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Vladimir Nabokov; Road-tripping through the American Southwest
Vladimir Nabokov led a peripatetic life, from his childhood in Russia, which included summer jaunts to the French Riviera, to his ex-pat years in Berlin, Paris, America, and, finally, Switzerland. But, in an interview with The Paris Review, Nabokov described himself as being "as American as April in Arizona." Which, April in Arizona? What was Nabokov doing in Arizona? Is there any place that seems less apropos for the elite literary lion? Well, what he was doing, of course, was stalking butterflies. Beyond being a writer, Nabokov was a lepidopterist, and indeed also told TPR that "The pleasures and rewards of literary inspiration are nothing beside the rapture of discovering a new organ under the microscope or an undescribed species on a mountainside in Iran or Peru. It is not improbable that had there been no revolution in Russia, I would have devoted myself entirely to lepidopterology and never written any novels at all." So, make like Nabokov this summer and explore the wilds of the American Southwest (by car, naturally, a la Humbert and Lolita) and search for the flying, fleeting creatures that Nabokov so loved.