Fine Lines: Vladimir Nabokov's Scientific Art, by Stephen H Blackwell, Kurt Johnson
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 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.
This book is a lovely object. Even for the non-specialist, it’s impossible to thumb through Fine Lines without catching an infectious sense of punctiliousness married to passion. . . . Nabokov’s creatures are a blissful, winged confluence of earth and air, appetite and beauty.”— Washington Post
“This detailed and gorgeous volume of Nabokov’s scientific achievements inspires both artistic and aesthetic appreciation for readers, historians, and scientists alike.”—Publishers Weekly
One of [Nabokov’s] deepest passions was studying butterflies. . . . Fine Lines honours his dedication to the delicate creatures. The book is a collection of more than 150 of his scientific illustrations of butterflies, rivalling John James Audubon in their detail.”—Danny Lewis, Smithsonian.