Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Dmitri, No!

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The Dmitiri Nabokov saga continues.

You’ll recall that when we last left Dmitri Nabokov, he was once again publicly (in the journal Nabokov Online) and privately (to me) hinting that he would carry out his filial obligation to destroy the manuscript, thus abiding by the wishes of a perfectionist father who loathed the idea that a work that did not live up to his exacting standards for completion should be exposed in blemished form to the world.

Dmitri’s threat was the latest episode in the long, twisted saga of Laura, which by then had become the literary equivalent of an old-fashioned serial melodrama, as full of cliffhangers as The Perils of Pauline. The irascible Dmitri would tease us with hints of Laura’s thrilling salience, then suggest he was inclined to destroy it, anyway; following which, the literary world (most of it) would beg him not to. Dmitri would then back off—”reserving judgment”—only to stir things up by giving interviews (or, in my case, sending e-mails) that once again suggested an intent to destroy. (For instance, the irritated e-mail he sent me—A LONG, SINGLE PARAGRAPH ALL IN ANGRY CAPITAL LETTERS—after the publication of my recent Slate piece.)

I’ve already weighed in on this. Don’t burn it, obviously.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 28, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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