Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Rushed post

Less than no time here - editing calls in every kind of way - but wanted to post this link to a UK Guardian blog post that is fascinating, about Dmitri Nabakov choosing to publish his late father's final manuscript - actually a collection of index cards! - despite his father asking him, from his deathbed, to burn it. It's called The Original of Laura.
From his winter home in Palm Beach, Dmitri justified his decision by saying, "I'm a loyal son and thought long and seriously about it, then my father appeared before me and said, with an ironic grin, 'You're stuck in a right old mess - just go ahead and publish!'"
Wow.

Now be sure to read the article, follow some terrific links in the piece, and then read the comments. They're terrific! My favorite, from someone calling themselves "rowbottom":
Dimitri, I hope you read GU blogs, I am your father's spirit. I tried reaching you at Palm Beach but you'd gone somewhere warmer. Whatever. The other voice, the one telling you to publish, was a bogus shade. I'm the real thing, and I'm telling you, don't do it. Don't publish. The title's awful. And one more thing, really very very important... ah... wait... I'm fading fast... can't come back... last chance... listen... the cards... I didn't actually...

Why can't you people post this well?

When I worked with an agent, we had some kids of major authors hitting us up for money, and it was always awkward. Sometimes siblings, no longer in touch, would be separately contacting us regarding their share of their dead parent's dough. And you couldn't help but think, perhaps unfairly, "What did YOU do for this money, pal?" But it was rightfully there's, more than it was for some fatcat publisher at times.

But this is pretty slimy, if the great one said not to publish it. You don't mess with Vladimir, surely!

(Thanks to Publishers Lunch for initial link.)

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