Synopses & Reviews
"This insidiously charming book teaches readers about the place of lepidoptery in the life sciences and the kinds of questions that natural scientists seek to answer....Like Nabokov himself, this volume exemplifies some of the virtues shared by art and science: wit, intelligence, and, above all, meticulousness."---The New Yorker
"Charming...In a world that often separates science and culture like church and state, this book reminds us that, for Nabokov, butterflies helped shape 'a habitual way of looking at the world' that was ultimately conducive to great literature and to great lepidoptery alike."---New York Times Book Review
..".a grand book: erudite, generous, and wise. It is written with a grace and intelligence worthy of its eponymous subject."---Boston Globe
"Readers with a taste for science and literature will love this book, which is both entertaining and polymathically informative--rather like the English/Russian, naturalist/novelist/scholar/artist Nabokov himself."---Publishers Weekly (starred review)
andldquo;This collection explains to the layman just why Nabokovandrsquo;s scientific work was so successful and important. The drawings are absolutely stunningandmdash;even to someone without a scientific background they are arresting. Lepidopterists will surely want to own it, but more importantly, this will be a treasure for Nabokov fans.andrdquo;andmdash;Eric Naiman, author of Nabokov, Perversely
andldquo;This is a very valuable contribution to understanding one of the great novelists of the Twentieth Century. It is a superb example of how a creative mind can combine art and science in ways that make them both greater than they would have otherwise been. A landmark book.andrdquo;andmdash;Thomas E. Lovejoy, George Mason University
andldquo;What makes this volume special is not so much its attempt to merge Nabokovandrsquo;s philosophy and science, but its ability to include all relevant authors on the subject of the Nabokov dual nature.andrdquo;andmdash;Nina Khrushcheva, author of Imagining Nabokov: Russia Between Art and Politics
andldquo;After a period of separation during the 20th century, the convergent territories of science and art are once again providing a fertile ground for understanding the complexities of the world we live in. Fine Lines presents a welcome and rare insight into Nabokovandrsquo;s obsessive attention to detail so prominent in his writing. The rich collection of his illustrations, reveal an unintended artistry born out of meticulous observation. Drawings of wing cells appear like working diagrams for Art Deco rugs and the ambiguous surreal forms of the reproductive organs of butterflies reveal a synchronous synergy with the drawings of Miro and David Smith.andrdquo;andmdash;Rob Kesseler, co-author of Pollen, the hidden sexuality of flowers
Includes bibliographical references (p. -356).
Table of Contents
Part I: The Aurelian.
Chapter 1: The Most Famous Lepidopterist in the World.
Chapter 2: A Tricky Subject.
Chapter 3: A Legendary Land.
Chapter 4: Lumpers and Splitters.
Chapter 5: A Life in Lepidoptery.
Part II: The Searchers.
Chapter 6: Scientists and Strategy.
Chapter 7: The Incorrigible Continent.
Chapter 8: The Vertical Landscape.
Chapter 9: Finding the Frontiers.
Chapter 10: Dancing with Fire.
Part III: Nabokov's Blues.
Chapter 11: The Code.
Chapter 12: The Race to Name Nabokov's Blues.
Chapter 13: Literature and Lepidoptera.
Chapter 14: Darwin's Finches - Nabokov's Blues.