Friday, July 31, 2009

Nabokov’s index cards, coming in November

From a Publishers Weekly advance review of Vladimir Nabokov’s The Original of Laura, coming in November:

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. Words are inserted, typesetting notes (“no quotes”) and copyedit symbols pepper the writing, and the reverse of many cards bears a wobbly X. Depending on the reader’s eye, the final card in the book is either haunting or the great writer’s final sly wink: it’s a list of synonyms for “efface” — expunge, erase, delete, rub out, wipe out and, finally, obliterate.
Related posts
Nabokov’s unfinished (On The Original of Laura)
Vladimir Nabokov's index cards

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