Nabokronology Original of this document is at http://www.libraries.psu.edu/iasweb/nabokov/nabokr.htm The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.
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1899-1919 -- Russia
April 23: Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov born to Elena Rukavishnikov and Vladimir Dmitrievich Nabokov in St. Petersburg at 47 Bol'shaia Morskaia Ulitsa.
Birth of Sergei, VN's first brother. (Sergei would die in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945.)
Nabokov's mother brings her two young sons to Pau, France, to the estate of her brother Vassilii, known as Uncle Ruka. In 1916 Uncle Ruka would bequeath to VN an immense fortune that the latter would never see.
Arrival of VN's first English governess, Miss Rachel Home.
Birth of VN's first sister, Olga. In Speak, Memory, Nabokov notes that his first memories of childhood can be dated to 1903.
Arrival of "Mademoiselle," the Swiss governess from Lausanne who would stay with the Nabokovs until 1912.
Birth of VN's second sister, Elena.
Nabokov's father, a member of the first Duma, is imprisoned for ninety days after signing a political manifesto.
VN enters the Tenishev School.
Birth of VN's second brother, Kiril, who would die in Munich in 1964.
VN writes his first poem.
VN's first book of poetry, Stikhi (68 poems in Russian), is privately published in St. Petersburg.
Nabokov's father accepts a post in the Provisional Government after the Revolution.
November 2: VN and his brother Sergei leave St. Petersburg for the Crimea, where the family is offered refuge near Yalta on a friend's estate. His mother and sisters follow soon after.
1919-1939 -- Europe
The Nabokov family leaves Sebastopol in March on a ship bound for Constantinople, thence to London.
VN and his brother attend Cambridge University, Vladimir in Trinity College, Sergei in Christ College. The family is temporarily settled in England.
August: The Nabokov family moves to Berlin, where Nabokov's father will become editor of the Russian newspaper Rul' (The Rudder). It is in Rul' that many of VN's first prose works and translations of French and English poets will appear.
March 28: Nabokov's father is fatally shot during an assassination attempt on the politician Miliukov by right-wing monarchists. (Follow this link for a photograph of his tomb.)
June: Nabokov receives his degree from Cambridge in French and Russian.
VN moves to live with his family in Berlin.
Publication of Romain Roland, Colas Breugnon (translations from the French), Berlin: Slovo.
Publication of Grozd' (36 poems in Russian), Berlin: Gamaiun.
Nabokov's mother (along with his sister Elena) moves to Prague, where she is offered a government pension as the widow of V.D. Nabokov.
Publication of Gornii put' (The Empyrean Path) (128 poems in Russian), Berlin: Grani.
Publication of Skital'sy (The Wanderers) (Berlin, Grani), "a supposed translation of the first act of a play by the nonexistent English author 'Vivian Calmbrood' (anagram)" [DN]
Publication of Ania v strane chudes (Translation of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), Berlin: Gamaiun.
May 8: VN meets his future wife, VÉra Slonim, at a charity costume ball in Berlin.
May 20: Publication in Rul' of Smert' (Death), verse drama in two acts.
October 14: Publication in Rul' of Dedushka (The Grandad), verse drama in one act.
December 2: Publication in Rul' of Agasfer, "a dramatic monologue written as a prologue to a staged symphony" (VN's subtitle).
VN completes his first play, Tragediia Gospodina Morna (The Tragedy of Mister Morn), a verse drama in five acts.
April 6: Publication in Rul' of excerpts from the play.
August 14 and 16: Publication in Rul' of Polyus (The Pole), verse drama in one act.
April 25: VN and VÉra Slonim marry in Berlin.
September: Publication of the story "Draka" in Rul'.
VN writes Mashen'ka (Mary), his first novel.
February: Publication of the story "Britva" ("The Razor") in Rul'.
Publication of Mashen'ka (Berlin: Slovo).
VN's second play, Chelovek iz SSSR (The Man from the USSR), is produced in Berlin.
January 1: Publication in Rul' of act one only of Chelovek iz SSSR.
