Photograph of Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov

(1899 - 1977)

Born into an aristocratic Russian family in St. Petersburg, Vladimir Nabokov published two collections of poetry before he and his family fled Russia for England in 1919, where he enrolled in Cambridge University. He published nine novels while living in Berlin and Paris during the twenties and thirties, and moved to the U.S. in 1940, becoming an associate professor of literature at Cornell University in 1948. Nabokov published Lolita in 1955, Pale Fire in 1962, and Ada in 1969.

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Vladimir Nabokov referred to Thomas Mann once as a “quack” and to Ezra Pound as “that total fake.”

The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea.

—Vladimir Nabokov, 1941

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