Because I never get the spelling of his name right!!!
I have fallen woefully behind on my research of my authors prior to reading a book. As I have discussed before, I like to know a bit about the author and get a ‘feel’ for him or her. Sometimes you see parallels in their lives to their writing – James Joyce is a great example. Some not so much – Vladimir Nabokov, phew! – As Heather noted, Vlad Nab wrote Lolita during the summers he was butterfly hunting!! There couldn’t be two distinctly different topics. If you find a correlation let me know!
What was the world like in 1953 when Lolita was published? Baseball and Communism…..
A few interesting items about Vladimir Nabokov (mostly taken from Wikipedia):
Born in Russiain 1899 to a wealthy family, Vladimir Nabokov describes his childhood as perfect. They spoke English, French and Russian in the household – tri-lingual. In fact, he learned to write in English before he did in Russian much to his father’s chagrin. This explains is command of the both the Russian and English language.
His family fled Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution eventually landing in Berlin. During this time his father opened a Russian newspaper and due to political views was murdered. Vladimir stayed in Berlin for 19 years after finishing his education at Cambridge.
He met his wife in Berlin and fled to the US when the German forces began to spread. They lived in Massachusetts, New York and Oregon. He taught at Weselley College and Cornell University. He was not one to stick with the norms in writing or in his teaching.
I found this interesting since Heather and I have finished Ulysses:
“He firmly believed that novels should not aim to teach and that readers should not merely empathize with characters but that a ‘higher’ aesthetic enjoyment should be attained, partly by paying great attention to details of style and structure. He detested what he saw as ‘general ideas’ in novels, and so when teaching Ulysses, for example, he would insist students keep an eye on where the characters were in Dublin (with the aid of a map) rather than teaching the complex Irish history that many critics see as being essential to an understanding of the novel.”
He was an avid butterfly hunter or lepidopterist and has numerous butterflies he discovered and documented.
After the success of Lolita, his family and he moved back to Europe – Switzerland – where he lived out the rest of his life writing.
Very interesting life he had and I thought moving to Florida was a big deal!
Up next? Brave New World! Grab a book and READ!