In japan index cards are known as aefa aafaf jouhou kaado lit. The legendarily meticulous nabokov spent a couple of fertile decades filling index cards with careful paragraphs which he then revised and shuffled into complete novels.
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.
Nabokov index cards. Nabokov wrote with index cards not so much because they allowed associative progression or because they were somehow like precursors of hypertext for him but rather because he had such a clear vision of what he meant to create that he could start anywhere in describing it. Vladimir nabokov in 1967. The use of index cards was normal for nabokov the basis of many of his works such as lolita and pale fire.
When he died he left one last batch. The perpetual car passenger never went anywhere without his index cards in his letters to a young poet rainer maria rilke wrote most. 138 cards a partial draft.
If you picked up the original of laura vladimir nabokovs final novel youll have seen his distinctive index card based writing method in action. The original of laura is an incomplete novel by vladimir nabokov which he was writing at the time of his death in 1977. The incomplete manuscript around 125 handwritten index cards long remained in a swiss bank vault where only two people dmitri and an unknown person had access.
In the same 1948 lecture that gave us vladimir nabokovs 10 criteria for a good reader. The photographs of nabokovs research materials for lolita and of the author at work with index cards are by carl mydans taken in september 1958 in ithaca new york. Index cards are also known as record cards in the uk.
I found them in the life photo archive here and here. A young nabokov in front of one of his butterfly drawings. Vladimir nabokov lives with his wife vera in the montreux palace hotel in montreux switzerland a resort city on lake geneva which was a favorite of russian aristocrats of the last century.
Then with a pleasure which is both sensual and intellectual we shall watch the artist build his castle of cards and watch the castle of cards become a castle of beautiful steel and glass. Vladimir nabokov wrote most of his novels including lolita and pale fire on index cards. Portions of it were shown to nabokov scholars.
Writers and index cards vladimir nabokov. In april 2008 dmitri announced that he would publish the novel. The pattern of the thing precedes the thing.