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Vladimir Nabokov

Colour Plate 55, 1940

colour plate
About Vladimir Nabokov
Vladimir Nabokov (1899—1977) was a distinguished Russian-American literary icon, renowned not just as an eminent novelist but also as a trilingual poet, scholar, translator, and entomologist. His work, Pale Fire (1962), affirmed his standing as one of the paramount literary voices of the 20th century, lauded for his lyrical prose and intricately crafted narratives. Another of his notable works, Lolita (1955), delves into the psyche of Humbert Humbert, an unreliable narrator consumed by an intense infatuation for the 12-year-old Dolores Haze, whom he dubs 'Lolita.' Their cross-country escapades and stays at various motels form the novel's central theme. During the summer between academic years when he worked at Cornell University, Nabokov did his research on butterflies as well as sketching their anatomy, primarily fueled by his entomological pursuits. Drawn to the Rockies, both for its resonances with his Russian heritage and its rich butterfly diversity due to high altitudes, these travels afforded Nabokov a first-hand experience of America's landscape. The mosaic of these experiences, interlaced with memories from motels, lodges, and inns, seamlessly found its way into the backdrop of Lolita, enshrining its legacy within classic American literature.