Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0026173, Wed, 13 May 2015 22:47:08 -0300

The Nabokov Museum
Specimens collected by the author of Lolita and self-taught lepidopterist
exhibited in his childhood home

While renowned for authoring literary masterpieces like Lolita and Pale
Fire, Vladimir Nabokov was also an active collector of butterflies and has
gained much posthumous respect for his scientific research. The Russian
author's passion for lepidoptery, the study of butterflies, (at least 570
mentions of butterflies have been counted in his work and over 20 species of
butterfly have been named after his fictional characters) is preserved in
his collection of pinned shimmery-winged insects in the Nabokov Museum in
St. Petersburg.[ ] Although an avid collector throughout his life, his only
collections that still exist are those he assembled while in the United
States and in Switzerland. The remains have dispersed to the American Museum
of Natural History in New York, the museums of Harvard and Cornell, the
Zoological Museum in Lausanne, and the Nabokov Museum in St. Petersburg on
Bolshaya Morskaya Street, established in the house where he was born in
1899. The house has undergone significant change since his family left in
1917, yet it still possesses much of its old world aesthetic in its dining
room, drawing room, and library. Nabokov fans can appreciate it as "the only
house in the world," which, like the fleeting beauty of butterflies, made
regular appearances in his prose.

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