NABOKV-L post 0018916, Sat, 5 Dec 2009 12:37:37 -0200

[NABOKOV_L] Boticelli's Flora and Laura
Body - 10 horas atrás

Nabokov manuscript flops at auction
AAP December 5, 2009, 9:56 am

The manuscript of Vladimir Nabokov's unfinished, final novel failed to sell at auction on Friday in a surprise unhappy ending for the rare piece of literary history.
Christie's in New York had estimated the 138 index cards crammed with Nabokov's handwriting would go for $US400,000 ($A431,359.86) to $US600,000 ($A647,039.79). But bidding petered out at $US280,000 ($A301,951.9) and the sale was abandoned.

The manuscript for The Original of Laura was part of an auction also starring an important four-page letter by the first US president, George Washington, and a hard-to-get first edition of the first book by legendary 19th century US poet and fiction writer Edgar Allen Poe.
The unexpected sensation of the auction was an Olivetti manual typewriter on which contemporary US novelist Cormac McCarthy, author of No Country for Old Men and The Road, has written every one of his books.

Estimated to sell for no more than $US20,000 ($A21,568), the battered, pale blue machine eventually went under the hammer for $US210,000 ($A226,463) after a two-way bidding war that culminated in tense increases of $US10,000 ($A10,784).
With commission, the winning bidder paid $US254,500 ($A274,452).

But the winner won't just have the pleasure of owning McCarthy's faithful Olivetti - there's also an invitation to lunch with the author himself in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The Nabokov manuscript's lack of success was unexpected given huge interest prior to the auction.

Nabokov's dying wish was for The Original of Laura to be destroyed. Instead, the Nabokov family kept the densely filled index cards in near secrecy for three decades before having the work published last month in New York and London.

The publication caused controversy as the literary world debated whether Nabokov's wishes should have been respected, but also excitement at a new glimpse of the Russian-born author's genius.
The manuscript of Vladimir Nabokov's unfinished, final novel failed to sell at auction in New York.

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