speak memory

the ten best ways to celebrate vladimir nabokov’s birthday.

by steff yotka

Hopefully you're spending today outside celebrating Earth Day, but let us recommend a little something to make your day even better: add a mini celebration of Vladimir Nabokov's birthday into the mix. 

The Russian-American author, who was born on this day in 1899, shaped modern literature and pop culture with books like the once-scandalous Lolita as well as his contributions to the fields of lepidoptery and chess. As a self-proclaimed Nabokov nerd, I'm definitely biased to love the writer's clever turns of phrase, solipsistic protagonists, and careful handling of language. But even if your a newbie to his oeuvre, his birthday definitely merits celebrating because it's a time to celebrate good things, from butterflies to books. 

So if I could advise one way to spend this day--and maybe this year--it'd be to read all the books, read all the stories, the poems, the chess problems...and then read them again. And then do all the other fun activities in the slideshow at right, because the easiest way to get inspired yourself is to keep your Nabokov notes in a butterfly notebook. 

READ: Speak, Memory

WRITE IN: Topshop Butterfly Journal

SHOP: Butterfly Taxidermy from The Evoltion Store

WEAR: Bass Elaina Oxfords

GET INSPIRED BY: Nabokov's Butterfly Drawings

READ: The Tragedy of Mister Morn

GET INSPIRED BY: Givenchy fall '14

photo by Alexey Lavrov

VISIT: Vyra, Russia

READ: Lolita