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Document Type

Book Review

Abstract

Excerpt: Presumably, many of Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov's readers do not know that he is a distinguished entomologist; one can search through the majority of his numerous novels, short stories, translations and critical works without discovering the fact. On the other hand, there may be an entomologist somewhere who does not know that Nabokov of the Lycaenidae is also the author of Lolita, Pnin, and Nabokov's Dozen. To those in both categories, and to those who already know how successfully Nabokov has bridged the Two Cultures, we recommend Speak, Memory.

This enlarged and revised version of Nabokov's autobiography has a rather complicated past. Many of its chapters appeared in first form in such magazines as The New Yorker--where, as example, the sixth was printed as "Butterflies" in 1948. The first version of the auto- biography was published in the United States as Conclusive Evidence (1951); its success may be measured by the fact that it was translated into five languages. The early form of Chapter 6 has already become a minor classic of its kind, and was included in Patrick Matthews' anthology The Pursuit of Moths and Butterflies (1957).

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