NABOKV-L post 0018233, Fri, 24 Apr 2009 14:27:42 -0300

Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov ...
Sandy Klein: "The Effort to Keep Biodiversity Out of Crisis-Environmental Dedication Drives Research of Biologist Edd Barrows." Complete article at following URL:
“I have a life-long interest in biodiversity, in everything around us related to life.” [ ... ] In Wisconsin, Barrows’ lab is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Air National Guard to learn how to use adaptive management for the federally endangered Karner Blue Butterfly [...] A small butterfly with beautifully patterned blue wings, the Karner Blue has a rich biological and cultural history. It was named Lycaeides melissa samuelis by the renowned Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov, who was an amateur lepidopterist..."

JM: Why did Nabokov choose to name it "samuelis"? Any link with Samuel Johnson or little paradises?

A google-related item, from long ago ( Chasing Nabokov's Elusive and Endangered True Love - by MARGARET MITTELBACH and MICHAEL CREWDSON, published: Friday, July 14, 2000)
"He crouched all the way down to lupine level to get a close-up view. When the K.B. fluttered off, there was a tiny white spot, smaller than a poppy seed, where she had been.
''Look at that!'' he said. ''I've been coming here for 30 years, and I've never seen that before. In fact, I don't think anyone's ever seen that.''
Nabokov's little samuelis had laid an egg. Nabokov's 'Little Paradise'
[...] When Nabokov wrote his 1957 novel ''Pnin,'' he couldn't resist working in a detailed description of the butterfly he had named [...] Mr. Rittner told us that in the 1970's he and his friends had written Nabokov a letter, hoping to get his support for preserving the Pine Bush from development. Although Nabokov did not join the fight to save the butterfly, he wrote back that he remembered the Pine Bush as a ''sandy and flowery little paradise.''

Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors:,
Visit Zembla:
View Nabokv-L policies:
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:"

Manage subscription options: