The Observer reports today that Playboy has paid an outrageous sum of money (they won’t say how much) for serial rights to Vladmir Nabokov’s final, unfinished novella, The Original of Laura, for some inexplicable reason. In a move that will somehow honor the novelist’s legacy while simultaneously ignoring his dying wish (he left instructions for his son to burn the story), the magazine — which ran pieces of Nabokov’s Ada, or Ardor in 1969 — offered more for Laura than it has ever paid for an excerpt, sight unseen. Additionally, it doesn’t sound all that great; The New Yorker turned it down, and Playboy literary editor Amy Lloyd’s confidence-inspiring review goes something like this: “There are parts of it that are much more cohesive than others.” A 5,000-word piece of the novella will run in the December issue, a week before the book hits stores. If anything, we would probably recommend picking up the hardcover and offsetting the price differential by continuing to get your pornography for free from the Internet.
Holy Lolita! Hefner Hoovers Up First Serial Rights to Nabokov’s Last Novella [NYO]