A Linked Legacy

IMG_3124In the magazine Nautilus, Mary Ellen Hannibal writes about the author Vladimir Nabokov and his study of butterflies: “Nabokov once wrote that, had he not left Russia, he might have spent his life entirely on lepidoptery, and not fiction.” It was in Nabokov’s hometown of Vyra that his father introduced him to butterflies and, having left Russia forever, he longed for home for his whole life. In her article, Hannibal asks, “So, at heart, was Nabokov a scientist or an artist? Asked that question once, he expressed puzzlement: ‘There can be no science without fancy,’ he replied, and ‘no art without facts.'”

Artists have been responding to nature since our human beginnings. Being grounded in the natural world makes for art that’s located in the real, which is an ideal springboard into imagination, the natural world being infused with mystery. The earth provides something actual to work with, to respond to, to springboard from. A fine way to get to know a place is to engage and interact with it intimately, and making art will do that for us. Especially in Spring!

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3 thoughts on “A Linked Legacy

    1. Well now, this post sounds awlfuly familiar to me probably because I find myself in pretty much the same predicament except I AM still buying books (not excessively, but enough to see little piles popping up). To make matters worse, this week I’ve been looking for books I know I own but can’t find which means I browse through my own shelves and discover books I bought ages ago and haven’t gotten around to reading, and all of a sudden they sound like Just What I’m in the Mood for. It is a vicous cycle and I told myself I wasn’t going to start any new books this month (well just a few planned ones) but books from my bookroom seem to be creeping into my bedroom. And I have 30! Yes, that’s right 30! (that’s a number that requires an ! I think) books out from the public library. And that doesn’t count the books I have checked out from the library where I work. No wonder I’ve been feeling stressed. I’m not sure what the solution is since I can tell myself I’m not going to do something all I want, but I know I will turn around and do it anyway. I wish my determination in other aspects of my life extended to books.

  1. It seems many of us have the same problems. I’ve been trnyig to whittle down my library to the essentials, sentimental copies, and collectibles. But, I have TBR piles in several places and a box of books I plan to read and get rid of. When I get around to it.I almost never buy books, but my local used book store takes books in trade, so I constantly have a credit balance to spend there. After forty years together, my husband has given up on buying me jewelry and other stuff’ and gives me Amazon gift certificates. You know what I do with them, right? Ideally, I’m buying books for my Kindle, not physical books. That brings me to reading on my Kindle. If I do that, I feel like I’m cheating on my TBR piles.And then there’s the public library. I do exactly what you do: put tons of things on hold and read them before books on my TBR piles. I think it’s the due date, too, and the fact that I feel the librarians expect me to read what I borrow. Will there be a quiz? Add to all this the fact that I’m not a kid anymore, not by a long shot, so I have that nagging feeling that I may never get around to reading all of Shakespeare, Proust, the Bible, etc.I’d say this was all self-inflicted, but we have a disease, don’t we? We can’t be any different because it’s in our natures to read and love books.

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