Literature

Famous writers and their unfinished masterpiece manuscripts

Sometimes human life is too short of narrating the wonderful stories lying in the depth of the author’s imagination.

Maverick writers can spend days, months, years writing their stories and creating their own magic world. That is the reason why writing does not have a retirement age. So, what happens when an author passes on and some of their masterpieces are unfinished? Because most of the work is still in raw form and is not polished, writers generally instruct their heirs to destroy the unfinished manuscripts. But many times, these people don’t abide and save those manuscripts for the world to see and remember the genius way of creating masterpieces. Here is the list of some famous authors and their unfinished works.

The Original of Laura by Vladimir Nabokov

When the great storyteller Vladimir Nabokov, passed away in 1977, he was working on a manuscript that was tentatively titled “The Original of Laura”. The story talked about an unnamed “man of letters” and an attractive 24-year-old. His son Dmitri published the book in the year 2008 and strangely said that he sought permission from his father who appeared before him and said that he was stuck in a right old mess and can publish this manuscript.

The Aeneid by Virgil

We all wanted to know what happened after the famous Trojan War? Well, Virgil was working on an epic poem narrating all that before he passed on in 19 BC. As a result, the poem was left unfinished. As tradition demands it, Virgil asked the manuscript to be destroyed, but the manuscript was saved by Emperor Augustus. He then ordered to publish the poem after making some changes to complete it.

Franz Kafka’s novels.

The world would not have understood or even tasted the literary genius of Kafka if it was not for his friend and fellow writer, Max Brod. It is well-known that Kafka did not publish much in his entire life, and he left three major novels Amerika, The Trial, and The Castle, unfinished after his death in the year 1924. His literary executor, Brod, didn’t pay heed to this and saved the classics, much to our relief.

Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

Much of the second part of masterpiece Dead Souls, was left unfinished by Gogol. It is believed that before passing away, he destroyed a big portion of the first part before his death. Interestingly, the book ends in a mid-sentence. Nobody, till dateis sure whether it was a coincidence or intentional?

Which one of these have you read?

Priyadarshini Kaul

Priyadarshini Kaul Mishra has two Master’s Degrees in English Literature and History. She is actively following her passion for the language by being a content creator since many years now. Besides this, Priyadarshini is a true bookworm at heart and tries to be an avid reader despite being a full-time mother now. She is also a professionally certified baker and puts on the oven mitts every now and then.
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