[SIGHTING] Swallow tail butterfly
[SIGHTING] Swallow tail butterfly
Jansy Mello <jansy.nabokv-L@aetern.us>
9/21/2013 8:24 AM

 'A borboleta-cauda-de-andorinha' [http://visao.sapo.pt/a-borboleta-cauda-de-andorinha=f720603],
Brazilian site, with a paragraph about Nabokov and the swallow tails, indicating his description of "one of the most the intense emotions in his life" that he experienced when he saw this butterfly for the first time:
    "O escritor russo Vladimir Nabokov descreveu o momento em que viu pela primeira vez uma borboleta desta espécie como um dos mais intensos da sua vida. A sua paixão por estes insetos começou na infância por influência dos pais, e perdurou até ao fim da sua vida. Aliás, o seu célebre romance "Lolita" foi parcialmente escrito durante uma das suas inúmeras expedições de captura de borboletas nos Estados Unidos da América. Nabokov tornou-se um especialista num grupo específico de borboletas (designado por Polyommatus azuis), tendo apresentado uma ousada teoria sobre a sua evolução em 1945. Apesar do seu trabalho com borboletas ter tido pouco impacto junto dos profissionais, a sua reputação tem científica tem vindo a crescer nos últimos anos. Recentemente, um grupo de cientistas resolveu averiguar a hipótese de evolução das Polyommatus azuis proposta pelo escritor, usando ferramentas que não estavam ao seu dispor tais como a sequenciação genética, e ficaram surpreendidos por descobrirem que ele estava absolutamente certo."

Ler mais: http://visao.sapo.pt/a-borboleta-cauda-de-andorinha=f720603#ixzz2fWrDDsGV

The author of Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, remembered the moment he first saw a swallowtail as one of the most “intense” in his life. He took in every detail of this “splendid, pale yellow creature with black blotches, blue crenels and a cinnabar eyespot above each chrome-filled black tail”. He went on to imagine, sensuously, what it must be like to be such a butterfly, feeling “the air skimming my outstretched wings, to hear the petals under my proboscis, and the scent in the beads of my antennae… an entire labyrinth of ecstasies.”

Other quotes,  came from
Overbey, E. 2001. Nabokov's Blue Butterflies. The New Yorker. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2011/01/nabokovs-blue-butterflies.html .
Although he is of course best known for his intricate novels and essays, the past decade has seen a rediscovery of Nabokov’s entomological ventures. On Tuesday, the Times revealed that a team a scientists had vindicated a nearly seventy-year-old theory of his about the development of the Polyommatus blue butterflies:
" In an interview he gave to the Paris Review in 1967, Nabokov noted that "The pleasures and rewards of literary inspiration are nothing beside the rapture of discovering a new organ under the microscope or an undescribed species on a mountainside in Iran or Peru. It is not improbable that had there been no revolution in Russia, I would have devoted myself entirely to lepidopterology and never written any novels at all." 
Nabokov seemed particularly fascinated by this quality of ephemeral metamorphosis. In “Speak, Memory,” part of which ran as an essay titled “Butterflies” in the June 12, 1948, issue of The New Yorker, he contemplated the connection between art and the changing subtlety of these fragile insects: "The mysteries of mimicry had a special attraction for me. Its phenomena showed an artistic perfection usually associated with man-wrought things. Such was the imitation of oozing poison by bubble-like macules on a wing (complete with pseudo-refraction) or by glossy yellow knobs on a chrysalis (“Don’t eat me—I have already been squashed, sampled, and rejected”). When a certain moth resembled a certain wasp in shape and color, it also walked and moved its antennae in a waspish, unmothlike manner. When a butterfly had to look like a leaf, not only were all the details of a leaf beautifully rendered but markings mimicking grub-bored holes were generously thrown in. “Natural selection,” in the Darwinian sense, could not explain the miraculous coincidence of imitative aspect and imitative behavior, nor could one appeal to the theory of “the struggle for life” when a protective device was carried to a point of mimetic subtlety, exuberance, and luxury far in excess of a predator’s power of appreciation. I discovered in nature the nonutilitarian delights that I sought in art. Both were a form of magic, both were a game of intricate enchantment and deception."

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