Pale Fire Critical Essay Careers For Creative Writing Majors
Such groundings of the definition of postmodernism are necessary yet not sufficient to properly outline the nature of the new critical paradigm.At this point, Mc Hale borrows the “formalist concept of the dominant,” formerly utilized by Yurij Tynjanov and Roman Jakobson, but deconstructs the term in order to avoid any further connotations of “deterministic and imperialistic language” (6) inherent in Jakobson’s theoretical approach to “poetic evolution” (quoted in Postmodernist 5).Priorities outlined by dominants are not merely strategies for creating a rank of importance, but tools to establish the basis and nature of reading.
In short, Mc Hale borrows and cleanses the term ‘dominant’ and applies it as a type of paradigm; in his words, this paradigm defines “[the] questions we ask of the text and the position from which we interrogate it” (6).
My hypothesis is that this novel thematizes the act of reading, as well as its constructive nature.
Apart from the analysis of narratology, my investigation will revolve around two fictional characters in the plot: Charles Kinbote, professor of literature and the assumed narrator of the story, and Gradus, the mysterious assassin, whom I consider the most problematic character.
Bernát Iváncsics is currently a student of the Masters program in American Studies at Eötvös Loránd University.
His academic interests include postmodern American prose fiction, post-structuralist literary criticism, narratology, hypertext theory, and 20th century continental and analytical philosophy.