Feature

Should Nabokov

Dmitri Nabokov, son of Vladimir Nabokov, has decided to publish his father

What happened
Dmitri Nabokov, son of Vladimir Nabokov, has decided to publish his father’s last work, The Original of Laura, despite his father’s dying wish that the manuscripts be destroyed.

What the commentators said
This has certainly been a “most tortuous dilemma” for Dmitri Nabokov, said Kate Connolly in a Guardian blog. “If he fails to carry out his father’s last will, Dmitri is effectively betraying him, but carry it out and the world loses forever what is potentially a precious gift from the grave from one of the greatest 20th-century novelists.” But one thing’s for sure: “Publication of The Original of Laura is sure to satisfy much curiosity.”

Dmitri’s decision to publish the book means that he “is a bad son AND Vladimir was a terrible father for putting his boy in this position,” said Gawker. And “if this last book turns out to be awful, Nabokov scholars will dismiss it as something he never wanted printed anyway. We all win. Except Dmitri.”

“I’d rather have more Nabokov than less in the world,” said Gregory Cowles in The New York Times blog Paper Cuts. If Vladimir Nabokov’s last work “doesn’t live up to his gratifyingly perfectionist standards—well, it arrives with bucketloads of context, and if nothing else it will give scholars another decoder ring to evaluate the cryptic Nabokovian oeuvre.”

The whole thing seems kind of fishy, said the blog The Literary Saloon. “We always equate heirs publishing posthumous work with a desperate attempt to cash in—is that what The Original of Laura has been reduced to, too?”

Recommended

The daily gossip: Lena Dunham wants her casket driven through pride parade, Kanye West wears a 'White Lives Matter' shirt, and more
Lena Dunham
Daily gossip

The daily gossip: Lena Dunham wants her casket driven through pride parade, Kanye West wears a 'White Lives Matter' shirt, and more

Kim Kardashian settles SEC crypto charges for $1.26 million
Kim Kardashian
wrist: slapped

Kim Kardashian settles SEC crypto charges for $1.26 million

What Netflix's Dahmer series got wrong
Netflix's DAHMER
Briefing

What Netflix's Dahmer series got wrong

Elizabeth McCracken's 6 favorite books that tackle tough topics
Elizabeth McCracken.
Feature

Elizabeth McCracken's 6 favorite books that tackle tough topics

Most Popular

5 toons about Trump's spiraling legal woes
Political Cartoon.
Feature

5 toons about Trump's spiraling legal woes

National Archives says some Trump administration records are still missing
A view of the National Archives and Records Administration building in Washington, D.C.
More Trouble for Trump?

National Archives says some Trump administration records are still missing

Ukraine takes full control of Lyman while Russian media points fingers
Ukrainian flag in Donetsk
do svidaniya

Ukraine takes full control of Lyman while Russian media points fingers