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A Few Notes on Nabokov's Childhood Entomology

Authors
  • Fet, Victor
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2016
Source
Collection Of Biostatistics Research Archive
Keywords
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Abstract

Nabokov's lepidoptery long posed a question: Was he an amateur or a professional entomologist? Today, it has been amply demonstrated that he was a professional. Kurt Johnson says, "For Nabokov, as with many, fascination with the big picture books of butterflies as a young child grew to concerted collecting as a youngster. As with many scientists, these impressions of youth become a driving life force."3 Nabokov started collecting butterflies in 1906, at age seven, and never ceased; he published his first book of poems ten years later, at age seventeen; his first research paper on butterflies, at age twenty; and his first novel, Mashenka [Mary], at age twenty-six. To quote Dieter Zimmer, "For Nabokov lepidoptery was not a mere hobby. It was a lifelong passionate interest that began when he just turned seven, eight years before he began to compose his first poems, with his first Old World Swallowtail in Vyra."4

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