Nabokov's Butterflies: Unpublished and Uncollected Writings

Vladimir Nabokov, Author, Robert M. Pyle, Editor, Brian Boyd, Editor Beacon Press (MA) $45 (800p) ISBN 978-0-8070-8540-0
Admirers of the great novelist Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) know that collecting and classifying butterflies was for him not so much a hobby as an obsession, especially during the 1940s, when he worked for Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology and made important discoveries about the American genera known as Blues. Butterfly-linked images and ideas pervade some of his fiction, and butterfly-collecting expeditions took up much of his free time. Nabokov biographer Boyd and butterfly expert Pyle team up to offer a gigantic compendium of butterfly-relevant Nabokoviana. Reprinted here are draft reminiscences later revised for the autobiography Speak, Memory; the 1920 technical paper ""A Few Notes on Crimean Lepidoptera""; selected parts of the later scientific and technical work; numerous poems with butterfly-related lines, some in English, some translated from Russian; Nabokov's last short story, ""The Admirable Anglewing""; excerpts from letters and interviews; notes for the New Yorker (""Incidentally, pinching the thorax is a much simpler way of dispatching a butterfly"") and segments of Nabokov's lecture notes; and lepidopteran passages from the novels and stories. Among the previously unpublished works, one standout is the 36-page essay (originally in Russian) that Nabokov meant to use as the afterword to The Gift. Also present are the surviving fragments of Nabokov's never-completed descriptive catalogue, Butterflies of Europe. Boyd and Pyle contribute separate, informative and sometimes parallel introductions. Not even a Nabokov-obsessed taxonomist would want to read this collection from start to finish: it is, though, a volume devotees will delight to browse in and scholars will want to own. 30 color and 30 b&w illus. Agent, Georges Borchardt. (Apr.) FYI: For more information on Nabokov's Butterflies, see Book News, Feb. 28.
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
Show other formats
FORMATS
Hardcover - 800 pages - 978-0-8070-8542-4
Hardcover - 800 pages - 978-0-14-118480-7
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.