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Source: TIME

Nabokov lived in the USA from 1940-1961. Here are the details of his American years:

In 1940, VN, Véra, and Dmitri, fled Paris for New York, narrowly escaping the invading Germans. In America, VN initially worked for the Museum of Natural History in New York, classifying butterflies. He published two papers, and was also paid by the Museum for his entomological drawings. During the summer of 1941, he taught creative writing at Stanford University, before securing an appointment as resident lecturer in comparative literature and instructor in Russian at Wellesley College. Later he would work at Harvard, first in an entomological capacity and later as visiting lecturer, and at Cornell, as professor of Russian and European literature, from 1948-1958.

During the 1940s, VN embarked upon a fruitful association with the New Yorker; in addition to his entomological work, he spent quite a bit of time preparing his lectures, and published a scholarly work on Gogol. It may be that his comparatively small output of fiction during this time was an adjustment to writing in English; VN would maintain that the Wellesley years were the happiest, and his scholarly pursuits were satisfying. In 1945, the Nabokov family became American citizens. He also compiled a memoir, published in 1951 as Conclusive Evidence (later revised and published as Speak, Memory.)

VN continued to pursue butterflies during his summer vacations, often in the Rocky Mountains. It was during these trips in the early 1950s that he composed the novel that would engrave his name in the American popular culture - Lolita. Initially, even the American publishing houses that admitted Lolita's literary virtues were unwilling to discover the legal ramifications of publishing a novel about a man's affair with his twelve-year old stepdaughter. Lolita was first published in France by Olympia Press in 1955, and generated a storm of moral outrage, as well as staunch and significant support for its artistic merit. Eventually published in American in 1958 (and in England the following year,) the Sturm und Drang over Lolita contributed to a remarkable popular success; it spent six months as the number one bestseller in America (displaced by Boris Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago.)

Although he glibly suggested about his Lolita that "she is the famous one, not I," profits from the sale of the novel, combined with the sale of the movie rights and a screenplay deal, enabled VN to retire from Cornell in 1959 and devote himself to writing.

From Zembla: VN Biography


Primary Works (complete works)

The annotated Lolita. Edited, with pref., introd., and notes by Alfred Appel, Jr. NY: McGraw-Hill, 1970. PS3527 .A15 L63

Vladimir Nabokov: selected letters, 1940-1977. Edited by Dmitri Nabokov and Matthew J. Bruccoli. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989. PS3527 .A15 Z48

The stories of Vladimir Nabokov. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995. PS3527 .A15 A6

Novels and memoirs, 1941-1951: The real life of Sebastian knight, Bend sinister, Speak memory an autobiography revisited. NY: Literary Classics of the United States, 1996. PS3527 .A15 A6

Novels, 1969-1974: Ada or ardor a family chronicle, Transparent things, Look at the harlequins! NY: Literary Classics of the United States, 1996. PS3527 .A15 A6

Novels, 1955-1962: Lolita, Pnin, Pale fire, Lolita a screenplay. NY: Literary Classics of the United States , 1996. PS3527 .A15 A6

Nabokov's butterflies: unpublished and uncollected writings. Edited and annotated by Brian Boyd and Robert Michael Pyle; new translations from the Russian by Dmitri Nabokov. Boston: Beacon Press, 2000. QL542 .N33

Dear Bunny, dear Volodya: the Nabokov-Wilson letters, 1940-1971. Edited, annotated, and with an introductory essay by Simon Karlinsky. Berkeley: U of California P, 2001. PG3476 .N3 Z548 2001 In Library

Selected Bibliography 2000-Present

Blackwell, Stephen H. Zina's Paradox: The Figured Reader in Nabokov's Gift. NY: Peter Lang, 2000.

- - -. The Quill and the Scalpel: Nabokov's Art and the Worlds of Science. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 2009.

Boyd, Brian. Stalking Nabokov. NY: Columbia UP, 2011.

de la Durantaye, Leland. Style Is Matter: The Moral Art of Vladimir Nabokov. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 2007.

Dragunoiu, Dana. Vladimir Nabokov and the Poetics of Liberalism. Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 2011.

Hägglund, Martin. Dying for Time: Proust, Woolf, Nabokov. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2012.

Hardy, James D, Jr.. 'Light of My Life': Love, Time and Memory in Nabokov's Lolita. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2011.

Khrustcheva, Nina L. Imagining Nabokov: Russia Between Art and Politics. New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 2008.

Ladenson, Elisabeth. Dirt for Art's Sake: Books on Trial from Madame Bovary to Lolita. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 2007.

Leving, Yuri. Marketing Literature and Posthumous Legacies: The Symbolic Capital of Leonid Andreev and Vladimir Nabokov. Lanham, MD: Lexington, 2013.

Mazierska, Ewa. Nabokov's Cinematic Afterlife. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2011.

Mooney, Susan. The Artistic Censoring of Sexuality: Fantasy and Judgment in the Twelfth-Century Novel. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 2008.

Nafisi, Azar. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books. NY: Random House, 2003.

Naiman, Eric. Nabokov, Perversely. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 2010.

Pitzer, Andrea. The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov. NY: Pegasus, 2013.

Rampton, David. Vladimir Nabokov: A Literary Life. NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

Rutledge, David S. Nabokov's Permanent Mystery: The Expression of Metaphysics in His Work. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2011.

Uhlmann, Anthony. Thinking in Literature: Joyce, Woolf, Nabokov. NY: Continuum, 2011.

Zanganeh, Lila A. The Enchanter: Nabokov and Happiness. NY: Norton, 2011.

MLA Style Citation of this Web Page

Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 10: Vladimir Nabokov." PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. URL: http://www.paulreuben.website/pal/chap10/nabokov.html (provide page date or date of your login).

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