Vladimir Nabokov


Resources relating to VN's interest in butterflies and moths:

The main collection of Nabokov's writings on butterflies is Brian Boyd and Robert Michael Pyle, eds., Nabokov's Butterflies: Uncollected and Unpublished Writings (Boston: Beacon Press, 1999; London: Allen Lane/Penguin, 2001, paperback Penguin 2000), 782pp.

The main reference work is Dieter E. Zimmer, Guide to Nabokov's Butterflies and Moths, updated to 2015, contains

The main collection of Nabokov's butterfly inscriptions is Sarah Funke and Glenn Horowtiz, Véra's Butterflies (New York: Glenn Horowitz, 1999), which contains essays by Brian Boyd and Kurt Johnson, Stephen Jay Gould, and others.

The main collection of Nabokov's butterfly illustrations, mostly scientific, but also including playful butterfly inscriptions, is Stephen H. Blackwell and Kurt Johnson, eds., Fine Lines: Nabokov's Scientific Art (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016), which includes essays by Nabokov scholars like Blackwell and Boyd and by scientists like Johnson and Robert Dirig.

The main book on Nabokov's scientific impact up to 1999 is Kurt Johnson and Steven L. Coates, Nabokov's Blues: The Scientific Odyssey of a Literary Genius (Cambridge, Mass.: Zoland, 1999). 

The most recent example of Nabokov's scientific impact is reported technically in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 2011 and featured in the New York Times.


See also Archives for the main collections of Nabokov's butterfly catches: the American Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cornell University Lepidoptera Collection, Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology, and the Lausanne Musée Cantonal. The Nabokov material there is not on display or easy of access, but if you have a serious research interest, these are the places to approach.