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Posts Tagged ‘Vladimir Nabokov’

Pick Your Favorite Vladimir Nabokov Cover

covercontest23.jpgAfter a week of digital book news, it’s time to look at some good old fashioned print book covers. Over at Vintage International, artist John Gall was hired to create new covers for the Vladimir Nabokov backlist.

To celebrate the event, the Vintage site is sponsoring a small contest. Readers can pick a favorite cover and explain why in the comments section. The winner takes home a copy of their favorite book.

Here’s more from the site: “As an homage to the author’s love for collecting butterflies, each cover was created using pins, paper, and butterfly boxes. Below, see them in all their glory. Click through for larger images. And just for fun, tell us which is your favorite! Then leave a comment with your reasons why–the most original argument will win a copy of the book they’ve chosen.”

Vladimir Nabokov’s Unfinished Novel in Playboy

nabakov2323.jpgWith the world buzzing about Sarah Palin‘s new memoir and Stephenie Meyer‘s new adaptation, its easy to forget the other major literary event this week–the release of Vladimir Nabokov‘s unfinished novel, “The Original of Laura.”

If you want to read an excerpt, you won’t find the book on the Oprah Winfrey Show or at the multiplex. You need to go to Playboy, the magazine that everybody reads for the literary excerpts. The magazine gave GalleyCat that image from the print magazine excerpt–showing the choice the great writer’s son had between burning or publishing the unfinished book.

Here’s an excerpt that seems fairly safe for work: “[Nabokov] started writing it in 1975 and persisted while hospitalized the few months before his death in 1977. He relied on his signature creative approach (the note cards included here are testament to that), but the book was never finished. In this event, he asked that the draft be destroyed. That we are able to publish a portion of it today is a privilege and a relief to admirers, biographers and readers of every stripe, but that it would survive was never a certainty.”

GalleyCatnip: Sarah Palin vs. Levi Johnston

images.jpegAs the afternoon sun sets, much too soon, here are a few publishing links to play with…

Daily Finance analyzes a a $20 million breach-of-contract lawsuit filed against Houghton Mifflin Harcourt by Cengage over textbook sales.

NY Daily News excerpted Sarah Palin‘s taped interview with Oprah Winfrey, an interview that will open her book tour next week: “We don’t have to keep going down this road of controversy and drama all the time,” she said, when asked about Levi Johnston‘s frayed relationship with her family.

Worried about publishers printing unfinished copies of Vladimir Nabokov‘s last novel? Flavorpill reminds us of a rich history of unfinished literary works.

MobyLives notes that the man who invented the AK-47 assault rifle really wanted to be a poet.

First Glimpse of Vladimir Nabokov’s Final Manuscript

31zJaLxIJEL._SS500_.jpgLast week Publishers Weekly released one of the earliest reviews of “The Original of Laura: (Dying Is Fun),” the last manuscript that Vladimir Nabokov left behind–a book coming out from Knopf this fall.

The review reminds readers not to expect a novel, or anything resembling a final product. The author left behind the manuscript on a series of 138 notecards, and ordered his family to destroy them when he died in 1977. The hardcover book will feature photos of each card, matched with transcripts of the notecard text on the facing page. His son decided to publish after a spooky encounter.

Here’s a brief sample from the review: “Nabokov’s handwritten index cards are reproduced with a transcription below of each card’s contents, generally less than a paragraph. The scanned index cards (perforated so they can be removed from the book) are what make this book an amazing document; they reveal Nabokov’s neat handwriting (a mix of cursive and print) and his own edits to the text: some lines are blacked out with scribbles, others simply crossed out.”

What’s He Building in There?

200px-JD_Salinger-1.jpgPrompted by J.D. Salinger‘s lawsuit against an unauthorized sequel, journalist and author Ron Rosenbaum revists the older, more interesting question: What has Salinger been doing since he published his last short story in 1965?

Over at Slate, the author trots out some old conspiracy theories, speculates about the mysterious lawsuit over “60 Years Later Coming Through the Rye,” and finally plugs a new novel published on for the Amazon Kindle called “J.D. The Plot to Steal J.D. Salinger’s Manuscripts.” The essay reminds us all that it’s not about the gossip, the mystery, or the lawsuit–it’s about the writing.

Here’s more from the story: “I’ve heard unofficial reports that he’s produced several novels whose manuscripts–like [Vladimir Nabokov's] “Laura”–have been stashed in a bank’s safe-deposit vault. Or that there are manuscript pages stacked to the ceiling in his house but no certainty about their state of completion. Other reports make him seem so strange that it’s possible he could be typing out the Bhagavad Gita in Sanskrit over and over again.”

Vladimir Nabokov’s Notecard Novel

180px-Nabokov_book_cover2.jpgPenguin UK will publish Vladimir Nabokov‘s final, unfinished work, “The Original of Laura,” while Knopf will handle the US version. The author left behind the novel on a series of 138 notecards, and ordered his family to destroy them when he died in 1977.The hardcover book will feature photos of each card, matched with transcripts of the notecard text on the facing page.

According to Bookseller, Nabokov’s son decided to publish, and literary agent Andrew Wylie negotiated a six-figure deal for the notecards.

Penguin Classics editor Alexis Kirschbaum explained in the article: “I’m an avid, obsessed fan of Nabokov and for other fans it’s incredibly interesting to see his handwriting and read his prose–not necessarily extremely polished, but you can still see kernels of genius in everything he wrote.” (Via MobyLives)

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