Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ten of the best: fictional poets

For the Guardian, John Mullan named ten of the best fictional poets.

One entry on the list:
John Shade

Shade is the author of a partly autobiographical 999-line poem called "Pale Fire", which features in the novel of the same name by Vladimir Nabokov. Missing its final thousanth line, it is copiously annotated by Charles Kinbote, a former neighbour of the poet. It becomes evident from these notes that Shade has been murdered in a plot involving a foreign assassin.
Read about another book on the list.

Pale Fire is one of Tracy Kidder's six best books as well as the novel Charles Storch would save for last. It is one of "Six Memorable Books About Writers Writing" yet it disappointed Ha Jin upon rereading.

--Marshal Zeringue