There are no dead

August 5, 2009

The Original of LauraIn the previous post, I wrote about a book soon to be published by the late William Styron.  But Styron’s not the only author publishing from the Great Beyond this Fall.

Charles Bukowski fans can look forward to a new collection of poetry

Here’s the big news, though.

Knopf will publish, in November, the book Vladimir Nabokov was working on but didn’t finish when he died in 1977 — The Original of Laura (Dying Is Fun): A Novel in Fragments.

According to Library Journal (July 2009), the book will have removable facsimiles of Nabokov’s 138 index cards. 

Read below to understand what that means, from Knopf’s website (paragraphs inserted by me):

“When Vladimir Nabokov died in 1977, he left instructions for his heirs to burn the 138 handwritten index cards that made up the rough draft of his final and unfinished novel, The Original of Laura. But Nabokov’s wife, Vera, could not bear to destroy her husband’s last work, and when she died, the fate of the manuscript fell to her son.

“Dmitri Nabokov, now seventy-five—the Russian novelist’s only surviving heir, and translator of many of his books—has wrestled for three decades with the decision of whether to honor his father’s wish or preserve for posterity the last piece of writing of one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.

“His decision finally to allow publication of the fragmented narrative—dark yet playful, preoccupied with mortality—affords us one last experience of Nabokov’s magnificent creativity, the quintessence of his unparalleled body of work.”

One Response to “There are no dead”

  1. S- Says:

    I thought this was an interesting comment [from the Random House/Knopf website author spotlight]: “Having already fled Russia and Germany, Nabokov became a refugee once more in 1940, when he was forced to leave France for the United States. There he taught at Wellesley, Harvard, and Cornell. He also gave up writing in Russian and began composing fiction in English. In his afterword to Lolita he claimed: ‘My private tragedy, which cannot, and indeed should not, be anybody’s concern, is that I had to abandon my natural idiom, my untrammeled, rich, and infinitely docile Russian tongue for a second-rate brand of English, devoid of any of those apparatuses–the baffling mirror, the black velvet backdrop, the implied associations and traditions–which the native illusionist, frac-tails flying, can magically use to transcend the heritage in his own way.’ [p. 317] Yet Nabokov’s American period saw the creation of what are arguably his greatest works, ‘Bend Sinister’ (1947), ‘Lolita’ (1955), ‘Pnin’ (1957), and ‘Pale Fire’ (1962), as well as the translation of his earlier Russian novels into English. He also undertook English translations of works by Lermontov and Pushkin and wrote several books of criticism. Vladimir Nabokov died in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1977.”

    ..thoughts?
    Possibly one should learn French or Italian and read in the language ..Reminds me of Paul …

    Like


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