Vladimir Nabokov’s Drawings of Butterflies


In honor of Vladimir Nabokov’s upcoming birthday, we thought we’d take a look at the literary great’s artistic expression of the one thing he loved as much as language – lepidoptera. In his whirling autobiography, Speak, Memory, Nabokov writes, “From the age of seven, everything I felt a connection with a rectangle of framed sunlight was dominated by a single passion. If my first glance of the morning was for the sun, my first thought was for the butterflies it would engender… I have hunted butterflies in various climes and disguises: as a pretty boy in knickerbockers and sailor cap; as a lanky cosmopolitan expatriate in flannel bags and beret; as a fat hatless old man in shorts.” We must say, we love the idea of this in its every iteration. In general, most of the butterflies Nabokov drew were for “family use” – he sketched them as inscriptions…

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