Science for Artists

Inspiration and Truth

Part of Nabokov’s letter, 1945

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Excerpt from The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Magister’s Pox Mending the Gap between Science and the Humanities By Gould, Stephen Jay (Book – 2003) page 164

My laboratory occupies half of the fourth floor. Most of it is taken up by rows of cabinets, containing sliding cases of butterflies. I am custodian of these absolutely fabulous collections. We have butterflies from all over the world… Along the windows extend tables holding my microscopes, test tubes, acids, papers, pins, etc. I have an assistant, whose amin task is spreading specimens sent by collectors. I work on my personal research… a study of the classification of American “blues” based on the structure of their genitalia (minuscule sculpturesque hooks, teeth, spurs, etc., visible only under the microscope), which I sketch in with the aid of various marvelous devices, variants fo the magic lantern… My work enraptures but utterly exhausts me… To know that no one before you has seen an organ you are examining, to trace relationships that have occurred to no one before, to immerse yourself in the wondrous crystalline world of the microscope, where silence reigns, circumscribed by its own horizon, a blindingly white area–all this is so enticing that I cannot describe it.

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Author: KC

I am Katarina Countiss, a multimedia designer. I like blogs, games, art and technology. I am curious about how things are made.

One thought on “Part of Nabokov’s letter, 1945

  1. Pingback: Nabokov, Professional Scientist and Amateur Author « Science for Artists

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