NABOKV-L post 0000812, Thu, 9 Nov 1995 16:14:34 -0800

Nabokov-Wilson Letters 1940-1971 (fwd)
NABOKV-L has frequently had occasion to refer to _Vladimir Nabokov.
Gesammelte Werke_, being put out by the German publisher Rowohlt under
the editorship of Dieter E. Zimmer. Volume XXII, _Vladimir Nabokov
Briefwechsel mit Edmund Wilson 1940-1971_, has just appeared. Thirteen of
the projected 25 volumes have now appeared.
The Rowoht edition should be familiar to every Nabokov specialist, for it
contains information available in no other publication. This is especially
true of the new volume. For reasons completely beyond the control of
editor, Simon Karlinsky, the 1979 Harper & Row edition and the Harper
Colophon paper edition (1980), as well as the French edition, were marred
by omissions and errors. In spite of these lapses, the letter texts
together with Karlinsky's "Introduction" and masterful annotations made
the book a fundamental source for scholars. Professor Karlinsky's plan
for a new, corrected and exanded English edition which was to contain 59
new letters (above the 264 of the first English edition) fell afoul of
publishing economics.
These new letters, with Professor Karlinsky's annotations, have
been included in the new German edition. They are also fully referenced in
the volume's "Name and Title Index." In a feature absent in the earlier
version, the index lists page citations of names and titles in VN's
letters in cursive, so the user can instantly determine whether VN or
Wilson is making the reference. The German edition (because of the new
letters) has renumbered the letters but also retains the original numbers
in brackets, so that one can easily jump back and forth between the
English and German versions. This is a particular virtue for those with
mediocre German who will want to miminize the amount of German involved.
Professor Karlinsky provides an updated "Editorial Remarks" in
which he comments on the history of the project noting, inter alia, that
he has been able to correct some doubtful letter dates. The German editor,
Dieter Zimmer, offers his remarks on the German edition. He has also added
new annotations and expanded some of the existing ones. The volume also
includes bibliographies of the books of both VN and Wilson. Like all
volumes in the Rowohlt VN edition, the "Correspondence" with its 750 pages
is a book lover's delight. For those who wish to order the volume, the
ISBN# is 3 498 046608.