“I have rewritten — often several times — every word I have ever published,” Vladimir Nabokov says in his book, Strong Opinions. I can’t resist the thought that this is a piece of Nabokovian extravaganza. Not every word, surely? Still, it’s quite an eye-opener that some of the smoothest writing in modern literature should be so much less spontaneous — and so much harder work — than it looks. It’s a lesson to young writers not to throw away that first draft in frustration. If you rewrite every word — several times — it might turn into another Lolita.