NABOKV-L post 0018945, Fri, 11 Dec 2009 01:13:31 -0200

Re: [TOoL] Laura Number One in Russia

Vladimir Mylnikov[ to Piers Smith] Apart from obviouse artistic value of TOOL, personally, I love the correlation between the content and the title, as do others. I'm not sure how familiar you may be with Nabokov's writings, but every book of his is a big surprise.
Fran Assa: Piers, read it any way you please. At least you have that option [...] "it is always interesting to know what an author was working on in the final stage of their creative journey" That's exactly my interest in the matter. So where was our beloved VN going, mentally, with this planned book?

JM: Not every surprise is a good one. To have the option to read TOoL risking a disappointment is, indeed, important, irrespectively of the outcome. Laura is a set of manuscripted cards, envelopped by our loving interpretations, while the novel VN had in his mind will not ever be retrieved.
Chip Kidd's American cover is significant: the clear-cut letters of the title gradually dissolve into black, to present graphically that which Sebastian had already concluded:"only one half of the notion of death can be said really to exist: this side of the question,". His opinion is distinct from Shade's ( 209- 214): "What moment in the gradual decay/Does resurrection choose? What year? What day?/Who has the stopwatch? Who rewinds the tape?/Are some less lucky, or do all escape?/ A syllogism: other men die; but I/Am not another; therefore I’ll not die."
Who authored SK and Shade has, at last, escaped from space-time's cage but Sebastian and Shade are still with us. If there's a tape and someone to rewind its clockwork mechanism- or if there's "another side" this is something that we, as readers, also shall not learn from TOoL. From this side, though, unlike every other novel and poem Nabokov has written, at every re-reading from the unpracticed shores of my appraisal, I see its lines recede into oblivion. Fortunately for me an expansion of miraculous worlds inside worlds remain.

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