Pale Fire: Bloggers are both Kinbote and Shade

Pale Fire: Bloggers are both Kinbote and Shade (Literacy Weblog)

“Jerz’s Literacy Weblog” has been classified as a “research blog,” even though I think of it as a teaching tool and memory aid.

My blogging sometimes reminds me of the obsessive behavior of Professor Charles Kinbote, the protagonist in Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire. Kinbote compulsively catalogues every minute environmental detail, not in his own life, but in the life of poet John Shade, whose work is the subject of Kinbote’s research.

I should say more precisely that Shade’s environment is the subject of Kinbote’s research; spying through the window of Shade’s study, Kinbote records exactly when Shade composes each line of poetry, indexed against exactly what was happening in Shade’s life at the time.

In keeping a blog, I am both my own Kinbote and my own Shade; I peer over my own shoulder at my work, and occasionally catch glimpses of myself.