NABOKV-L post 0005988, Fri, 25 May 2001 10:33:29 -0700

Query: Nabokovilian References in Chabon's _Kavalier & Clay_]
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Nabokovilian References in Chabon's _Kavalier & Clay_
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 20:30:10 -0400
From: "Juan Martinez" <>

Hi all!

I'm Juan Martinez, and I keep a list of references made to Vladimir
Nabokov by other writers in their fiction. Nabokovilia can be found at -- it is
part of Waxwing, my VN appreciation site, located at

Apparently there is at least one such reference in Michael Chabon's
_The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay_. I read the novel and
couldn't find it.

Has anybody read the novel? Did anybody find a Nabokov reference?
Failing that, what follows seems like a likely candidate (p.265), if
only because of its lepidopteral nature -- so: is it referencing VN,
and if so, how?:

"There was, on the slender bole of the youthful maple tree in its cage
on the west side of Union Square, an enormous moth. It rested,
papillating its wings with a certain languor like a lady fanning
herself, iridescent green w/ a yellowish undershimmer, as big as that
languid lady's silk clutch. Its wings lay spread flat and when, every
so often, they pulsed, the woman in the checked coat would squeal, tot
he amusement of the others gathered around, and jump back.

"'What is this moth?' Joe asked the man beside him.

"'Guy here says it's called a luna.' The man nodded toward a stout,
bankerish-looking fellow in a tyrolean hat w/ a moth-green feather,
standing nearer to the tree and the moth than any of them.

"'That's right,' the portly man said in an oddly wistful voice. 'A
luna moth. We used to see them from time to time when I was a kid. In
Mount Morris Park.' He reached out his pudgy hand, in its yellow
pigskin love, toward the beating blue heart of his childhood memory."

Any help would be tremendously appreciated and duly credited. Feel
free to e-mail me at