Understanding Nabokov’s oeuvre through a detailed look at the posthumous publication of his unrealized novel.
Shades of Laura returns to the « scene of the crime, » elucidating the process of publishing Nabokov’s unfinished novel from its conception – the reproduction of 138 handwritten index cards – to the simultaneous publication of translations of the final text in several languages. The essays in this collection investigate the event of publication and reconstitute the book’s critical reception, reproducing a selection of some of the most salient reviews. Critics condemned Dmitri’s choice, but as contributors to this volume attest, there are many more « shades » and « nuances » to his decision. The book also endeavours to allow readers to understand and evaluate an incomplete novel; contributors analyze its plot, structure, imagery, and motifs.
Shades of Laura: Vladimir Nabokov’s Last Novel “The Original of Laura.” Ed. Yuri Leving. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013. xii, 307 pp.