Insomniac Dreams: Experiments with Time by Vladimir Nabokov
Upon reading the blurb on this book, I discovered that the writer had translated many of Nabokov’s novels and short stories and had written “many” books about the author. I can imagine him musing about what is left to say. It is a sad occurrence that a writer’s fragments and experiments are picked over after his death in order to publish yet another supposed insight into his genius. It is tantamount to picking bones and reconstructing skeletal understandings without the original entity.
This book takes Nabokov’s experiment into understanding his dreams from his notecards and writings about the experiment. Do dreams foretell the future? Are they omens? Unfortunately, for me this experiment conveyed no greater understanding of the writer. However, one who is a serious scholar of Nabokov may welcome this book as insight into his thinking and imaginative nature. For me, it seems like the merchandising and packaging of a great author for name recognition. Ultimately, this book about dreams foretelling time may take us neither backward nor forward.
Princeton University Press
Vladimir Nabokov • Gennady Barabtarlo, Editor • Gennady Barabtarlo, Commentary