Nabokov 1899 - 1977 (78)

Life is a great sunrise. I do not see why death should not be an even greater one.



"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita."

Vladimir Nabokov (April 22, 1899 - July 2, 1977) was a Russian writer, famous all over the world for his novel Lolita. He was born in St. Petersburg in 1899, in an aristocratic family of powerful landowners with roots in the 14th century; his oldest ancestor was a Tartar prince. Vladimir was the first child in the family, followed by four others. He was trained by the best Russian pedagogues and was employed except his lessons, with the collection of butterflies, a hobby that would later become a profession. In his teens he also dealt with poetry, he wrote verses which were published in 1916. With the Bolsheviks prevailing in 1917 the family was forced to hide in the Crimea, and in 1919, after the White Army defeated by the Red, they left for the exterior, following the fate of many Russian aristocrats of that period.

Vladimir studied French and Russian literature at Trinity College in Cambridge and in 1922 he moved to Berlin, where his father published a Russian-language newspaper. In 1938, the rise of Nazism in Germany led Vladimir, his wife Vera and their son Dmitry to Paris. The capture of France by Hitler forced them to go to America in 1940; he taught there literature in various colleges such as Stanford and Harvard. In 1955 he wrote Lolita, that made him famous and gave him financial independence. Since 1959 he has been exclusively dedicated to writing. In 1973 he was honored with the American Medal of Literature.

Nabokov moved to Switzerland in 1961, he lived in the hotel "The Montraeux Palace Hotel" until 1977 when he died in a hospital after falling on the slopes of Davos while hunting butterflies.