In Memoriam: Dieter E. Zimmer, by Maurice Couturier

Submitted by dana_dragunoiu on Wed, 07/08/2020 - 06:03

I am very sad to hear that Dieter has passed away. He was one of the first admirers and commentators of Nabokov, one of the most dedicated scholars on his works, his biography,  his butterflies, plus a rigorous translator. The Nabokov community owes him a great deal and his name will remain attached to that of the author of Lolita, Pale Fire, and Ada. I have his annotated editions on my shelves and made an abundant use of them.

I met Dieter only once, in Cambridge in 1999, but I often communicated with him and depended upon him and his wonderful fund of information for my publications and my annotations. He was a quiet and friendly man who never sought to start a polemic, contrary to me. He was a kind of archeologist, served by an excellent knowledge of Nabokov's three or four languages. He cared less to offer an interpretation than to unearth a little gem.

He was only four years my senior but discovered Nabokov exactly ten years before I did. And he met Nabokov and didn't have to beg for an apparition!

Maurice Couturier