But what did he really want?

Vladimir Nabokov, William Styron, David Foster Wallace, Ralph Ellison, Graham Greene, Carl Jung, and Kurt Vonnegut all have books coming out this fall. They are all dead:

Many are incomplete or appear in multiple drafts, raising thorny questions about author intent. Others, dug up from the archives of authors’ early and less accomplished work, could be branded disappointing footnotes to otherwise lustrous literary legacies. An unfinished murder mystery by Graham Greene, which is being serialized in the literary magazine, “The Strand,” was slammed on the Los Angeles Times’s literary blog, Jacket Copy, as “a far cry” from Greene’s later works, such as “The Power and the Glory.”

That’s Alexandra Alter in the Wall Street Journal. As Meanderings’ loyalists could probably surmise, we await The Pale King with open arms. We also loved Lolita, but are a bit skeptical about Nabokov’s latest, and last:

Alfred A. Knopf, which will publish the book this November, asked Mr. Boyd and other scholars to study the draft, but no one could decipher the order of scenes. The publisher faced a new dilemma: “How do you take 138 note cards and turn them into a book?” said Chip Kidd, Knopf’s associate art director, who added that the cards “go in consecutive order for a good bit, until all of a sudden they don’t anymore.”

More on posthumous publishing here.


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