Vladimir nabokov hunts butterflies
LIFE Magazine has some great photos of Vladimir Nabokov enjoying his life-long hobby, butterfly hunting. Nabokov wasn't your ordinary butterfly enthusiast. He was curator of lepidoptery at Harvard University's Museum of Comparative Zoology, where he claimed the time he spent was the happiest in his life.
He wrote and published several research papers which have been acclaimed by scientists around the world. Several butterfly and moth species, such as the genusNabokovia, were named after him and his fictional characters. And he wrote Lolita while travelling on his annual butterfly-collection trips in the western United States.
In his autobiography Speak, Memory, he writes: "From the age of seven, everything I felt in 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". And in a collection of his essays and interviews, Strong Opinions, he wrote "My pleasures are the most intense known to man: writing and butterfly hunting".
For further reading, check out Nabokov's Butterflies, a volume of his unpublished and uncorrected writings on butterflies edited by Brian Boyd and lepidopterist Robert Michael Pyle.