September: Publication of one chapter of Korol', dama, valet (King, Queen, Knave) in Rul'
Publication of Korol', dama, valet (Berlin: Slovo).
December: Publication in Rul' of "Rozhdestvenskii rasskaz" ("A Christmas Tale"), short story.
VN and his wife travel to Paris and then to the Eastern Pyrenees to hunt butterflies. VN begins work on Zashchita Luzhina (The Defense).
Publication of Vozvrashchenie Chorba (The Return of Chorb) (15 stories and 24 poems in Russian), Berlin: Slovo. Many of the stories had been previously published in Rul' from 1924-1927.
September: Publication in Rul' of one chapter of Zashchita Luzhina
Publication in Sovremennye zapiski (Contemporary Annals) (2), nos. 40-42 of Zashchita Luzhina
Publication in book form of Zashchita Luzhina (Berlin: Slovo).
Publication in Sovremennye zapiski No. 44 of Sogliadatai (The Eye), novel.
Publication in Sovremennye zapiski No. 45-48 of Podvig (Glory).
Publication in book form of Podvig (Paris: Sovremennye Zapiski).
Publication in Sovremennye zapiski no. 49-52 of Kamera obskura (Laughter in the Dark).
VN begins work on Dar (The Gift).
Publication in book form of Kamera obskura (Paris: Sovremennye zapiski).
Publication in Sovremennye zapiski no. 54-56 of Otchaianie.
May 10: Dmitri, VN's only child, is born.
Publication in book form of Otchaianie (Despair). Berlin: Petropolis.
Publication in Sovremennye zapiski no. 58-60 of Priglashenie na kazn' (Invitation to a Beheading).
VN and VÉra move to Paris to avoid the growing danger from Nazism. VN becomes involved with La Nouvelle Revue Francaise, meets Jean Paulhan and James Joyce, and composes in French an essay on Pushkin entitled Pouchkine, ou le vrai et le vraisemblable.
March: Publication in Poslednie novosti of short story "Podarok."
VN writes two plays produced in Russian in Paris: Sobytia (The Event) and Izobretenie Wal'sa (The Waltz Invention). Sobytia published in Russkie zapiski (Russian Annals) in April, Izobretenie Wal'sa in the same journal in November.
Publication in Sovremennye zapiski no. 63-67 of chapters 1, 2, 3, and 5 of Dar.
Publication in book form of Priglashenie na kazn'. Paris: Dom Knigi.
Publication in book form of Sogliadatai (novel, with twelve stories in Russian). Paris: Russkie zapiski.
Begins writing The Real Life of Sebastian Knight (in English).
VN composes in French "Mademoiselle O."
Composes Volshebnik (The Enchanter), "a first sketch on the Lolita theme."
1940-1960 -- America
Publication of the fragment Solus Rex (from an unfinished novel) in Sovremennye zapiski no. 70.
The Nabokovs leave for the United States on board the Champlain. VN begins his lepidopteral studies at the Museum of Natural History in New York. VN meets Edmund Wilson, who will introduce him to The New Yorker.
Publication of VN's fist English novel, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight (Norfolk, CT, New Directions).
Named researcher at Harvard University's Musuem of Coparative Zoology. Teaches Russian literature three days a week at Wellesley College.
Second fragment from Solus Rex, titled Ultima Thule, published in Novyi zhurnal no. 1, New York.
Publication of Nikolai Gogol (Norfolk, CT: New Directions).
Publication of Three Russian Poets, translations of Pushkin, Lermontov, and Tiutchev (Norfolk, CT: New Directions). (Follow this link for Nabokov's English translation of Tiutchev's poem "Silentium.")
VN and VÉra become American citizens.
Publication of Bend Sinister (New York: Holt).
Publication of Nine Stories, translations from the Russian and some composed in English (Norfolk, Direction Two).
VN is named professor of Russian and European Literature at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
Publication of Conclusive Evidence (New York: Harper).
