Nabokov’s Lost Novel Reviewed

Should Dmitri Nabokov, son of Vladimir, have published his father’s final, unfinished work, The Original of Laura? “In many respects, the release of a rudimentary version of his last novel does a disservice to a writer who deeply cherished precision and was practiced in the art of revision,” Michiko Kakutani writes. “Yet, at the same time, these bits and pieces of Laura will beckon and beguile Nabokov fans, who will find many of the author’s perennial themes and obsessions percolating through the story of Philip.” The novel, written on Nabokov’s death bed, “explores the subjects of death and the otherworldly with contemplative urgency,” Kakutani writes.