Nabokov in Dreamland

David Potter at The Sydney Review of Books:

The authorship of Insomniac Dreams is surprisingly ambiguous. Yes, it contains the unpublished dream diary of Vladimir Nabokov – but that takes up just over sixty pages of a two hundred-odd page book. So what about the rest? The cover gives some indication. ‘Experiments with Time by Vladimir Nabokov’ is displayed on an index card – Nabokov’s favourite piece of stationery – that sits beneath a big white pillow emblazoned with the book’s title. Nabokov’s name is printed as a reproduction of his signature, as if the cover’s index card had been signed by Nabokov himself. And in a way it was; in its archival form, the dream diary consists of 118 index cards on which Nabokov recorded his dreams over about eighty days – from 14 October 1964 to 3 January 1965. Nestled modestly between the card and the pillow is the crux of the ambiguity – ‘Compiled, edited & with commentaries by Gennady Barabtarlo’.

In effect, this is a posthumous collaboration. Broken into five parts, there’s a three-two split between Nabokov and Barabtarlo respectively.

more here.