Just saw at Maud’s that the son will be publishing the father’s The Original of Laura. V. Nabokov has provided me with some especially moving reading experiences over the years. So, in gratitude, I’m going to abide by his wishes, which seem to indicate that he did not want it read and that it should be burned (a conclusion I reach by referring to his request to have it burned). Others have made pretty good arguments in favor of publishing/reading it. But (and can you believe I’m dropping the "but" on Borges? Who the hell am I?) I don’t think we can know the mind of V.N. – maybe he couldn’t burn it himself. Not exactly a wilting flower, that one, but who’s to say?
I just think that any intelligent person could think their way into a rationalization of why it should be exposed to the public, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right thing to do. An intelligent, motivated person can make a case for anything, right? I could make a rational(ish) argument in favor of eating KFC every day, but that shit will kill you dead.
Not that The Original of Laura is in any way equivalent to KFC.
(Or maybe it is, and that’s why he wanted it burned. Someone will have to let righteous me know.)