Friday, January 18, 2008

Link: To Burn or Not to Burn Nabakov

The part of me that gets my mind set on something I love, ( like talking to Zeb and calling him oh, ten times until he answers) thinks that I cannot live unless I read Nabakov's last, unfinished manuscript, perhaps called 'The Original of Laura'. The author of this article felt the same way until he put himself in another's shoes...
Now I'm torn and would like to know from you... What should Nabakov's son do?


3 comments:

sufferingsummer said...

This is incredibly difficult (and interesting). The question of who owns art is what is so fascinating to me. I think when it comes to the written word like this his son ultimately must do what his heart tells him and personally I'd be drawn (as much as I too would love to get my hands on this piece) to destroy it. Mostly because I think in honor of his father not allowing clearly a work in progress to fall into the hands of harsh, and according to him, idiotic critics is the right thing to do.
Food for thought though, that is for sure.

Melanie said...

I always vote for the dead people. They're so defenseless! Maybe they were wrong, and maybe I don't want what they wanted, and maybe they don't even know what goes on on earth, but how are we ever going to know? If it was their choice in life, it should be honored in death.

But it would be maddening to lose this work.

Valerie said...

I know that it is a reflection of my own desire to never allow anyone to see imperfect, unfinished work that has deeply influenced my opinion on this issue, but I believe the son should burn the manuscript. Still, I'm not yet actually successful in, oh, say, writing anything so I can only cast my inexperienced and rather irrelevant vote. Of course, now that I have taken the time to read the article, and type some few words, I find that I begin to disagree with myself and am swaying back toward the undecided. If, therefore, we have a scale from 1-5 one being "burn," five being "publish," and three being "how the heck should I know, I'm just glad I don't have to decide," I would say two. The end.