Lolita, refused by four American publishers, is published in Paris by Olympia Press. (For a brief overview of Lolita's legal troubles, follow this link.)
Publication of Vesna v Fial'te (14 stories in Russian), New York: Chekhov.
Publication of Pnin (Garden City, NY: Doubleday).
An excerpt from Lolita published in the Anchor Review.
Publication of DN's and VN's translation of Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time (Garden City, NY: Doubleday).
Publication of Nabokov's Dozen (Garden City, NY: Doubleday).
Publication of Lolita in the United States (New York: Putnam).
Publication of Poems (Garden City, NY: Doubleday).
1960-1977 -- Switzerland
VN and VÉra leave the U.S. for Switzerland and settle in the Montreux Palace.
Publication of VN's translation of The Song of Igor's Campaign (New York: Random House).
Publication of Pale Fire (New York: Putnam).
The release of Stanley Kubrick's film version of Lolita, starring James Mason, Shelley Winters, Peter Sellers, and Sue Lyon. VN makes the cover of Newsweek.
Publication of VN's translation with commentary of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press/Bollingen Foundation).
Publication of Speak, Memory (New York: Putnam).
Publication of the first important critical works on Nabokov: Page Stegner's Escape into Aesthetics and Andrew Field's Nabokov, His Life in Art.
Publication of Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle (New York: McGraw-Hill). Nabokov makes the cover of Time.
Publication of Poems and Problems (39 poems in Russian and English, 14 poems in English, 18 chess problems) (New York: McGraw-Hill).
Publication of Transparent Things (New York: McGraw-Hill).
Publication of A Russian Beauty and Other Stories (13 stories, some translated from the Russian, some written directly in English) (New York: McGraw-Hill).
Publication of Strong Opinions (interviews, criticism, essays, letters) (New York: McGraw-Hill). (Follow this link for an Index to Strong Opinions.)
Publication of Lolita: A Screenplay, not used by Kubrick for the film (New York: McGraw-Hill).
Publication of Look at the Harlequins (New York: McGraw-Hill).
Publication of Tyrants Destroyed and Other Stories (14 stories, some from the Russian, some written in English) (New York: McGraw-Hill).
Publication of Details of a Sunset and Other Stories (13 stories, translated from the Russian) (New York: McGraw-Hill).
Nabokov dies July 2 in Lausanne. He is buried in Clarens, beneath a tombstone that reads "Vladimir Nabokov, Écrivain." (Follow this link for a photograph of his grave.)
Posthumously published works
The Nabokov-Wilson Letters, 1940-1971, ed. Simon Karlinsky. New York: Harper & Row. (Follow this link for an Index to the English and comprehensive German editions of the Nabokov-Wilson correspondence.)
Stikhi (222 poems composed in Russian from 1917-1974). Ann Arbor: Ardis.
Lectures on Literature, ed. Fredson Bowers (10 courses and essays on European writers). New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich/Bruccoli Clark.
Lectures on Russian Literature, ed. Fredson Bowers (22 courses and essays on Russian writers). New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich/Bruccoli Clark.
Lectures on Don Quixote, ed. Fredson Bowers (22 courses on Cervantes). San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich/Bruccoli Clark.
The Man from the USSR and Other Plays, ed. Dmitri Nabokov (4 plays translated from the Russian, 2 essays). Harcourt Brace Jovanovich/Bruccoli Clark.
Perepiska s sestroi (correspondence with his sister dating from 1930-1974). Ann Arbor: Ardis.
The Enchanter, translated by Dmitri Nabokov. New York: Putnam. (Original title: Volshebnik)
Selected Letters, 1940-1977, ed. Dmitri Nabokov and Matthew J. Bruccoli. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich/Bruccoli Clark.
Jugendwerke 1921-1924 (14 stories translated from the Russian) in ErzÄhlungen I, Gesammelte Werke, ed. Dieter E. Zimmer. Reinbek: Rowohlt. (Published in French in 1990 as La VÉnitienne et autres nouvelles.)
The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov. New York: Knopf.
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