Thursday, May 7, 2009

Interesting . . .

Penguin to Publish Vladimir Nabokov's Last Work

The Telegraph reports that Penguin will publish Lolita author Vladimir Nabokov's last book. The book is called The Original of Laura. It's a novel that Nabokov wanted destroyed when he died. His death wish will not be granted as the novel will be in bookstores in November.
Kirschbaum said she and Stefan McGrath, the managing director of Penguin Classics, sealed the deal after a three-day stay at Dimitri Nabakov's home in Montreaux, Switzerland. It was brokered by Andrew Wylie, the New York-based literary agent known as 'The Jackal'.

Kirschbaum said: "It was important that we meet because it was a big acquisition, and it was quite emotional for Dimitri because it was a big decision to publish, which took him decades."

The Original of Laura returns to territory that Nabokov explored in his previous novels Mary, Lolita and Ada – the yearning to recapture young love.

It is narrated by a man who fell obsessively in love with a girl when young, but is now unhappily married to a promiscuous wife.

Kirschbaum, who described the book as both dark and comic, said: "In this novel he is also very interested in psychology and in what it means to hate yourself and want to disappear."
The book was written on a series of 138 index cards. Penguin will publish the cards as well as a text transcipt. Penguin Classics will reissue Nabokov's backlist when The Original of Laura is released.



Mary said...

Okay, to me it seems wrong to publish against an author's wishes. I would read it anyway, though.

This is pretty random, but I read an article about a neurology researcher that said Nabokov had a condition where his brain attached a color to numbers and letters, that is he saw *8* as orange and *7* as blue, etc. Apparently, it is common in many artists and writers. They think it's caused by crossing some wires in the brain.

Babs said...

I know what you mean; it does seem wrong. And I would think most authors writing in our lifetime would realize the risks of leaving something around with instructions NOT to publish it. You don't want something to see the light of day? Destroy it yourself is the lesson to learn here! :^)