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NABOKOV, Vladimir.


Published: New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1955

Stock code: 82629

Price: £165,000.00

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This item is on show at 100 Fulham Road (map)

First American edition, annotated presentation copy to Véra, inscribed to her with a note in Russian, Véra’s duplicate on the half-title, and with a butterfly (genus Macusia, according to Johnson) drawn in pencil with an eyespot, complete with eyelashes in each of the four wing sections, in blue and green with red highlights in the two top sections. These eyelashes, Johnson notes, may be the lepidopteral equivalent of Lolita batting her lashes at Humbert: “There are in fact some Hairstreaks with the eyelash like ‘hairs’ along the front margin of the wing but, in reality, those eyelash-like structures are ‘hair pencils’—part of an apparatus that puts a scent into the air to attract a mate.” He continues, “That aside, the rest of the butterfly is imagined, but perhaps not completely. Its large eyespots are quite like those of the well-known European Peacock butterfly, one of Europe’s most colorful butterflies and well-known to Nabokov. Its name conjures the image of the magnificent eye-spotted tail feathers that bird uses to attract a mate.” Nabovok has labelled the front cover in heavy black marker, “Vé, corrected”, reflecting the nine emendations made throughout the text, listed by page number on the front endpaper in pencil and black ink, along with the note: “NB The locking of rooms in Part II, ch. 35 should be revised in accordance with Russian version.” With additional markings to four pages.

Octavo. Original paper-covered boards, black cloth backstrip lettered in gilt. With the dust jacket. Custom red morocco-backed slipcase and chemise. A very good copy in dust jacket.

Bibliography: Juliar A28.2.

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