JM:Kate Taylor's review
literally inserts the punch of coincidence, ghostly voices
authenticated by biographers, aging embryos, and great humor. So,
to shift our focus slightly I want
to add to her comments an overdue "VN Sighting."
The more obvious one is an insertion of
Nabokov's short-story "The Assistant Producer," among twenty-nince selected
items at "The Anthology of Comic Writing," edited by Malcolm Bradbury
(Phoenix Giants, 1994).
It appears as the fifth, sandwiched between
Jorge Luis Borges and "Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote,"and Isaac Bashevis
Singer, "Gimple, the Fool." The amusing
touch appears in Bradbury's introduction to Borges, not in his
admiringly fair presentation of Nabokov.
page 47: "We read many things into books -
their supposed author, the time they were written - and detached from those
things they become what essentially they are: texts. Borges returned writing to
being writing, and then explored its ambiguities... 'Pierre Menard'm alongside
Borges' other teasing stories and parodies (and the work of fellow authors like
Beckett, Queneau, and Nabokov), connected fiction to its own
comic beginnings and the huge, confusing library of all past literature - to
which, after all, every new piece of writing must be a
After the hazards of marchand d'art timings
and of social history punch outs, readers shall soon be treated to a
dying man's final jottings and his essential "text." - from where,
perhaps, like Gogol's and Kafka's central human characters, another one, who mimes Psyché's
butterfly, shall be trying "to get out of that world, to
cast off the mask, to transcend the cloak or the carapace." (LL, on Kafka's "Metamorphosis).
Sandy P. Klein: Nabokov’s
Notes For “The Original of Laura” Go on the Auction Block Christie's...
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2009/11/12/nabokovs-note-cards-for-the-original-of-laura-go-on-the-auction-block/ Kate Taylor. Looking for the perfect gift for the
reader in your life? The Knopf hardcover...reproduces Nabokov’s handwritten
index cards, complete with perforated edges so that one can punch them out and
rearrange them as the author might have in his last days. But if you’re looking
for something really special, skip the bookstore and head to Christie’s, where
on December 4 you can bid on the actual thing...the work his son would call “an
embryonic masterpiece.” Don’t expect to get them cheap, though. As the auction
catalogue notes, manuscripts by Nabokov come on the market very rarely.
Accordingly, the estimate is $400,000 to $600,000....Of the coincidence of the
sale and the novel’s publication, Lecky said, “It will certainly increase the
exposure of both. They’re obviously intimately linked”. Nabokov’s biographer,
Brian Boyd, said in an email that the author would not be at all disturbed by
his son’s profiting from “Laura.”