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In a vault, in Switzerland

Here is your chance to weigh in on one of the most troubling dilemmas in contemporary literary culture. I know I’m hopelessly conflicted about it. It’s the question of whether the last unpublished work of Vladimir Nabokov, which is now reposing unread in a Swiss bank vault, should be destroyed—as Nabokov ...

Steven G. Kellman on Nabokov's "Lectures on Literature"

Steven Kellman at Critical Mass has a nice little piece on Nabokov’s Lectures on Literature, which is one of my favorite books: However, what continues to enlighten and inspire me more than the lectures on individual novels are the introductory and concluding chapters, in which Nabokov sets forth his views on how ...

Knopf rejections

The New York Times had a really fantastic article about Knopf’s archives at the University of Texas. It details some of the authors and books they’ve rejected: For almost a century, Knopf has been the gold standard in the book trade, publishing the works of 17 Nobel Prize-winning authors as well as 47 ...

New Boston Review

Thanks to the Complete Review for pointing out that the new issue of the Boston Review is now available online. Number of interesting articles in this issue, in particular the late Aura Estrada has a fantastic piece on Cesar Aira and Roberto Bolano. Thanks to Susan Sontag, FSG, and great writing, Roberto Bolano has ...

Nabokov, Cornell and La Rochefoucauld

Anecdotal Evidence on Nabokov, Cornell and La Rochefoucauld, who may have once owned the Unicorn Tapestries. If you haven’t picked up La Rochefoucauld’s Maxims, you should do so right away. Nothing is impossible; there are ways that lead to everything, and if we had sufficient will we should always have ...