In case you need a little inspiration to finish your current project, check out this list of 10 Unfinished Novels by literary greats. Although I kind of like that The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Dickens is unfinished (it makes for a fun Clue-style murder mystery musical), but my heart goes out to Nabokov:
“Like many authors, feted Russian writer Vladimir Nabokov left express intentions that any unfinished work should be destroyed upon his death. Following his passing in 1977, his final book, The Original of Laura, wasn’t destroyed but held in a bank vault as his son deliberated whether to publish it. In 2009, it finally saw the light of day. A fragmented novel concerned with aging and the complexities of love, literary figures despaired that the man behind the classic Lolita should not have had his final wish honoured.”
If I had been left with the unfinished novel, I would have destroyed it as Nabokov intended. Obviously it wasn’t finished, or even polished, so why publish it? It’s going to disappoint readers who love his other work, and I find it sad that he couldn’t show the world the version of The Original of Laura that he intended.
Just another reason to finish that draft!
(image: PBS, Carl Mydans/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)