Nabokov's Butterflies

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Regarding his “job of Curator of Lepidoptera at Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology”, it should be noted that this was an unpaid position. While working as an underpaid lecturer at Cornell, he’d take weekly train trips up to Harvard to re-organize Harvard’s messy collection of lepidoptera and also performed microscopic studies of wing scales. Through these studies he formulated some of his theories of species movements and even definitions of some species. It was a tremendous effort and cost him his eyesight.

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So Nabokov was essentially a volunteer curator of Lepidoptera ? Never knew this although I knew that butterflies were his great love alongside writing fiction.

Somehow it makes me respect him even more that he would be involved in science in a voluntary capacity (already respected him though wasn’t very keen on “Lolita” when I read it years ago). A fascinating character indeed.