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In Pale Fire, Nabokov offers a cornucopia of deceptive pleasures: a 999-line poem by the reclusive genius John Shade; an adoring foreword and commentary by Shade's self-styled Boswell, Dr. Charles Kinbote; a darkly comic novel of suspense, literary idolatry, one-upmanship, and political intrigue. This centaur work, half poem, half prose is a creation of perfect beauty, symmetry, strangeness, originality and moral truth. Pretending to be a curio, it cannot disguise the fact that it is one of the great works of art of this century. Mary McCarthy.
About the Author
One of the twentieth century s master prose stylists, Vladimir Nabokov was born in St. Petersburg in 1899. He studied French and Russian literature at Trinity College, Cambridge, then lived in Berlin and Paris, where he launched a brilliant literary career. In 1940 he moved to the United States, and achieved renown as a novelist, poet, critic and translator. He taught literature at Wellesley, Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard. In 1961 he moved to Montreux, Switzerland, where he died in 1977.
Robert Blumenfeld is the author of Accents: A Manual for Actors (1998; Revised and Expanded Edition, 2002); Acting with the Voice: The Art of Recording Books (2004), and nine other books on the performing arts-all published by Limelight. He lives and works as an actor, dialect coach, and writer in New York City, and is a longtime member of Equity, and SAG-AFTRA. He has worked in numerous regional and New York theaters, as well as in television and independent films. For ACT Seattle he played the title role in Ronald Harwood's The Dresser, and he has performed many roles in plays by Shakespeare and Chekhov, as well as doing an Off-Broadway season of six Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas for Dorothy Raedler's American Savoyards (under the name Robert Fields), for which he played the Lord Chancellor in Iolanthe and other patter-song roles. He created the roles of the Marquis of Queensberry and two prosecuting attorneys in Moises Kaufman's Off-Broadway hit play Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, and was also the production's dialect coach, a job that he did as well for the Broadway musicals, Saturday Night Fever and The Scarlet Pimpernel (third version and national tour) and for Jay Lesenger's production of Weill's Street Scene (2008), which he also coached for Mr. Lesenger at the Chautauqua Opera. Mr. Blumenfeld currently records books for Audible, among them Pale Fire (joint recording with Mark Vietor) and Bend Sinister by Vladimir Nabokov. He has recorded more than 320 Talking Books for the American Foundation for the Blind, including the complete Sherlock Holmes canon, Alexandre Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo, and a bilingual edition of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, in Beckett's original French and the playwright's own English translation. He received the 1997 Canadian National Institute for the Blind's Torgi Award for the Talking Book of the Year in the fiction category, for his recording of Pat Conroy's Beach Music; and the 1999 Alexander Scourby Talking Book Narrator of the Year Award in the fiction category. He holds a BA in French from Rutgers University and an MA from Columbia University in French language and literature. Mr. Blumenfeld speaks French, German, and Italian fluently, and has smatterings of Russian, Spanish, and Yiddish.