A Source of Character Names in Pale Fire
In Pale Fire, Charles Kinbote reveals (reliably or not) that he is the author of “a remarkable book on surnames” (Vintage 267). This is not entirely surprising, given the many glosses of family names that appear throughout the commentary. While Kinbote’s book on surnames is fictional, Nabokov must have gotten his own information on surnames from an actual source. As I will show, Nabokov clearly obtained much of his information on surnames from Sabine Baring-Gould’s Family Names and Their Story (London, Seeley & Co., 1910)
Roth, Matthew, "A Source of Character Names in Pale Fire" (2007). English Faculty Scholarship. 15.