Lost Nabokov Novel To Be Published

After years of agony and mental gymnastics, Dmitri Nabokov, the American-born son of Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov (pictured here), decided he will publish The Original of Laura, the unfinished novel he was instructed to burn as a final wish to his father. The manuscript, written on a series of index cards, have been sitting in a Swiss safety deposit box since the author’s death in 1977. Dmitri broke his silence over this issue with the German magazine Der Spiegel last week. From his winter home in Palm Beach, Dmitri justified his decision by telling the Guardian, “I’m a loyal son and thought long and seriously about it, then my father appeared before me and said, with an ironic grin, ‘You’re stuck in a right old mess — just go ahead and publish.” He did not want to take on “the role of literary arsonist,” he told Der Spiegel.

Literary critic Ron Rosenbaum, a life-long Nabokov admirer, who had been publicly feuding with Dmitri to make up his mind in a series of columns (Part One, Part Two) on Slate, will certainly be thrilled (and may take credit for) this recent development.