Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov is a Russian and American writer, poet, playwright, translator and literary critic. In his works still staged performances and make films.

Interestingly, Nabokov was nominated 4 times in a row for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Alexander Solzhenitsyn even wrote a letter to the committee so that the writer would be nominated for the prestigious award for the fifth time, but this did not produce any results.

Nabokov’s biography has a lot of interesting things, and we’ll tell you about all this right now.

So before you short biography of Vladimir Nabokov.

Writer Vladimir Nabokov

Biography Nabokov

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was born on April 10, 1899 in Petersburg. He grew up in a rich noble family.

His father, Vladimir Dmitrievich, was a famous Russian lawyer and politician. Mother, Elena Ivanovna, was the daughter of a gold producer, who owned a huge fortune.

In addition to Vladimir, 2 more boys and 2 girls were born in the Nabokov family.

Childhood and youth

The childhood of the future writer was held in a warm and carefree atmosphere. The family lived in a large three-story house, furnished with expensive furniture.

In the summer, little Volodya, together with his parents, repeatedly traveled abroad to rest.

8-year-old Volodya Nabokov, 1907

An interesting fact is that all members of the family spoke in three languages: French, English and Russian. Nabokov's parents paid serious attention to the education of children, prompting them to read many books.

In addition to literature, Vladimir liked to play tennis and football, as well as ride a bike.


The first educational institution in the biography of Vladimir Nabokov was the Tenishev School, in which Osip Mandelstam once studied.

The most favorite subject of Nabokov, after literature, was entomology, since he liked to observe insects and study their vital activity.

Later, the young man even began collecting butterflies, which he caught with a net on the street. Interestingly, in his works he often mentioned these amazing creatures.

While still a student at the school, Vladimir Nabokov published a collection of Poems, which was the first in his biography. It contained about 70 poems.

It is worth noting that the teacher of Russian literature criticized the student’s work and advised Vladimir to do something else. However, despite harsh criticism, the future writer still continued to write poems.

Vladimir Nabokov in his youth

On the eve of the October Revolution of 1917, the Nabokov family decided to move to the Crimea, because they felt the coming changes.

It was there that the poet was able to achieve success in the writing field. His works were published in various newspapers, as well as used for theatrical productions.

In 1918, the almanac “Two Ways” was published from the pen of Vladimir Nabokov, in collaboration with the little-known poet Andrei Balashov.

Soon he begins to be interested in the metric theory of Andrei Bely, who, along with Valery Bryusov, was a leading figure in Russian symbolism and modernism. Later, Nabokov will try to apply this theory in his own works.


When the Bolsheviks headed by Vladimir Lenin came to power in the newly formed USSR, the Nabokov family had to leave Russia and go to Berlin, which at that time contained many Russian immigrants.

At this time, the biography of a young man enters the University of Cambridge and successfully finishes it. After receiving a diploma, he begins to work as an English teacher, as well as engage in translation activities.

Creativity Nabokov

In 1926, Nabokov presented his first novel, Masha, in which the problem of love was addressed. It should be noted that he sent his work to Ivan Bunin, whom he considered to be his mentor.

He wanted to hear the opinion of a famous Russian writer about his book, but he did not wait for a response from the classic.

Vladimir Nabokov in America

After that, Vladimir Vladimirovich continues to write novels and publish them in the publication "Modern Notes". An interesting fact is that initially it was published under the pseudonym "Sirin".

When Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany in the mid-1930s, Nabokov again had to change his place of residence. As a result, he moved from Germany to France, and from there to the USA.

In the period of the biography of 1940-1958. He teaches at American universities.

Pupils listened with great interest to his lectures, since he possessed not only deep knowledge, but also the ability to present any information beautifully.

Becoming a writer, Vladimir Nabokov formed his own style of writing works.

He described in detail the character and emotions of the characters, and also tried to complete the plot in some unpredictable outcome. Anton Chekhov and Fyodor Dostoevsky worked in a similar manner.

In 1955 one of the most famous novels in Nabokov's biography, Lolita, was published. In it intertwined philosophy and expertly veiled erotica.

Nabokov described the love of an adult man to a teenage girl, speaking of difficult things with simple words.

The book was so successful that the author decided to translate it into Russian. Interestingly, in some countries the novel was banned, because the censors considered his plot pornographic.

Some biographers of Nabokov believe that he was left without a Nobel Prize precisely because of his "Lolita". Nevertheless, based on this book, 2 films were shot that were very popular with the viewer.

Personal life

From a young age, Vladimir Nabokov repeatedly started love affairs with girls. In 1922, at the age of 23, he began dating Svetlana Sievert, after which he proposed to her.

However, Svetlana's parents were against her getting married to Nabokov, because he did not have a permanent job.

After 3 years, he married a Jewish woman, Vera Slonim, who was an educated and intelligent girl. In this marriage, they had a boy, Dmitri (1934), who in the future became an opera singer and translator.

Vladimir Nabokov and Vera Solonim

Interestingly, Vera, as well as Nabokov, loved butterflies. That is why she repeatedly caught them with her spouse, sharing his hobby.

Vladimir Nabokov was interested in chess and was a very strong player. Later, he even published a book with many interesting chess problems.

The writer Nabokov himself spoke of himself in the following way:

I am an American writer, born in Russia, educated in England, where I studied French literature before moving to Germany for fifteen years.

And further:

My head speaks English, my heart speaks Russian, and my ear speaks French.


At the end of his life, Nabokov lived and worked in Switzerland. During this period, two biographies were written by him: "Pale Fire" (1961) and "Hell" (1969).

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov died July 2, 1977 from a progressive bronchial infection. He was 78 years old.

His body is cremated and buried in Switzerland at Klaran cemetery.

Watch the video: NABOKOV: MY MOST DIFFICULT BOOK (March 2020).