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Nabokov, Vladimir - Pale Fire

Identifier

003967

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

Nabokov had perfect recall and synaesthesia, Pale fire is ultimately a description of what it is like to have that

 

A description of the experience

Pale Fire

I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
By the false azure in the windowpane;
I was the smudge of ashen fluff—and I
Lived on, flew on, in the reflected sky.
And from the inside too, I'd duplicate
Myself my lamp my apple on a plate
Uncurtaining the night, I'd let dark glass
Hang all the furniture above the grass
And how delightful when a fall of snow
covered my glimpse of lawn and reached up so
as to make chair and bed exactly stand
upon that snow, out in the crystal land
retake the falling snow, each drifting flake
shapeless and low unsteady and opaque
a dull dark white against the day's pale white
and abstract larches in the neutral light
and then the gradual and dual blue
as night unites the viewer and the view.....
all colours made me happy even grey
my eyes were such that literally they
took photogaphs.  Whenever I'd permit
or with a silent shiver, order it
whatever in my field  of vision dwelt
an indoor scene, hickory leaves, the svelte
stilettos of a frozen stillicide
was printed on my eyelids nether side

The source of the experience

Nabokov, Vladimir

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References