NABOKV-L post 0012131, Fri, 25 Nov 2005 08:45:58 -0800

Fwd: Re: Burn 'Laura', Dmitri...
EDNOTE. Guerin responds to Rymour

----- Forwarded message from -----
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2005 10:40:00 EST
Subject: Re: Burn 'Laura', Dmitri...

I couldn't disagree more with this and other calls to destroy "Laura." It
all sounds like spite for a current state of critical affairs. We need to
take the long view. Nabokov's works will last for as long as men read, and to
deprive posterity of this work, however incomplete, is to thwart literary
history. Would any of us prefer the nonexistence of incomplete works by Kafka,
Dickens, and others, or the fragments we have of great classical literature?
And who are we to decide?

I have the greatest sympathy for Dmitry's difficult decision. One can
imagine the imperiousness with which his father demanded "Laura's" destruction.
But, if even his mother couldn't do it, I think he is justified in deciding
not to as well.

Christopher Guerin

----- End forwarded message -----

In a message dated 11/24/2005 8:24:42 P.M. US Eastern Standard Time, writes:

Dear Don and List,

I trust VN's judgement. If he wasn't ready to show 'Laura'
to the world, then too bad for us. If it had been finished and published,
would the crits have tucked it into the 'Late Nabokov' pigeonhole along
'LATH' and 'Transparent Things' rather than enthroning it alongside
We'll never know. I feel that burning 'Laura' would leave the academics
(and the tabloid journos) one less bone to chew over. As for the ordinary
she still has a legacy of incredible richness in the work that VN saw fit
to release.
There's more than enough in his oeuvre to satisfy sympathetic seekers of
aesthetic bliss,
as well as forensic allusion-hunters working along the fringes of
with dustpan, broom and microscope. So let's burn 'Laura', along with the
pulp story by von Wotsisname. It's far too late to incinerate 'Lolita',
thank goodness.


Tom (Rymour)