The Original of Laura or perhaps Nabokov

A black book in hardcover that opens with the line “Dying is Fun” printed in white ink with the ink fading with every letter and eventually terminating in complete darkness, with a thin red line marking the border of the cover. The original manuscript of Nabokov in his hand with his scribbled notes and deletions is endorsed on the top half of the right side pages of the book with the text of the manuscript printed in the lower half and the left side pages intentionally left blank or marked with a cross. The contours of the manuscript are perforated giving the reader the druther to remove the manuscript pages and rearrange them in the order that he gleans appropriate.

One glimpse at the book at Landmark and I knew I had to possess a copy of this book. Flipping through the pages of my copy and grazing my fingers over Nabokov’s handwriting, I felt one with Nabokov, peeping into the mind of this genius. The book is but a collection of snippets of a novel that displays potential of being a masterpiece on completion, but in its current form is merely a collection of disjointed and somewhat incoherent paragraphs. It would have been a brilliant metafiction, telling the story of a lover writing a novel on Flora (a disloyal wife of a rich fat man), the ultimate flattery of a woman. Alas Flora and the book will have the same fate of being incomplete forever!!

The novel also reintroduces Hubert Hubert as Flora’s mother’s tenant! Déjà vu!!

Anyhow, kudos to Dmitri and Penguin for my most valuable possession!!


A dreamer. An intellectual, spoiled by the world of literature trying to find sanity through traveling and expression through Visual Art and writing! Hope you like my expressions on this blog!!

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Posted in Book Review
6 comments on “The Original of Laura or perhaps Nabokov
  1. jasmine says:

    I saw the book as well…In some way I think Nabaokov’s handwriting doesn’t quite rhyme with my picture of his handwriting
    Our silly assumptions…

  2. Alien says:

    I haven’t explored Nabakov yet. Let me know more once you finish the book.

    Landmark, Andheri?

    • Yes I picked it up from Landmark, Andheri. I didn’t like the one at Phoenix especially due to its interiors.
      I had written the post after finishing the book. If you haven’t read Nabokov, this book is not the one you should start with. Lolita would be the unequivocal choice for you!!

  3. muskadel says:

    It seems so fun to read this. To read the notes from the author.
    But I have never seen the book…

    • It’s a fabulous book to read!! Surprising that you haven’t seen it!! I can lend you my copy but which country are you located in? Else you could order from Amazon. It’s a beautiful Black hard Cover Book

      • muskadel says:

        Perhaps the reason why I haven’t seen this one is because I live in Belgium. But I going to look for it and when I find it I’m going to buy it.

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