This is an interesting dilemma. Should the son of a famous writer respect his father's express dying wish that the manuscript of an unfinished work be destroyed? Or should he satisfy the interests of posterity in having an important document to throw further light on that writer's genius? The writer in question is Vladimir Nabokov, and the details of the dilemma are set out by Ron Rosenbaum. I won't go over the obvious arguments that can be made on the two sides of this issue. I wouldn't like to be Dmitri Nabokov, that's for sure. But here's one thing that occurs to me. Could Vladimir Nabokov have spared his son this problem by destroying the work himself before he died? For how long, if for any time at all, did he know he was dying? If he could have destroyed it himself and didn't, does that tell us anything about how resolutely set he was on having it destroyed?