Fine Lines: Vladimir Nabokov’s Scientific Art
by: Stephen H. Blackwell and Kurt Johnson
Fine Lines: Vladimir Nabokov’s Scientific Art / ISBN 9780300194555 / 318-page hardcover from Yale Press / discounted book but in close to like new condition
“Fine Lines . . . reproduces a hundred and fifty-four of [Nabokov’s] illustrations, some for the first time. . . . [and] the commentary is so fully intertwined with the work that, by the end, it’s impossible to imagine one without the other. The writer and the lepidopterist really do turn out to be the same person, engaged in a single, if multifaceted, project of knowledge and description.”—Elif Batuman, New Yorker
The first comprehensive, interdisciplinary accounting of Nabokov’s scientific work, its significance in his artistry, and his contribution to evolutionary theory
This landmark book is the first full appraisal of Vladimir Nabokov’s long-neglected contributions as a scientist. Although his literary achievements are renowned, until recently his scientific discoveries were ignored or dismissed by many. Nabokov created well over 1,000 technical illustrations of the anatomical structures of butterflies, seeking to understand the evolutionary diversity of small butterflies called Blues. But only lately have scientists confirmed his meticulous research and vindicated his surprising hypotheses.
This volume reproduces 154 of Nabokov’s drawings, few of which have ever been seen in public, and presents essays by ten leading scientists and Nabokov specialists. The contributors underscore the significance of Nabokov’s drawings as scientific documents, evaluate his visionary contributions to evolutionary biology and systematics, and offer insights into his unique artistic perception and creativity.