NABOKV-L post 0018765, Wed, 11 Nov 2009 14:28:46 -0200

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Re: The Nabokov Collection ...
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Sandy Klein: http://observatory.designobserver.com/entry.html sends John Gall's "The Nabokov Collection" and the project to redesign Vladimir Nabokov's book covers. All twenty-one of them" My idea ...Each cover consists of a photograph of a specimen box, the kind used by collectors like Nabokov to display insects. Each box would be filled with paper, ephemera, and insect pins, selected to somehow evoke the book's content. And to make it more interesting for readers ...Here's who I asked: Chip Kidd, Carol Carson, Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin, Megan Wilson and Duncan Hannah, Rodrigo Corral, Martin Venezky, Charles Wilkin, Helen Yentus and Jason Booher, Peter Mendelsund, Sam Potts, Dave Eggers, Paul Sahre, Stephen Doyle, Carin Goldberg, Michael Bierut, Barbara de Wilde, and Marian Bantjes.

JM: Illustrators and book-cover designers are not expected to have read the "twenty-one" books by Nabokov. Chip Kidd's Brazilian Nabokov covers include at least ten of VN's novels or collected stories: Pnin, Lolita, Ada, Speak, Memory, The Luzhin Defense, Machenka, Perfection, Details of a Sunset, Pale Fire, Laughter in the Dark. Some of them, as I see it, may be a success in design, but not representatives of the spirit of the book or its author's.

I made a selection of my favorite Gall-boxes. My favorite is Corral's for "Speak, Memory." (but I don't think VN would have appreciated it as much as I do).

Sandy Klein sends R.McCrum's review about TOoL and the caption:
It's always the same old story
Great writers never die, they just fade away
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/nov/08/roth-lessing-tolstoy-greene-shakespeare

After connecting the quip about "great writers...just fade away" and Jerry Bauer's observation concerning THE ORIGINAL OF LAURA (Dying Is Fun) where VN "imagines the death of his protagonist...as an exercise in self-erasure conducted body part by body part, beginning with his toes...'The process of dying by auto-dissolution," Philip asserts, "afforded the greatest ecstasy known to man'." the "fading" theme made me recall two other prismatic passages (besides Sebastian's own novel in RLSK and VN's linking it to "Speak, Memory"):
1. in his preface to "Bend Sinister" Vn writes about "the brutal and imbecile soldiers — all of them are only absurd mirages, illusions oppressive to Krug during his brief spell of being, but harmlessly fading away when I dismiss the cast."
2. In Pale Fire: "Shade [smiling and massaging my knee]:'Kings do not die - they only disappear, eh, Charles?'."
(as discussed in the List in April 2007, there is a link to the beer song "Old Soldiers Never Die"..."There is an old cookhouse, far far away/ Where we get pork and beans, three times a day..../ Old soldiers never die,/ Never die, never die.../They just fade away.")

After the cast is dismissed or fades away, will the author's presence endure? YES!!!!






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