14 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2022
  2. Aug 2022
    1. When Vladimir Nabokov died in 1977, he left instructions for his heirs to burn the 138 handwritten index cards that made up the rough draft of his final and unfinished novel, The Original of Laura. But Nabokov’s wife, Vera, could not bear to destroy her husband’s last work, and when she died, the fate of the manuscript fell to her son. Dmitri Nabokov, now seventy-five—the Russian novelist’s only surviving heir, and translator of many of his books—has wrestled for three decades with the decision of whether to honor his father’s wish or preserve for posterity the last piece of writing of one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.

      Nabokov's wishes were that his heirs burn the index cards on which he had handwritten the beginning of his unfinished novel The Original of Laura. His wife Vera, not able to destroy her husband's work, couldn't do it, so the decision fell to their son Dimitri. Having translated many of his father's works previously, Dimitri Nabokov ultimately allowed Penguin the right to publish the unfinished novel.

  3. Jun 2022
  4. May 2022
  5. Apr 2022
    1. Reviewing The Original of Laura, Alexander Theroux describes the cards as a “portable strategy that allowed [Nabokov] to compose in the car while his wife drove the devoted lepidopterist on butterfly expeditions.”

      While note cards have a certain portability about them for writing almost anywhere, aren't notebooks just as easily portable? In fact, with a notebook, one doesn't need to worry about spilling and unordering the entire enterprise.

      There are, however, other benefits. By using small atomic pieces on note cards, one can be far more focused on the idea and words immediately at hand. It's also far easier in a creative and editorial process to move pieces around experimentally.

      Similarly, when facing Hemmingway's White Bull, the size and space of an index card is fall smaller. This may have the effect that Twitter's short status updates have for writers who aren't faced with the seemingly insurmountable burden of writing a long blog post or essay in other software. They can write 280 characters and stop. Of if they feel motivated, they can continue on by adding to the prior parts of a growing thread. Sadly, Twitter doesn't allow either editing or rearrangements, so the endeavor and analogy are lost beyond here.

    2. Having died in 1977, Nabokov never completed the book, and so all Penguin had to publish decades later came to, as the subtitle indicates, A Novel in Fragments. These “fragments” he wrote on 138 cards, and the book as published includes full-color reproductions that you can actually tear out and organize — and re-organize — for yourself, “complete with smudges, cross-outs, words scrawled out in Russian and French (he was trilingual) and annotated notes to himself about titles of chapters and key points he wants to make about his characters.”

      Vladimir Nabokov died in 1977 leaving an unfinished manuscript in note card form for the novel The Original of Laura. Penguin later published the incomplete novel with in 2012 with the subtitle A Novel in Fragments. Unlike most manuscripts written or typewritten on larger paper, this one came in the form of 138 index cards. Penguin's published version recreated these cards in full-color reproductions including the smudges, scribbles, scrawlings, strikeouts, and annotations in English, French, and Russian. Perforated, one could tear the cards out of the book and reorganize in any way they saw fit or even potentially add their own cards to finish the novel that Nabokov couldn't.


      Link to the idea behind Cain’s Jawbone by Edward Powys Mathers which had a different conceit, but a similar publishing form.

    3. https://www.openculture.com/2014/02/the-notecards-on-which-vladimir-nabokov-wrote-lolita.html

      Some basic information about Vladimir Nabokov's card file which he was using to write The Origin of Laura and a tangent on cards relating to Lolita.

  6. Nov 2021
    1. There is a reason that Laura Kipnis, an academic at Northwestern, required an entire book, Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus, to recount the repercussions, including to herself, of two allegations of sexual harassment against one man at her university; after she referred to the case in an article about “sexual paranoia,” students demanded that the university investigate her, too. A full explanation of the personal, professional, and political nuances in both cases needed a lot of space.

      Definitely unfortunate for Laura Kipnis (to me on the surface), but are these growing cases helping to deconstruct some of the unfair power structures which we've institutionalized over time? Dismantling them is certainly worthwhile, but the question is are the correct institutions and people paying the price and doing the work? In Kipnis's case, she probably isn't the right person to be paying the price, but rather the institution itself.

      Another example of this is that of Donald McNeil in the paragraph above (in the related article).

  7. Oct 2020
    1. Oh, how extraordinarily nice workmen were, she thought

      This is the second time her impression of the workers has made me really laugh. This story so far feels like it takes place in some strange utopia, I guess Laura and her family are very rich, but it seems much stranger than just that--the rose bushes are visited by "archangels", Jose is a "butterfly". and 'workers' are practically alien. Laura seems as taken with the beauty around her as if she is seeing it only for the first few times. This story has a very dreamy feel, maybe even a dystopian quality.

    2. big bite of her bread-and-butter

      This alliteration highlights the naivete and childishness of Laura's understand of class distinctions. She believes that taking a "big bite of her bread-and-butter" is a form of rebellion against "stupid conventions" and makes her feel "just like a work-girl." Yet contrary to her intentions, the fact that she is able to eat without concern for how the food came to be on her table shows her privileged status. The sheer ridiculousness of the situation clearly steers this depiction of Laura as satire.

  8. Jan 2020
    1. I have my own Mastodon instance, mastodon.laurakalbag.com where it’s just me (and Oskar). This is referred to as an “instance-of-one.” It’s hosted on my own domain, so I own and control everything I post on there, but because I have the Mastodon installed on there, I can see what other people post on their Mastodon instances, and reply to them with mentions, or favourite and boost (like retweet) their toots, even though they are on different instances. It’s like having my own Twitter which can talk to other Twitters, where I make the rules.

      I like the idea of an 'Instance of one'

    1. I have used the user-supported Mastodon.Social site for the past few years, but would really like to explore with the OpenETC this year what it might take to host our own instance of Mastodon within the OpenETC specifically for educators within BC to have their own Mastodon account.

      I found Laura Kalbag's discussion of instances useful

  9. Jun 2015
    1. related to compliance with Title IX

      The Kipnis thing isn't an accident: the relation between trigger warnings & Title IX is more than just student activism.