The point is not that there were many such instances; I soon came to understand that all of them were such, even though I could grasp and connect only a few. Any practised reader of Nabokov learns quickly that coincidence is little more than a silly Latinism.
The main themes of this series are, therefore, design and migration. Because of the peregrine manner of Nabokov's life the sheer number of places at which he lived defies credulity; and if a peregrine photographer adds to his list significant sites from Nabokov's books, he will find himself staring at an equivalent of Joyce's Dublin (splendidly photographed by Delaney, by the way), but sprawling over both hemispheres.
I did not visit them all; the red line was not to be crossed, and even the picture of Nabokov's mother's grave in Prague was taken for me by an obliging student. But the sights that have been captured are curiously attachable, sometimes almost miraculously so, and if one examines them in certain thematic arrangements (not necessarily chronological), one is taken by the selfsame sensation of sharp strong sadness blended with stoical vigor and spirited by a gentle smile that Nabokov's novels invariably produce.
1. The Graveyards (7 images)These photographs are all copyright © 1995 by Gennady Barabtarlo and are protected by standard copyright laws that prohibit reproduction without the expressed written consent of the photographer. Visitors to Zembla wishing to acquire any of the images published here should write to the photographer at firstname.lastname@example.org stating the image's title, number and desired size. Most images are available in either color or grayscale (although the two may not be identical), and they will be custom-made and signed by the photographer. Price list upon request.
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