1.14.2006

Nabokov's Blues

Much like Nabokov's career, Nabokov's Blues doesn't hold a single focus, but the beautiful moments make it worthwhile.
    Author Vladimir Nabokov was famous for two literary careers: one in Russian and another in English. Nabokov also had a third career as a biologist, specializing in lepidoptery, the taxonomy of butterflies. This book is the story of his original work, and the later consequences, with digressions for Nabokov's fictional treatment of butterflies, and a fair bit of traipsing around South America by modern day lepidopterists, chasing down butterflies known as blues that Nabokov studied.
    This books will mostly appeal to fans of Nabokov's literature, including me. But the authors are most obviously in their element describing biological fieldwork, which in the case of butterflies still involves chasing flashes of light around with a net. Like Nabokov, the authors genuinely thrill at this work, and write compellingly of their joy, which Nabokov shared, in fieldwork.

2 comments:

Prof. Moriarty said...

and a fair bit of traipsing around South America by modern day lepidopterists, chasing down butterflies known as blues

interesting way to live... Odd, but interesting.

ab said...

thanks u for the book review. i never would have come across it otherwise.

cheers!