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Jeruba's avatar

Nabokov fans, care to comment on The Original of Laura?

Asked by Jeruba (48706points) June 26th, 2010

I’ve just finished reading this fragmentary last work of the great Vladimir Nabokov, who died in 1977 and wished his unfinished work to be destroyed. After decades of inner (and outer) debate, the author’s son and heir Dmitri published it as an elaborate and expensive hardcover just in time for sales last Christmas.

Have you read it? Have you seen it? What did you think?

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7 Answers

janbb's avatar

Rather than leave this poor orphan to wither unloved, I’ll just answer very unhelpfully and say I haven’t read it. Sorry, Jerub!


Jeruba's avatar

Aww, thanks for taking pity, @janbb—but now it drops off the orphan page and will sink without a trace! <sob>

I’d have thought there’d be one or two serious Nabokovians around here. I even thought you might be one!

janbb's avatar

Oh – I didn’t think of that. Sorry, sweetie.

Jeruba's avatar

That’s okay, luv. Who knows, someone may search on Nabokov one day and find this at the bottom of the dustbin.

janbb's avatar

diamonds in the dustheap?

unused_bagels's avatar

Or someone could search their Fluther, see the word Nabokov, and be suddenly intrigued. :D
What’s the book about? I’m currently reading Lolita.

Jeruba's avatar

That’s just it, @unused_bagels—it’s not actually a book. It’s 138 of his index cards (you know he wrote his novels on index cards?) in the process of becoming a novel, grandly packaged on heavy stock—with perforations so you can (theoretically) remove the index cards and rearrange them as he might have or as you please.

I knew it wasn’t a finished work—indeed, “finished” is somewhere on the far horizon on the way to Neverland—but I thought it would be fascinating to see this master’s work in progress and glimpse his thought process.

I’m hoping that before I say more, someone else who’s read this final work will show up. I’ve read most of the rest of his work in English and am a great admirer of his prose. This final fragment is disturbing, and not just because it isn’t polished. I would like to compare impressions.

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