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Stalking Nabokov$
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Brian Boyd

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231158572

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231158572.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

A Book Burner Recants

A Book Burner Recants

The Original of Laura

(p.385) 26. A Book Burner Recants
Stalking Nabokov

Brain Boyd

Columbia University Press

In this chapter, the author explains why he first thought Vladimir Nabokov's novel, The Original of Laura, should not have been preserved, let alone published, and then discusses the reasons for his change of heart. According to the author, The Original of Laura disappointed him when he first read it, in 1987, as it disappointed many reviewers, and often for the same reasons. Nabokov had asked his wife, Véra Evseevna Nabokov, to promise to destroy the manuscript should it be left uncompleted. She promised but could not bring herself to carry out his injunction. In 1950 Nabokov would have burned another manuscript of another still incomplete book, entitled Lolita, if Véra had not stopped him. In The Original of Laura, Nabokov sees death as a possible release from the confines of the self, rather than an erasing of the self or an evasion of its limits.

Keywords:   novel, Vladimir Nabokov, The Original of Laura, Véra Evseevna Nabokov, Lolita, death, self

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