Saturday, January 19, 2008

What do you think?

A certain writer is in a unique position to influence a decision that will forever affect the literary world. Seems that Vladmir Nabokov wrote one last book before he died -- and then ordered that it be burned after his death. The executor of his estate has not yet done so.

Full story: http://www.slate.com/id/2181859/?gt1=10837

6 comments:

Chase March said...

I think this argument is about who “owns” the work and what the owner’s intentions are. I don’t know the author and if he actually meant it when he said that he wanted this work burned.

Sometimes, it is human nature to say something the opposite of what you actually mean. I think we have all come across this mind state, whether it be from someone who claims not to want a birthday party or any gifts, to a person who deflects praise. In a small way, we all want to be acknowledged. Perhaps, Nabokov feels that he has already left his mark on the world and doesn’t want an unpolished work to be his last manuscript.

I could compare it to athletes who try to go out on the top of there game. I mean, if Green Bay Packers win the Super Bowl this year (fingers crossed), perhaps Brett Favre will retire. It would be a great way to go out and a great story.

I could compare it to the late great Tupac Shakur. He left tones of material behind but he did so on purpose. He wanted his work to be slowly released for years after his death. It was a plan to support his family well after his demise.

I think is Nabokov wants his work destroyed, and he really meant it, than we should honour his request, as painful as that may be. It’s a matter of respect.

Rebecca said...

I, too, think that the author's wishes should be honored...in a way. How about we don't burn the manuscript, but don't publish it either. It just seems a sin to destroy the work.

And Chase, if the Packers beat the Giants tomorrow, then I am totally rooting for them to take down the evil empire that is the Patriots organization (I have no faith that the Chargers will beat the Pats). For now, however, I have to root for the only hometown team that made it to the post season :)

I didn't know that Tupac had a plan behind the slow release of material. He was a very smart man...and his poetry is very, very powerful.

Ela (braveheart) said...

the only question that rises from his request is, why did you write the book in the first place? to find out if the wishes even cound after one is dead? or are you so important people will think twice before burning it? will they be intruiged to the point that they will read it first before burning?

that was a tricky wish.

Ela (braveheart) said...

He could have burn it himself first of all, or if he couldn't, maybe at the last moment of his life he thought that this book will not bring any good to the world. Maybe he wasn't proud of this work.
anyhwow, weird request.

Ela (braveheart) said...

I did not say what I think.. I think it should be burned without reading.

Chase March said...

Hey Rebecca,

Eli Manning making it to the Super Bowl is a good story too. And the Giants did outplay the Packers. It was a good game.

I’m disappointed that my team didn’t win, but I think I will be cheering for NY on the third.