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The Original Of Laura  : A Novel in Fragments  - Vladimir Nabokov

The Original Of Laura

A Novel in Fragments

By: Vladimir Nabokov, Dmitri Nabokov (Introduction by)

Hardcover

Published: 23rd November 2009
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This legendary novel has been the source of much anxiety and contention for Nabokov's fans - and family.

The late Vladimir Nabokov requested that this unfinished work be destroyed, but his son, Dmitri, did not oblige, although neither did he allow the work to be published - until now. The Original of Laura is about a wonderfully large man called Philip Wild, married to a very promiscuous woman, and whose meditations concern the nature of death.

The novel was complete in Nabokov's mind, though he died before he could translate his vision on to paper. It is hard, however, to imagine any scholars, Nabokov enthusiasts or literature lovers being disappointed by even these fragments.

About the Author

Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) was born in St Petersburg. He wrote his first literary works in Russian, but rose to international prominence as a masterly prose stylist for the novels he composed in English, most famously Lolita. Between 1923 and 1940 he published novels, short stories, plays, poems and translations in the Russian language and established himself as one of the most outstanding Russian emigre writers. Dmitri Nabokov is Vladimir Nabokov's son.

There are forty sentences alone that make this volume worth having. Ian McEwan 20091117 This edition is a triumph of the book maker's art... The Original of Laura is magic right through, from the dust jacket, in sideways-fading white on black with just the merest flicks of gules, past the cloth cover that reproduces the last words of Nabokov the novelist, to the heavy gray pages divided between, on the top half, photographic reproductions of the 138 file cards, front and back, and, on the bottom half, the text in print, including misspellings, slips of the pen, blank spaces, all... the book is deeply interesting. John Banville, Bookforum It's like seeing an unfinished Michelangelo sculpture--one of those rough, half-formed giants straining to step out of its marble block. It's even more powerful, to a different part of the brain, than the polish of a David or a Lolita. New York magazine ..."Laura" will beckon and beguile Nabokov fans, who will find many of the author's perennial themes and obsessions percolating. The New York Times ...this tantalizing, fascinating, occasionally perplexing manuscript. Pity he didn't get to finish it. Fortunate we get to see it at all. The Christian Science Monitor What literary news could be more thrilling? Robert McCrum, The Observer There are enough Nabokovian touches...to tantalize any devotee of the English language. James Marcus, The Los Angeles Times

Vladimir Nabokov

Born in St. Petersburg in 1899, Vladimir Nabokov was the eldest son of an aristocratic and culturally educated family. Russian, French and English were spoken in the Nabokov household and as a child, Nabokov read authors such as Poe, Melville and Flaubert. Following the Bolshevik revolution, the Nabokovs moved to London before settling in Berlin. Nabokov stayed in England to study at Trinity College Cambridge where he completed his studies. He was married to his wife Vera in 1925. In the first twenty years of writing, Nabokov's writings were in Russian and it was not until later that his works were translated; many by his son Dimitri . In 1940 he moved with his wife and son to America where he lectured at Wellesley College from 1941 to 1948 before filling the post of professor of Russian literature at Cornell until 1959. His first novel written in English was The Real Life of Sebastian Knight written in 1941. Nabokov is arguably most famous for his 1955 novel Lolita. As well as writing novels, Nabokov wrote works of non-fiction; notably on Nikolai Gogol (1944) and Eugene Onegin (1964).

In an interview with Alfred Appel, Nabokov stated that 'the writer's art is his real passport and not his nationality' and that he was 'an American writer who has once been a Russian.' This reflects Nabokov as a writer of great linguistic flexibility and suggests that the early influence of foreign literature perpetuated throughout his life, giving him the tools to portray ideas in different languages. The ideas are the speakers in his work, not the language. This ability to disorganise space is also reflected in Nabokov's own compositional style where he purports in his early years as a writer to have constructed paragraphs in his mind to be re-written later and, later on in his career, to write sections on note cards to be later re-arranged and re-written; the final work appearing as a sequence of mental spaces materialised on paper.

Writers such as Martin Amis and Brian Boyd have positioned Nabokov as one of the greatest writers of the century. Amis has commented that 'to read him in full flight is to experience stimulation that is at once intellectual, imaginative and aesthetic, the nearest thing to pure sensual pleasure that prose can offer.'

Visit Vladimir Nabokov's Booktopia Author Page


ISBN: 9780141191157
ISBN-10: 0141191155
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 23rd November 2009
Dimensions (cm): 24.1 x 17.0  x 4.4
Weight (kg): 24.1
Edition Number: 1