NABOKV-L post 0014483, Sat, 23 Dec 2006 14:59:14 -0500

Query: Jeff Edmunds' "excerpts" from Original of Laura (also
Conrad Brenner)
I did a Google for Conrad Brenner, author of the introduction to the
1959 edition of The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, and was taken to
this web page

by a fragment of a quote in the Google listing from, it turned out,
Michael Wood, who said that he had at first thought that Brenner was
a figment of Nabokov and that this introduction was of the same
species as John Ray's introduction to Lolita. I too was amazed to be
told that Brenner was a real person, and --this was in nineteen
sixty-something-- looked him up. We had a meeting at the Eighth
Street Bookstore in Greenwich Village, where he worked. It was
awkward, and I was somehow moved to apologize for having doubted that
he existed. "Sorry," I said, "my fault," or words to that effect. No,
he responded, the fault was his.

But that is neither here nor there. The web page above, from the
archive of this email forum of September 7, 1999, reproduces an
article from The National Post that recounts the contretemps of the
hoax by Jeff Edmunds, then editor of Zembla, who concocted for his
journal an article with a wild tale about how the article's
pseudonymous author came into possession of some excerpts of VN's
unfinished and unpublished last novel, The Original of Laura. The web
page above gives an example of the purported excerpts, and a link to
a web page on which the entire article was posted after it was
removed, for reasons I could not quite understand, from Zembla.

But the URL given for Edmunds' article leads only to what seems to be
a maze of hyperlinks, and a Google search for Edmunds, Nabokov, and
Laura doesn't AFAICT list an online version of Edmunds' article,
although the article is listed in an announcement of issue number 8
of the suspiciously titled McSweeney's, along with an essay about it
by Edmunds. Is there an online version of these articles? Or are
there e-versions someone would be kind enough to send me?

Walter M.

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