Here is your chance to weigh in on one of the most troubling dilemmas in contemporary literary culture. I know I’m hopelessly conflicted about it. It’s the question of whether the last unpublished work of Vladimir Nabokov, which is now reposing unread in a Swiss bank vault, should be destroyed—as Nabokov explicitly requested before he died.
It’s a decision that has fallen to his sole surviving heir (and translator), Dmitri Nabokov, now 73. Dmitri has been torn for years between his father’s unequivocal request and the demands of the literary world to view the final fragment of his father’s genius, a manuscript known as The Original of Laura. Should Dmitri defy his father’s wishes for the sake of “posterity”?
For the past two years I’ve involved myself in this question in print and in e-mail correspondence with Dmitri Nabokov, but a recent communication from Dmitri to me suggests that a decision may be near. And so the time seems right to share with Slate readers my own deeply divided feelings about Dmitri’s choice and to see what they make of his dilemma.
more from Slate here.