The Original of Laura (Dying is Fun), Vladimir Nabokov

Follow by Email

The fragments of Nabokov’s last unfinished novel are due to be published on November 17, 2009 (or November 3, depending on which press release you read) by Random House (Penguin in the UK). Included with the 10,000 word manuscript are removeable facsimiles of the 138 index cards on which the book was composed, which is of interest to me, since they may offer considerable insight into Nabokov’s thinking and writing process. It’s worth noting that The New Yorker declined to publish an excerpt of the novel, and so Playboy, incidentally the first serial-rights publisher of Ada, will be publishing a 5000 word excerpt (half the book!) in their December issue (on newsstands November 10).

Alvin Toffler conducted an erudite and intense interview with Nabokov for Playboy in January 1964. The link is below.

But first, an excerpt:

PLAYBOY: Man’s understanding of these mysteries is embodied in his concept of a Divine Being. As a final question, do you believe in God?
NABOKOV: To be quite candid—and what I am going to say now is something I never said before, and I hope it provokes a salutary little chill: I know more than I can express in words, and the little I can express would not have been expressed, had I not known more.

Comments are closed.