Trevor Jackson in his essay “Dying is Apposite: Possibilities of Self Discovery and Patterns of Completeness in The Original of Laura” claims that the profuse level of detail woven into Nabokov’s fiction has been well attested to. Despite its fragmentary state, The Original of Laura is no exception. In his final novel, Nabokov employs metafictional games and patterned character repetition to include the audience in his design. The repeated characters are united by death and only the main two gravitate toward breaking through the construct of the fiction into the metafictive awareness that might afford them freedom. While Philip Wild engages in the process of self-erasure, effectively reversing the process of his fictional creation by the author, Flora, having My Laura in her hands to leaf through as she pleases, is provided with the key that will allow her to become aware of her existence as a fictional creation. The former succeeds in his escape; the latter fails. The pattern at play seeks nothing more than to complete itself by bringing about the death of the characters as their purposes are fulfilled at the will of the author.
Dying is Apposite: Possibilities of Self Discovery and Patterns of Completeness in the Original of Laura
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Nabokov Online Journal