Customer Reviews for

Nabokov's Butterflies: Unpublished and Uncollected Writings

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2000

    The Perfect Companion

    If you've read Nabokov's Speak, Memory, Strong Opinions or The Gift, and/or the wonderful narrative of his scientific career written by Johnson and Coates last year, this will be the perfect companion. It contains all the 'hard stuff' from Nabokov's work on butterflies-- excepts, entire publications, letters, interviews, speeches, drawings etc. and all with expert opinion. The book is big but its enjoyable-- and its size will just give you much more of what you already are enjoying. If you've found the story of Nabokov's work in science interesting, this will bring you even closer to it, giving you the materials from the master's own pen. With this book there will be no further doubt about Nabokov's importance in science and that the claims about his worthy contributions are true.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2000

    A Cavalcade Celebration

    As noted aptly by the Library Journal, this book picks up where Nabokov's Blues' narrative of Nabokov's scientific legacy left off and provides all the background material to understanding the literary 'master''s acumen in the science of Lepidopterology (and biology in general). By publishing all of the previously published works by Nabokov on butterflies (both literary and scientific) together with an avalanche of new material as well, Nabokov's Butterflies gives the reader everything needed to assess, enjoy, and revel in Nabokov's complex connection to these fascinating winged creatures. Nabokov not only published works on butterflies with world class scientific ramifications, much of his literature is permeated with the fascination he held for these complex and intriguing insects. The volume includes not only writings but drawings as well and, arranged chronologically, allows the reader to pilot through Nabokov's own journey into science. Having Nabokov's Butterflies in hand gives the reader as much of the breadth of Nabokov's connection to science and butterflies as would owning his autobiography Speak, Memory, his memoir Strong Opinions, his Selected Letters and much of his fiction as well. The illustrations include not only examples of his exquisite scientific drawings but the fanciful drawings of butterflies he penned for his wife Vera in first editions of his own personal library. The introductory sections, by biographer Brian Boyd and lepidopterist Robert Michael Pyle form a good balance. Boyd brings the reader intimately into Nabokov's intriguing life; Pyle records the fascinating place of Nabokov among scientists, both in his own lifetime and recently, as other scientists finished, and celebrated, his pioneering works. A reader can't go wrong with Nabokov's Butterflies; it is complete as well as balanced, beautifully presented and thoroughly enjoyable. It is readable in big gulps or small, and each will be just as delectable.

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