Exploring Pale Fire’s paratext with Google Earth

23 06 2010

Well, after a bit of prodding from myself and the excitement of sharing this project with the world (and maybe a few with genuine interest!), I’ve plodded my way through the last 20 hours of hand coding to produce…

Pale Tour

Pale Tour: a remediation of many of the narratives found in Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire “Commentary” section.

Upon reading this pseudo-hypertext for the second time, I found Kinbote’s commentary to contain many temporal cross-references between his personal narrative and those of Charles Xavier (whom I do assume to be Kinbote), John Shade, and the regicidal assassin Gradus/Jacques D’Gray.  These “time-stamps” looked to be a useful way of charting the many narrative pathways of Pale Fire and, with a bit of closer reading, many spatial cross-references and overlaps can also be found.

Clicking on the above link will send you to my UW-Milwaukee web space, specifically to the home page of Pale Tour.  You can navigate to Charles’s and Kinbote’s narrative tours from that link; Gradus’s tour should be coming shortly.  More information is available on the Pale Tour homepage, such as source files and my method of hand coding.  I encourage all to use my files under the defined Creative Commons license–and be sure to tell me what you’re working on!

I’ve got a few future wrinkles I’d like to add, such as polygon paths to show a more permanent visual record of the narrative trajectories, as well as potentially time-coding the narrative arcs in a single tour that does a better job of visualizing the relationship between narratives.  Until then, enjoy!

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