Vladimir Nabokov wrote The Original of Laura, or what we have of it, against the clock of doom (a series of sickening falls, then hospital infections, then bronchial collapse). It is not “a novel in fragments”, as the cover states; it is immediately recognisable as a longish short story struggling to become a novella.
The Original of Laura is now being published despite the author’s instructions to be destroyed after his death. Martin Amis confronts the questions posed by a genius in decline in an amazing article HERE
Photo: 1970: Russian-born writer Vladimir Nabokov (1899 – 1977) holds up a butterfly net in a forest near Montreux, Switzerland. (Photo by Horst Tappe/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)