Thursday, November 19, 2009

Vladimir Nabokov, The Original of Laura (designed by Chip Kidd)

Wow. I've never rushed home to the blog over a book like this. My copy of Nabokov's The Original of Laura came in the mail only 5 hours ago and I'm still overwhelmingly excited to share this one with you.

So, back-story: this book was originally written on a stack of index cards and was never meant to be released (I'm not positive, but I think someone told me Nabokov wrote most of his books on index cards...). Nabokov insisted that his son burn it when he died, but Dmitri Nabokov resisted. And now, many years later, it has made its way into bookshops.

I posted the amazing cover when I first saw it on amazon a few months ago. In the comments I was informed that it was done by none other than the great Chip Kidd! Should have got me thinking, but no... I was not expecting this.

The book is printed on heavy paper and each page is a photo of one of Nabokov's index cards. Below the card is a text-facsimile of the handwritten cards. Beautiful, and also explains the thickness of the book.

But wait, there's more:

Every index card is perforated! You can pull these all out and read them in a stack!

So subtle, so perfect. This book is a treasure. Thank you Mr. Kidd.

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