NABOKV-L post 0018824, Thu, 19 Nov 2009 23:28:47 -0200

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Fw: [NABOKV-L] TOoL ( reviews)
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James Studdard: Do these scribbled notes offer any redemptive return to academics, or is VN's reputation diminished? Is the novel simply a teaser to ramp up the sale price of the note cards?" I really am confused by all this piffle.

JM: Critical essays about "TOoL", as expected, vary from (mainly manual) hands-off and thumbs down signals, to ecstatic applause. Of course, there is no final authority to establish the value of a work of art - but - this time, there is an additional excitement! Outside the academic and artistic realm, the concrete penciled note-cards are being auctioned to reveal the commercial value connected to " all this piffle"...
"Nabokov's The Original of Laura (Dying Is Fun)... would-be novel has been resurrected by a crafty agent-publisher alliance that has orchestrated a high drama around it, complete with an unusual half-embargo on advance reading copies;"... "a concerted effort to exploit to the hilt this possible relation to Nabokov's own disintegration: His illness and suffering are meant to enhance the weak text and fuel the industry-orchestrated drama...an insult to the artistic control Nabokov exerted in all of his finished work." (A. Hemon);
"The real stars of the night were the notecards themselves. They were housed in a glass case in a large, green-carpeted room off the lobby. People waited in line to get a peek at what are likely Nabokov's final written words, before the cards are auctioned off at Christie's next month." (Steven Kurutz);
"even if Nabokov did not expect his family to burn the unfinished manuscript, did he really expect them to flog it to the highest bidder? That is exactly what will happen on December 4, when Christie's will auction the document in New York..." (Rachel H.Donaldson).
Nevertheless, I cannot agree with Charles Mudede:"It is not a surprise that Nabokov is the greatest novelist in English... which not only has failed to produce a school of exceptional novelists but also philosophers...The English is only something special when it comes to economics. Ours is the language of doing (and writing about) business."

Missing the "e" found in Dorian Gray's author's ( but the transposition of life into uncorruptible art is there - except for a dismantling of "Laura" intended to reach its original inspiration) there is Philip Wild, who "embarks upon a 'process of self-obliteration...presumably ...reflected on the pages of the finished novel... so the text would be self-deleting as well..." (A.Hemon); "it isn't a stretch to imagine a wretched Nabokov in his Lausanne hospital bed, wishing to "efface/expunge/erase/delete/rub out/wipe out/obliterate" his offending body parts "(H. McAlpin). However Michael Dirda reverts this processes when he believes that "'The Original of Laura' is for Nabokov completists...", just like Amis who doesn't "think the book's publication dilutes the writer's reputation in any way," for "[Nabokov's] 'corpus is so amazingly strong'..."


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