Vladimir Nabokov made his wife promise to burn his unfinished last novel, The Original of Laura, upon his death. But the manuscript, written on 138 index cards, remained in a Swiss safe-deposit box for over three decades. His son and sole heir, Dmitri, 75, has finally decided to let the world have a look. Knopf will publish The Original of Laura on November 17.
Other writers’ deathbed requests & their upshots…
Virgil: Burn the Aeneid. (Emperor Augustus refused.)
Charles Dickens: Remember me by my work alone; no statues or monuments. (Not the humblest cove in Britain.)
Emily Dickinson: Burn all my papers. (Her sister, Vinnie, destroyed her letters but not her poems.)
Franz Kafka: Burn all my unpublished works. (His friend Max Brod did not comply.)
Hunter S. Thompson: Fire my ashes from a giant cannon. (Johnny Depp lit the match.)