock. There, he found Conmal’s Zemblan translation of Timon of Athens and a few other knickknacks. About to leave, he... (full context)
Commentary: Lines 662-872
Identity, Delusion, and Loneliness Theme Icon
...of the lines can be “mimed and rhymed” in a lovely way in Zemblan (which Conmal termed “the tongue of the mirror”). (full context)
Commentary: Lines 873-1000
Identity, Delusion, and Loneliness Theme Icon
The Nature of Art Theme Icon
Conmal was the first to translate English works into Zemblan, but he was self-taught and he... (full context)