Where can I get a copy of your 1986 bibliography, Vladimir Nabokov: A Descriptive Bibliography?
It has been out of print for years. I have not seen one for sale for many years. It is very dated—inaccurate and incomplete. If you need information in it badly enough and can’t wait until I release the new version, your recourses are to find one in a good academic library, or email me and I’ll try to answer your question.
Where can I get a copy of your 1991 update to the bibliography?
It too is out of print. But remember that the information in the updates is, like in the book, very out-of-date, incomplete, and, in some cases, inaccurate.
I hear that you are working on a new edition. Is that so?
Yes. I have been working on it for many years using using new software technologies to make all of the data easily accessible electronically. It uses Cyrillic for Russian and the appropriate orthographies for all the languages in which Nabokov’s works have ever appeared, such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew, Arabic, and so on. It has high-resolution color photos. It allows searches and displays results in multiple ways. This includes the ability to see a list of all of Nabokov’s works by, for instance, work type or language or title or (if a poem) by first line, or by date composed.
When will it be available?
I don’t really know. I always say “I hope by the end of the year”. But Nabokov’s oeuvre is very deep and rich and varied (more than two-thousand works and counting) and they have appeared in many languages (at least 44) and places (at least 136 cities) around the world. I can’t release the whole thing until I can map the territory a little bit better. Of course I shouldn’t wait until every last diacritical mark is in place before I publish. So my plan is to begin releasing it in parts later this year. I hope then to get feedback from users so that I can incorporate their corrections and additions. Maybe even more importantly, I want to understand your bibliographic needs so that I can present the data in more useful ways.
In what form will you issue it?
At first, I plan to issue parts on the internet so that anyone can access at least some parts of the database and efficiently find the information he or she needs. Eventually I want to publish the whole thing in the old-fashioned way—between covers. How could I not? We are talking here about books, aren’t we? I’m thinking that the book should pull its own little cart behind it in the form of a CD-ROM, with an included search engine of course, snuggled inside.