Tag Archives: Ansel Bourne

Bourne, Bourn, Bourneville, Berne, Bernville: Sightings from a Doomed Expedition

In a talk I gave for a panel on the 50th anniversary of Pale Fire, I compared the reader of PF to an explorer who, despite not always finding what he set out to find, nevertheless discovers all sorts of interesting vistas and species that, while not strictly relevant to his goal, may still be enriching. At the panel, I talked about my research into the poet (yes, poet) Edsel Ford, part of whose poem “The Image of Desire” appears in Kinbote’s note to line 603. Here I am going to offer another example of what I call “education-by-Nabokov”–the kind of literary sleuthing that often takes one through the hinterlands of unimagined landscapes.

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