NABOKV-L post 0020877, Fri, 15 Oct 2010 08:48:08 -0400

Unfinished Work & Literacy ...
Oct 13/10 Pt 2: Unfinished Work & Literacy Legacy
Stieg Larsson isn't the only author to die before his work was published. Vladimir Nabokov, author of Lolita, left behind an unfinished manuscript. He also left behind specific instructions for his family about what to do with his literary remains... Destroy them. They didn't.

Listen to Part Two: (Pop-up)


Unfinished Work

Earlier in the program, we spoke with Eva Gabrielsson, the life long partner of late author Stieg Larsson... the man behind the hugely popular Millennium Trilogy. Ms. Gabrielsson is embroiled in an ongoing fight for the creative rights to Larsson's work. She says her battle with Larsson's father and brother isn't just about money. Mostly, she says, it's about clashing visions for what should happen to Larsson's body of work now. Which raises the question: when an author dies, who should get the final say over what happens to the remaining work?
Literary giant Vladimir Nabokov, best known for writing Lolita, left behind an unfinished manuscript when he died. It was a rough draft .... handwritten across 138 index cards. He also left behind instructions for his family to destroy it after his death. Nabokov's only son, Dmitri, ultimately defied his dead father's wishes and published The Original of Laura. Dmitri Nabokov joined us from Montreux, Switzerland.
Links: NPR - Nabokov novel to be published against dying wish / Vanity Fair - Dmitri Nabokov says his father's last novel will be published / NYT - His Father's Siren, Still Singing

Dying Wishes Factboard
Mark Twain wrote:You had better shove this in the stove. I don't want any absurd 'literary remains' and 'unpublished letters of Mark Twain' published after I am planted. Next month, exactly one hundred years after his death, the first volume of the Autobiography of Mark Twain will be released.

Emily Dickinson's poetry went largely unpublished during her lifetime... Just ten of 18-hundred poems were published. Before she died she made her sister Lavinia promise to burn all her verse. The first volume was printed four years after her death - and her work has remained continuously in print.

Franz Kafka directed his friend Max Brod to destroy his work - this was completely ignored... giving us The Trial, The Castle, and Amerika.
Literary Legacy - Panel
To reflect on this issue of managing a literary legacy, we were joined by two people. Noah Richler is the son of late Canadian literary icon, Mordecai Richler. Noah Richler is also a journalist, and author of This is My Country, What's Yours? A Literary Atlas of Canada. He joined us from Calgary this morning. And Alistair MacLeod is a Canadian author, whose work includes the award-winning novel No Great Mischief. He was in Windsor.

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