Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Monday, April 20, 2009

Nabokov's cards

You may recall that there was a significant controversy (I think technically it was a "kerfuffle") a while back about Dmitri Nabokov's decision to have his father's final, unfinished novel published — in defiance of his father's explicit request that the notes for the book be destroyed. 

But here's something interesting: according to the NYT , when Penguin publishes The Original of Laura this November, it will consist of photo reproductions of the 138 index cards on which Nabokov drafted this novel, as he did most of the ones that preceded it, with transcripts on facing pages. A brilliant decision. Can't wait to see it.

(I am reminded — and yes, you knew Vladimir Nabokov, you worked with Vladimir Nabokov, and I am no Vladimir Nabokov — that I wrote all the notes and drafts for my first couple of books in the late, lamented HyperCard. I still miss HyperCard. Nothing has come out since that fits my workflow quite so well.)

1 comments:

  • Tony Comstock said...

    For years I pronounced and spelled it K E R F L U F F L E, which I think fits the idea better than the standard spelling and pronunciation.

    Thanks for the reminder of Hypercard. My roommate's Mac30SE had that and MSWord. I only got as far as figuring out word, and now doubt my life has been shabbier because of that.

    Son Nabokov's decision reminds me of a discussion I had just a few days ago about what might be gained or lost by putting relationships between adult children and their parents into a standardized legal framework, with formalized privileges and obligations.

    The proposed book sounds interesting, but I'm afraid I would feel rather prurient reading it. That doesn't mean I won't.

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