Anorak | Dmitiri Nabokov’s Laura Marketing Plan

Dmitiri Nabokov’s Laura Marketing Plan

by | 29th, February 2008

nabokov-laura.jpgWHAT to do with Laura, the unfinished, unpublished final work of Vladimir Nabokov. The last work of the man who gave us the Lolita bedroom furniture range.

The book is lying in a Swiss bank vault. Dmitiri Nabokov, the writer’s son and heir, may respect his father’s wishes and have it destroyed. So goes the story.

Burn it,” says playwright Tom Stoppard. “Save it,” says John Banville.

Dmitri has said the book is the “most concentrated distillation of [my father’s] creativity” and a “totally radical book.” Makes you want to read it? Dmitri should be in marketing.

Ron Rosenbaum now learns of an email Dmitri sent to a woman named Sarah L’Estrange.

In Dmitri’s ALL-CAPITAL-LETTERED E-MAIL, he said that my column calling on him to end the suspense and to make a decision one way or another had complicated his life as literary executor of the Nabokov estate by drawing too much media attention to him…

It was a surprise to me, anyway, because in his ALL-CAPITAL-LETTERED E-MAIL he had told me that he’d decided to make a decision about what to do but that he would not disclose publicly either the decision or the deed. He would make the choice in private, on his own timetable, and not reveal it to anyone. A private burial for Laura? Or a secret reprieve?

Dmitri had broken his silence to talk of more silence. And we wonder if this is not all part of the game? Do we know for certain what Vladimir wanted his son to do? Rosenbaum calls it a “Hamlet-like” choice.

But it is not. More like Macbeth. Anyone smart would submit the book to a publisher under a pseudonym and see what occurs. Our money is that publishers reject it.

And therein would lie another twist…

Posted: 29th, February 2008 | In: Reviews Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink