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Nabokov's Whereabouts

by Dieter E. Zimmer

October 12, 2012

 

This has been a list-in-progress ever since its inception in the early 1990s, when I began it as one of the tools needed for editing Nabokov's Collected Works in German (Gesammelte Werke, Rowohlt Verlag, 23 volumes from 1889 to 2013). Since 1997 its various stages were published in Zembla. The last addition there was made in 2004; all further additions are collected on this webpage. Most of the addresses have been culled from Brian Boyd's stupendous two-volume biography, others from Nabokov's memoir Speak, Memory and from his published letters, some from Stacy Schiff's Véra and from Nabokov's Letters to Véra, from Berlin directories of the time and the rest from various other sources.

1899-1917       

Bolshaya Morskaya 47, St. Petersburg, Russia

1903        

(September) With family to Paris and to Nice

1904

(early summer) Family travels to Paris and Beaulieu (stay at Hotel Bristol) and on to Abbazia (today Opatija, Croatia), where they stay at Villa Neptune or Villa Apollo, owned or rented by Ivan de Peterson, a relative. Later that year they travel on to Wiesbaden, where for several months they stay at Hotel Oranien

1905

(early) Return to St. Petersburg

(autumn and winter) Because of the rioting in St. Petersburg, the family remains at the estate of Vyra. Arrival of governess Cécile Miauton ("Mademoiselle")

1906-1907        

(autumn) Family moves to a 1st floor apartment at Sergievskaya Street 38 (today Chaikovskogo Prospect) near Taurid Garden for a year, to get away from Mariinskaya Square, the place of bloodshed during the 1905 uprising; the house (then dove-blue, today yellow) Nabokov later gave to the pretty young aunt who teaches Luzhin chess (in The Defense)

1907        

(autumn) With family in a rented apartment in Biarritz

1909

(two months in autumn) With family in a rented villa in Biarritz

1910

(August to January 1911) With family to Bad Kissingen, Germany, and then with tutor Filip Zelenski ("Lenski") for three months to Berlin, first at Hotel Adlon, Unter den Linden 1, then at a "pension moderne" on Privatstrasse (today Bissingzeile), a lane off Potsdamer Strasse near Potsdamer Brücke, to get his teeth fixed by the American "orthodontist" Dr. W. G. Law (remembered by Nabokov as "Lowen" or "Lowell") on In den Zelten 18a, Berlin-Tiergarten (today site of the Bundeskanzleramt)

1911

(August) Elena Nabokov and children stay with her sister-in-law Elizaveta Sayn-Wittgenstein at Kamenka, the Sayn-Wittgenstein estate in S.W. Russia (near Popelyukha, province of Podolsk)

1911-1917       

Attends Tenishev (High) School on 33–35 Mokhovaya Street, St. Petersburg

1913           

(Autumn) Nabokov's paternal grandmother Maria Korff sells her estate Batovo to a saw-mill and moves to a townhouse in Gatchina. The mansion at Batovo burns down in 1925

1914           

In Speak, Memory, Nabokov tells he wrote his "first poem" ("Rain flew ...") in summer 1914, in the pavillon of the Old Park at Vyra. Actually, it was written in 1917 when he had been composing verses for three years. In 1914 he had been writing other poems, all lost

1917

(November 15 N.S.) To get away from revolutionary ongoings in St. Petersburg for a while, Vladimir and his brother Sergey leave the city for the Crimea, by the Simferopol Express via Moscow. Their father takes them to the Nikolaevski station to see them off

(November 18) Arrival on the Crimea, stay at the estate of Countess Sofia Panin in Gaspra near the village of Koreis (5 miles from Yalta)

1918        

(summer) Spends time at the nearby domain of Oleis with Lidiya Tokmakov

(late September) Move to the former imperial domain of Livadia at the outskirts of Yalta

1919

(April 15) The family leaves Sevastopol for Constantinople and then on to Piraeus, Greece, on the Greek vessel 'Nadezhda' (Hope)

(May 18–23) On Cunard liner S.S. 'Pannonia' from Piraeus to Marseilles and by train on to Paris

(May 27) The whole family crosses from Le Havre to Southampton

(from June) Father rents apartment at 55 Stanhope Gardens, South Kensington, London; later at 6 Elm Park Gardens, Chelsea, London

(from October 1) Enrollment at Trinity College, Cambridge; rooms at Great Court R6 (= staircase R, set 6); shares his room with Mikhail Kalashnikov

1920        

(from early August to September 5, 1921) c/o V. D. Nabokoff, Egerstrasse 1, Berlin-Grunewald. V. D. Nabokoff's mother Maria Ferdinandovna Korff who has escaped from the Russian turmoils in a freight car and comes to lodge with the family but after V. D. Nabokoff'as death moves to Dresden and from Dresden to Romania    

1921        

(June 13) From Cambridge to Berlin, to join his parents

(September 5) V. D. Nabokoff and his family move to Sächsische Strasse 67, Berlin-Wilmersdorf

(October 7) Back to Cambridge, Trinity Lane

(December 8) With his Cambridge friend Bobby De Calry (Count Robert Louis Magawly-Cerati) to Switzerland (Champéry and St. Moritz) for an ice-skating and skiing holiday; return trip to Berlin via Lausanne where both of them go to see Cécile Miauton, Nabokov's former governess ("Mademoiselle") 

1922

(January 17) Back to Cambridge for the Lent term

(March 18) Back to Berlin for the Easter vacation

(March 28) Assassination of Vladimir Dmitrievich Nabokov by two Russian monarchists (Peter Shabelsky-Bork and Sergey Taboritsky) in the Berlin Philharmonie, Bernburger Strasse 22/23, during a meeting of the exiled Constitutional Democratic Party; the actual target was the party's founder, Pavel Milyukov, who got away unhurt

(March 30) Memorial service at the church of the Russian Embassy, Unter den Linden

(March 31) Memorial service at the chapel of the Russian Cemetery in Berlin-Tegel

(April 20) Back to Cambridge

(June 21) After final examinations (second-class honors), return from Cambridge to join his widowed mother still living with her children at Sächsische Strasse 67, Berlin-Wilmersdorf

(July) With Svetlana Siewert's mother Klavdia and her family at Bad Rotherfelde, a summer resort in the Teutoburger Wald

 

1923        

(January 9) Urged by her father, mining engineer Roman Siewert, Nabokov's eighteen year old fiancée since 1922 Svetlana Romanovna Siewert (1905-2000) breaks off her engagement to him; thus his visits to the Siewert family at Berlin-Lichterfelde, Ringstrasse 77, come to an abrupt end

(April 4) Reading his work at Schubertsaal, Bülowstrasse 104, Berlin-Schöneberg (in the Deutsches Zahnärztehaus)

(May 9, Wednesday) Meets Vera Evseevna Slonim at an emigré charity ball at Tanzpalast "Fiametta" in Berlin-Halensee, Kurfürstendamm 119/120, from 9 p.m. till morning. It was a masked ball; she wore a black mask with a wolf's profile which she never lowered that evening. They walk homewards together to Berlin-Wilmersdorf as far as Hohenzollernplatz, he going to his mother's flat on Sächsische Strasse 67, she to her family's flat on Landhausstrasse 41, Berlin W. (The Nabokovs later insisted the ball was on May 8)

(mid-May to late July) Works as a farm hand at the Domaine de Beaulieu (vinyards and orchards belonging to Bespalov and managed by Solomon Samoylovich Krym) near Solliès-Pont, Alpes Maritimes, France, c. 15 km NE of Toulon

(late July) In Marseille

(August 19) Back in Berlin, Sächsische Strasse 67

(October) Without any means to continue her life in Berlin, Nabokov's mother, Elena Nabokoff, relocates with her youngest daughter (Elena) to Prague where she and other prominent Russian refugees were offered a modest government pension; her other daughter (Olga) follows; Sergei is still in England. First they live in the villa of Czech statesman Karel Kramař, then in a small and bare apartment at Třida Svornosti 37, Smíchov district, on the west bank of the Vltava river

(December 29) Nabokov escorts his youngest brother  Kirill and the girls' governess Evgenia Konstantinovna Hofeld (1884-1957) on their move to Prague. There he spends his time writing much of the Tragedy of Mr. Morn. His return to Berlin is delayed mainly because he lacks the money for the return trip and because without sufficient funds he would not be able to rent a room for himself, the hyperinflation being over

1924

(January 27) Finally returns by train from Prague to Berlin, Anhalter Bahnhof

(from January 31) Pension Helene Andersen, Lutherstrasse 21, third floor, Berlin-Charlottenburg

(c. August 17 to August 28) Visiting with his mother in Prague who temporarily has relocated the family to a single room in an expensive hotel in the vicinity, at Dobřichovice

(from late August) Pension Elisabeth Schmidt, Trautenaustrasse 9, Berlin-Wilmersdorf

1925

(from April to late July) Luitpoldstrasse 13, Berlin-Schöneberg, 2 rooms, c/o canned goods merchant Erich Rölke

(April 15) Married to Véra Slonim, at the townhall of Berlin-Wilmersdorf, Brandenburgische Straße

(August 1 to c. August 15) With Véra to meet his family at Villa Kaura 60, Radošovica near Prague

(August) Escorted his pupil Alexander (Shura) Sack to the beach resort of Zoppot (now Sopot) near Gdansk

(August 27 to c. September 4) Hiking tourwith his pupil Alexander (Shura) Sack across the Schwarzwald: Freiburg (Hotel Romanischer Kaiser), Döggingen, Boll,  Reiselfingen, Titisee, Feldberg, St. Blasien, Wehr, Todtmoos (Gasthaus Adler), Säckingen, Waldshut, Konstanz

(September 4 to September 12) Constance, Pension Zeiss, Neuhausenstrasse 14

(from September 30) Motzstrasse 31, Berlin-Schöneberg: 2 rooms, c/o Frau M. v. Lepel (a major's widow)

(from c. December 25 to January 3, 1926) Skiing with Véra and Sergey Kaplan in Krummhübel (Silesia), today Karpacz (Poland)

1926

(March 21) Publication of Mashenka

(June 2 – c. 20 July) While Véra is away in several sanatoria in the Black Forest, mostly in St. Blasien and Todtmoos, VN stays in a Russian pension on Nürnberger Straße

(June) Preparing an article on Soviet fiction, VN takes out a kind of subscription at a Russian bookstore and lending library, "Ladyzhnikov", Rankestrasse 33, Berlin-Charlottenburg, that allows him to borrow as many recent Russian books as he wishes

(July 13) Participating as defendant in a mock trial, staged by the Union of Russian Journalists and Writers, of Pozdnyshev, the hero Tolstoi's 'Kreutzer Sonata', in the Schubert-Saal, Bülowstrasse 104, in the Deutsches Zahnärztehaus, the same address as the other favorite lecture hall of Russian Berlin, the Guttmann-Saal which was dedicated mainly to Jewish events

(summer) Chaperoning two boys, Abraham (13) and Joseph (11) Bromberg, in the Baltic sea resort of Binz, on Rügen island (the Bromberg parents in Leipzig were cousins of Véra's family, the Feigins). After the children left, the Nabokovs for a short while moved on to the nearby Pomeranian resort of Misdroy (today Międzyzdroje, Poland)

(from autumn) Passauer Strasse 12, Berlin-Charlottenburg: 2 rooms, c/o merchant Horst von Dallwitz

191   1927

(summer) Again chaperoning the two Bromberg boys in the Baltic seaside resort of Binz on Rügen island, living in a fisherman's house, collecting butterflies in the Granitz, a beach forest on a hill with a cliff coast SE of Binz, and conceiving his second novel, Korol, dama, valet

1928

(several weeks in July) at the Baltic seaside resort of Misdroy (today Międzyzdroje, Poland), together with Mikhail and Elizaveta Kaminka

(September/October) Publication of Korol, dama, valet

1929

(February 8 to June 24) In Southern France, first at the Hôtel Établissement Thermal in Le Boulou (Pyrénées Orientales), from April 24 at Saurat (Ariège)

(July) Nabokov and his wife spend the remainder of the summer (working on The Defense) in the postman's shack at the village of Colberg (today Kolberg), about 35 miles SE of Berlin, after they had acquired a tiny lot of land on a nearby lake (Ziest-See) where they hoped to build a sort of dacha. After some time, the land reverted to the seller for lack of payment

(from late August to early 1932) Luitpoldstrasse 27, Berlin-Schöneberg, 2 rooms (parlor and bedroom) in the "vast and gloomy" apartment of Oberstleutnant a. D. Albrecht v. Bardeleben

(December 15) Publication of Vozvrashchenie Chorba       

1930

(c. May 10 to May 25) Visiting his mother in Prague, 64-I Palackeho Třida, Karlin

(September) Publication of Zashchita Luzhina 

1932

(from early) Westfälische Strasse 29, Berlin-Wilmersdorf, 1 room, c/o Cohn family

(April 3 to April 20) Visiting his mother in Prague, 64-I Palackeho Třida, Karlin

(April 22) Reading scenes from 'Faust' during a Goethe memorial evening in the Guttmann-Saal, Bülowstrasse 104, in the Deutsches Zahnärztehaus (the same address as the Schubert-Saal, the other favorite lecture hall of Russian émigré writers in Berlin)

(May 7) Traveling to Dresden for a reading in the basement of a Russian church

(from July 31 to January 18, 1937) Nestorstrasse 22, 3rd floor, left, Berlin-Wilmersdorf, 2 rooms, c/o Véra Nabokov's (Slonim) cousin Anna Feigin

(early in October to October 21) Vacationing with Véra in Kolbsheim, Alsace, 8 miles west of Strasbourg, in a cottage where between 1928 and 1933 his cousin Nicolas ("Nika") Nabokov and his wife Nathalie ("Natasha") spent much of their summer holidays. The cottage at the end of the village (Villa Oda) had been given to him by Alexander Grunelius (a wealthy French-German businessman) and his wife Antoinette Grunelius née Schlumberger, owners of early 18th century Schloss Kolbsheim, rebuilt and redecorated, with its renowned landscaped gardens, with whom "Nika" had been friends since 1923. He also entertained other composers and writers like Milhaud, Prokoviev, Hindemith, Désormière and Cocteau

(October 21 to November 13) On a reading and networking tour to Paris and Belgium, lodging with his cousin Nicolas Nabokov, 9 rue Jacques-Mawas, Paris 15e

(November 2) The first of VN's occasional visits to his aunt Nina Dmitrievna Kolomeitsev née Nabokov, ex Rausch von Traubenberg, at her apartment on 16, avenue de la Grande Armée, Paris

(November 4 to 26) Uncomfortably lodging in the crammed apartment of Nikolay Nikolaevich ("Koka") Rausch von Traubenberg (1880-1943) and his family, 122 Boulevard Murat, Paris 16e. The family consisted of "Koka" himself, his wife Maria née Menzelintsev (1884-1970) and the children Alexander Nikolaevich (1909-1965) from Koka's first marriage to Olga Ebeling and of Maria Obolensky (1914-1946) whom his second wife had brought into the marriage. "Koka" was the brother-in-law of VN's paternal aunt Nina Dmitrievna Nabokov, married first to Evgenii Alexander Rausch von Traubenberg ("uncle Zhenya") and then to ex-admiral Nikolai Nikolaevich Kolomeitsev.

(November 6) Publication of Podvig

(November 13–26) Still in Paris, as a houseguest of Ilya Fondaminsky, 1 rue Chernoviz, Passy

(November 26–29) Readings in Antwerp and Brussels, Belgium

(November 30) Back in Berlin

1933

(December) Publication of Kamera obskura

1934  

(May 10) Son Dmitri Nabokov born in private clinic Dr. Friedrich Grambow, Berchtesgadener Straße 25, Berlin-Schöneberg  

1936

(January 21) Leaves for a lecture tour to Belgium and France. In Brussels he stays with Zinaida Shakhovskoy, the sister of Nicolas Nabokov's first wife Nathalie, and her husband, at 4, rue Washington. In Antwerp he gives a reading on January 27, not staying overnight

(January 29) From Brussels by train to Paris where he stays with Ilya Fondaminsky, 130 Avenue de Versailles, Paris 16e

(February 16-18) To Brussels once more, for another reading, then back to Paris

(February 20) Publication of Otchaianie

(February 28, Friday) Leaving Paris by train at 22:45, arriving in Berlin-Charlottenburg on Saturday, February 29, at 17:19. Back to wife and son in Berlin, Nestorstrasse 22, after 39 days of lecturing and networking abroad

1937

(January 18) Leaves for another lecture and networking tour to Brussels, Paris, London and again Paris, with the intent never to return to Germany

(February 20 to March 1) On a networking trip to London, staying at the apartment of Maria Zetlin, Notting Hill, 15 Princes House, 52 Kensington Park Road

(c. February 25) One day visit to Cambridge and Trinity College

(March 2 to May 20) Paris, c/o Ilya Fondaminsky, 130 avenue de Versailles, Paris 16e

(April 1) Véra and Dmitri leave their rooms in Nestorstrasse and temporarily move to Osnabrücker Strasse 21, Berlin-Charlottenburg, c/o Prof. Geballe

(May 6) Véra and Dmitri leave Berlin for Prague. Nabokov is still waiting for the necessary passports, cartes d'identité and permis de séjour to travel from Paris to Prague and back to France with his family

(May 20, Thursday, 10 p.m.) Finally is able to leave Paris by train for Chekhoslovakia via Switzerland and Austria (in order to avoid Germany), arriving in Prague on Saturday, May 22, 6:20 a.m. where he meets Véra, Dmitri, his mother and her companion Evgenia Konstantinova Hofeld and his sister Olga. All of them are staying at his mother's two-room flat, Koulova 8, Dejvice-Praha

(end of May to June 18) With Véra and Dmitri at Hotel Egerländer, Franzensbad

(June 18 to June 23) Nabokov alone returns to Prague where he sees his mother for the last time, Koulova 8, Dejvice-Praha

(June 23 to June 29) With Véra and Dmitri at Villa Busch, Marienbad

(June 30 to July 7) Taking the train with Véra and Dmitri to Paris, c/o Ilya Fondaminsky, 130 avenue de Versailles. Though he had planned to go via Austria, Switzerland and Italy straight to Nice, they travel through Germany via Strasbourg to Paris because thus the fare is cheaper

(July 8 to end of July) Hôtel des Alpes, rue Saint-Dizier and rue Georges Clemenceau, Cannes

(c. July 14) Nabokov confesses to Véra his affair with Irina Guadanini-Kokoshkin of which she had heard before and about which she had received a four-page anonymous letter, possibly by Irina's mother. After a stormy scene, he decides to stay with his family."The worst evening of his entire life" (Brian Boyd, VNAY, p.440). Still he continues to write to Irina

(end of July) VN, Véra and Dmitri move to a two room apartment at 81 rue Georges Clemenceau, opposite the Hôtel des Alpes

(c. September 2) Urged by her mother, Irina travels to Cannes in the hope of eloping with VN. She meets him on his way from the apartment to the beach for a morning swim with Dmitri, but he tells her to go. She does not but remains sitting on the beach a few steps from Nabokov, Véra and Dmitri. They ignore her and a few hours later leave for lunch

(mid-October) On to Menton, Pension Les Hespérides, Place Saint-Roche

       

1938

(second week of July) By bus to Hôtel de la Poste, Moulinet, Alpes Maritimes

(late August) Fleeing from the sanitary conditions at Moulinet, they move to Villa Les Cyprès, 18 Chemin de l'Ermitage, Cap d'Antibes. Writes the Russian play Izobretenie Val'sa (The Waltz Invention) in September, to be produced by the Russian theater in Paris in 1939, WWII throttling these plans. (The protagonist's name is Val's)

(October 2) Publication of Sogliadatai

(mid-October) From Cap d'Antibes to the farmhouse of Mikhail and Elizaveta Kaminka at L'Honor de Cas near Montauban

(late October) To a one room flat in Paris 16e, 8 rue de Saigon

(November 17) Publication of Proglashenie na kazn'

1939

(from mid-February) Hôtel Royal Versailles, 31 rue Le Marois, Paris 16e

(April 1 to last week) In London, in search of employment, staying with Evgeny Sablins, 5 Brechin Place, Kensington, London SW 7, until April 16 and from April 17 with Michael and Maria Zetlin, 47 Grove End Gardens, London NW 8

(from late April) Back to 59 rue Boileau, Paris 16e, dingy and empty 2 room apartment

(May 2) Elena Ivanovna Nabokov dies in a Prague hospital from an abscess on the lung

(May 31–June 14) In London again, in search of employment, staying with Vera Haskell, 22 Hornton Street, South Kensington

(between June 17 and 25 to September 2) With some money unexpectedly coming in from the sale of one of his stories to an American magazine (Esquire?), the Nabokovs could afford a summer vacation in the South, first going to the Pension Briandon in Seythenex (Haute-Savoie), near Albertville, and then to a Russian pension (Rodnoy) in Fréjus (Var), on the French Riviera, chasing butterflies and revising The Waltz Invention. They returned to their little Paris apartment the day before  the outbreak of WWII on September 3

(from September 2) Back in Paris, 59 rue Boileau

1940

(May 19) On CGT (Compagnie Générale Transatlantique) liner 'Champlain' from St. Nazaire to New York. (On June 14, German troops will occupy Paris. On June 17, the 'Champlain' was sunk by a German torpedo on her way back to Europe.)

(May 26) The 'Champlain' anchors off Quarantine in New York Harbor.

(May 27) Arrival in New York City. Subsequently several days c/o Nathalie Nabokov, former wife of Nicolas Nabokov, 32 East 61st Street

(from June 10) c/o Lehovich, 1326 Madison Avenue

(from July 15) At country home of Harvard professor Mikhail Karpovich near West Wardsboro, Vermont

(mid-September) 35 West 87th Street, New York, 2 rooms, "a dreadful little flat" (Véra)

1941

(early February) Nabokov's first college lecture at Well's College, Aurora, New York, where his cousin Nicolas Nabokov had been teaching music for several years

(March 15) Invited to Wellesley College for a two weeks' round of talks on Russian literature, staying on the campus (Claflin Hall)

(March 30) Side trip to Ridgefield, Connecticut, lecturing, then back to New York City

(May 26) Begin of first trip to the West, by car, make Pontiac (dubbed Pon'ka, pony), owned and driven by a helpful New York Russian pupil and acquaintance, Dorothy Leuthold. First day from New York City to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Motor Court Lee-Mead

(May 27) To Luray, Virginia, Parkhurst Inn & Cottages

(May 28) To Bristol, Virginia, Motel General Shelby

(May 29) To the Smokie Mountains and Belva, Tennessee, Maple Shade Cottages

(May 30) To Crossville, Tennessee, Cumberland Motor Court

(May 31) To Jackson, Tennessee, George Anna Hotel

(June 1) To Hot Springs, Arkansas, Wonderland Motor Courts

(June 2) To Dallas, Texas, Grande Tourist Lodge

(June 3) To Lubbock, Texas, Motor Hotel

(June 4) To Santa Fé, New Mexico, El Rey Courts

(June 6) To Holbrook, Arizona, Forest Court

(June 7) To the Grand Canyon, Arizona, South Rim, Bright Angel Lodge

(June 9) To Las Vegas, Nevada

(June 10) To San Bernardino, California

(June 11) To Santa Monica, California (Mission Court?)

(June 13) To Fresno, California

(June 14) Arrival in Palo Alto, California; stay at a rented home on 230 Sequoia Avenue, teaching two summer courses at Stanford University (on "Modern Russian Literature" and "The Art of Writing", with an emphasis on playwriting)

(first week of September) Ten days driving around Yosemite National Park

(September 11) By train back to Wellesley, Massachusetts, 19 Appleby Road

(December 6) Publication of The Real Life of Sebastian Knight

1942

(summer) At country home of Harvard professor Mikhail Karpovich near West Wardsboro, Vermont

(from September 1) 8 Craigie Circle, Apt.S 35, Cambridge, Massachusetts

(September) Véra's cousin Anna ("Anyuta") Feigin who had moved from Berlin to Nice before the German invasion of France arrives in Baltimore from Lisbon.

(October 1) Start of a lecture tour to the southern states, beginning at Coker College, Hartsville, South Carolina (Salmon Hotel)

(0ctober 6) At Spelman College (a black women's school) in Atlanta, Georgia

(October 14) At Georgia State Women's College, Valdosta, Georgia. Returning to Boston after another stopover for a lecture at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee

(November 5) On the "Dixie Flyer" from Boston to Chicago, Illinois ("a very beautiful railway station") and on to Springfield, Illinois

(November 7) On the "Twin Cities Zephyr" from Chicago to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he stays at a "very fancy" hotel and lectures on the novel at Macalester College (he has forgotten to bring his manuscript and has to improvise the talk)

(November 11) Lecture at Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, and then back home to Boston

(December 7) From Boston via New York City to Honors College (part of State Teachers College) in Farmville, Virginia

1943

(June 22) By train from Chicago to Salt Lake City, Utah; staying at the Alta Lodge owned by publisher James Laughlin, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah

1944

(c. June 5) Véra accompanies her son Dmitri to New York City where he undergoes an appendectomy. She stays at the flat of her cousin and friend Anna ("Anyuta") Feigin, 250 W 104 St, app. 43

(June 6, Tuesday) Food poisoning (haemorrhagic colitis) from eating Virginia Ham with spinach at the Wursthaus Restaurant at 4 Boylston Street (now John F. Kennedy Street) near Harvard Square (closed 1996). Is immediately taken by an ambulance to the Cambridge City Hospital and, still in a critical condition, with the help of a friend, Professor Karpovich's wife Tatyana, transferred to the Mount Auburn Hospital, 330 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

(June 9, Saturday) As soon as he has fairly recovered, he flees over the fire-escape into Mrs. Karpovich's car

1945

(February 9-10) Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland, for a lecture at St. Timothy's College. Afterwards for a lecture at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts

(from summer) Wellesley, Massachusetts, 9 Abbott Street

1946

(c. June 20) By train and bus to New Hampshire where they spend the summer "on the shores of a dismal lake [Newfound Lake] at a horrible place called Don Jerry Lodge"

(from August 18) 6 Cross Street, Wellesley, Massachusetts

1947

(June 12) Publication of Bend Sinister

(mid-June to September) By train from Wellesley, Massachusetts, to Estes Park, Colorado; staying at Columbine Lodge above Estes Park, collecting butterflies near Longs Peak (e.g., Boloria freija), as described at the end of Chapter 6 of Speak, Memory

1948

(from July 1) 927 E. State Street, Ithaca, New York (house of Batz Hansteen?); office 278 Goldwin Smith Hall, Cornell University; buys a 1940 Plymouth 4 door sedan, driven by Véra

(from September 1) 802 East Seneca Street, Ithaca, New York (house of Mrs. Lotte Orndorff)

1949

(June 22 to July 16) First butterfly tour to the West with his own car (a second-hand black 1946 Oldsmobile, always driven by Véra), driving from Ithaca along a route below the Great Lakes and across Iowa and Nebraska (as Humbert and Lolita do on their second trip) and arriving on July 3 in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he attends a writers' conference, staying at Sorority House Alpha Delta Phi(July 16)

Driving from Salt Lake City to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, staying at Battle Mountain Ranch on Hoback River and at Teton Pass Ranch in Wilson, Wyoming

(end of August) Driving back from the Grand Tetons to Ithaca, New York, via Minnesota, north of the Great Lakes and southern Ontario

(September 4) Back in Ithaca       

1950

 (June) Hotel The Vendome, Commonwealth Avenue and Dartmouth Street, Boston, Massachusetts. On June 1, Dr. Favre in Boston extracts all his teeth             

1951

(February 14) Publication of Conclusive Evidence

(from spring) 623 Highland Road, Cayuga Heights, New York (house of Professor H.S. Sach)

(late June) Second trip in his 1946 Oldsmobile to the West, amassing notes for Lolita

(June 30) Saint Francis, Kansas (on US 36)

(July 3 to 29) Telluride, Colorado (two nights at Skyline Ranch, then at Valley View Court

(July 15) Hiking up Tomboy Road to Social Tunnel in search of a certain lycaenid butterfly (the female of Lycaeides idas sublivens)

(early August) Driving from Telluride to Jenny Lake, Wyoming, and on to Duck Ranch N of West Yellowstone, Montana

(late August) Driving back to Ithaca

1952

(from February 1 to June 20, as a visiting professor at Harvard) 9 Maynard Place (at the house of writer May Sarton), Cambridge, Massachusetts, and at the Hotel The Vendome, Boston, Massachusetts. Nabokov taught two Russian courses (one on Tyutchev, Nekrasov,  Fet, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Blok, Khodasevich, Mayakovsky, the other on Pushkin) and one on European novels (Cervantes, Dickens, Gogol, Flaubert, Tolstoy)

(April 26) First complete publication of Dar, in Russian

(June 20) Departure for another trip to the West in his Oldsmobile, writing Lolita, the destination being the Continental Divide in Wyoming (for entomological reasons)

(end of June) Laramie, Wyoming, Lazy U Motel

(July 4) Through Medicine Bow National Forest to Riverside, Wyoming, where too noisy celebrations are underway; soon leaving for Dubois, Wyoming, Rock Butte Court

(early August) Afton, Wyoming, Corral Log Cabins

(September 1) Back in Ithaca. New address 106 Hampton Road, Cayuga Hights, New York (house of A.F. Wiegant)

1953

(from February 1) 35 Brewster Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts

(from mid-February) Ambassador Hotel (now Coolidge Hall), 1737 Cambridge Street, Suite 617, Cambridge

(April 7) Departure for another trip west with his Oldsmobile, working on the final draft of Lolita

Passing Birmingham, Alabama

(c. April 20) Arriving at a rented ranch in Portal, Arizona, hunting for butterflies in the Chiricahua Mountains

(June 1) On a account of Véra's dislike for rattlesnakes, they leave for Oregon

(June, July and August) 163 Mead Street, Ashland, Oregon, at the house of Dr. Arthur Tailor

(September 1) Leaving for Ithaca, New York, via Jenny Lake and the Tetons

1954

(from beginning of spring term) 101 Irving Place, Ithaca, New York (Cornell University faculty home)

(April 18) At the Eldridge Hotel, Lawrence, Kansas, to lecture at the University of Kansas

(June 18) Leaving Boston for Cleveland, Ohio, and Taos, New Mexico, where they spend July and August at a rented house

(from September 1) 700 Stewart Avenue, Ithaca, New York (Belleayre Apartments, #30, appartment of Professor James L. Gregg)

1955

(from mid-July) 808 Hanshaw Road, Cayuga Heights, New York (house of Professor Fisher)

(September 15) Publication of Lolita by Olympia Press, Paris       

1956

(from February) 'Continental Hotel Apartments', no.10, 16 Chauncy Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts

(spring) Motoring 10,000 miles in their "good old frog-green Buick" to Utah (a ranchito at Mt. Carmel), Arizona and Montana

(from July 1) 425 Hanshaw Road, Cayuga Heights, New York

1957

(from February 3) 880 Highland Road, Cayuga Heights, New York (house of L. Sharp)

(March 7) Publication of Pnin

1958

(from February 23?) 404 Highland Road, Cayuga Heights, New York

(July 21) First American edition of Lolita, by G.P. Putnam's Sons

(September 18) Publication of Nabokov's Dozen

1959        

(February 24) Leaving Ithaca, by car via Schenectady to New York City

(February 26–April 18) Hotel Windermere, 666 West End Avenue, New York

(April 18) By car to Arizona, via Tennessee (Great Smokies), Alabama and Big Bend, Texas

(early summer) At summer cabins resort Forest Houses between Flagstaff and Sedona, Arizona, hunting butterflies in Oak Creek Canyon; visit by journalist/writer Robert H. Boyle who accompanies him on an unsuccessful day hunt

(July 20) From Sedona to Los Angeles, California

(July 20–end of July) The Beverly Hills Hotel, 9641 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills, California

(end of July–mid August) Brockway Hotel on North Lake Tahoe, California

(early September) Park Crescent Hotel, 87th and Riverside Drive, New York City

(September 29–October 5) On the CGT liner 'Liberté' from New York City to Le Havre, intending to spend a few days in Paris. Not finding any accomodation because of the ongoing Salon d'Auto, they took the night train to Geneva

(October 620?) Geneva (Hotel Beau Rivage), mainly to visit with his sister Elena Sikorski, a UN interpreter

(October 21–28) Paris, Hotel Continental (InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel?), Place de l'Opéra, for a hectic week surrounded by crowds of publishers, agents, interviewers, photographers, admirers

(October 23) Gala party with 2,000 guests at Gallimard's, no. 5, rue Sebastien-Bottin [today rue Gaston Gallimard]), to celebrate the publication of Lolita in French. Confused by the crowd and the fuss, Nabokov does not notice Maurice Girodias (the first publisher of Lolita he had been quarreling with for three years) and his former warm friend Zinaida Shakhovskoy he had known in Brussels before WWII and who takes this as snub and later writes an article and a book to vent her ill feelings

(October 28) From Paris via Dover to London (Stafford Hotel, St. James's Place, Westminster) for the British publication of Lolita. After much press coverage, his publishers Nigel Nicolson and Lord Weidenfeld are still unsure if the government will ban the novel and persecute them

(November 4) To Cambridge, for a talk on Russian Classics, Censors and Readers

(November 5) Party with several hundred guests at The Ritz Hotel in London (150, Piccadilly Square) to celebrate the publication of Lolita which the government has just declared it would not ban

(November 6) Traveling to Rome for a ten-day stay, Grand Hotel di Roma (today The St. Regis, 3, Via Vittorio Emanuele).

(c. November 10) Party to celebrate the Italian publication of Lolita by Mondadori

(mid-November) Traveling from Rome to Taormina, Grand Hotel; for the first time envisaging to turn Lolita into a screenplay for Stanley Kubrick

(November 27) From Sicily to Genoa, Colombia Excelsior Hotel (Il Grand Hôtel Colombia di Genova, between main station and Stazione Marittima, closed 1989); begins writing Ada, at that time called Letters to Terra

(December 9) To Lugano, Grand Hotel (Eden?), room 317–318

(December 13) By taxi to Milano, Hotel Principe e Savoia (Piazza della Repubblica, 17)

(December 25) By car to San Remo, Hotel Excelsior-Bellevue

1960

(early January to February) To Hôtel Astoria, avenue Carnot, Menton

(February 18) By train from Menton to Le Havre

(February 19) On the 'SS United States' (United States Lines) from Le Havre to New York

(February 27) By train via Chicago to Los Angeles

(March 10 to October 12) 2088 Mandeville Canyon Road, Los Angeles, California, writing the screenplay for Stanley Kubrick's Lolita

(late June/early July) Glacier Lodge, Inyo County, California

(October 12–15) By train via Chicago to New York

(October 15–November 2) Hotel Hampshire House (room 503), New York

(November 2–7) On the Cunard liner 'Queen Elizabeth' from New York to Cherbourg

(November 7-9) via Paris to Milano, Hotel Principe e Savoia

(November 26) to Nice, Hotel Negresco, 37, promenade des Anglais (looking for an appartment and writing the beginning of Shade's poem in Pale Fire)

(early December) 57, promenade des Anglais (appartement no. 3), Nice (Alpes Maritimes)

1961

(April 26) By car to Reggio Emilia (for Dmitri's operatic debut in La Bohème, along with Luciano Pavarotti)

(May 8) By car to Stresa

(early June) To Milano for a concert by Dmitri

(mid June) By car via Martigny to Champex (Vaud)

(June 15 to August 15) Champex-Lac (Valais), Grand Hôtel Alpes et Lac (working on Pale Fire, hunting butterflies at Verbier, Crans, Simplon and Saas-Fee)

(end July to August 7) To Simplon Kulm (Vaud), Hotel Bellevue

(August 7) To Montreux (Vaud), Hotel Belmont

(September 20) By car to Milan (to hear Dmitri sing at the Scala)

(October 1 to their death in 1977 and 1991) Vladimir and Véra Nabokov rent a suite at the Hôtel Montreux Palace in Montreux (Vaud), in the old part of the hotel, the former Hôtel du Cygne, top floor (4th or 5th depending on the way you count), rooms 35-38

 

1962

(April 25) Publication of Pale Fire

(May 31 to June 5) On Cunard liner 'Queen Elizabeth' from Cherbourg to New York for the gala premiere of Kubrick's Lolita on June 13

(June 5–20) Staying at St. Regis Hotel, Fifth Avenue, New York

(June 20) On the 'Queen Elizabeth' back from New York to France

(June 26) Back at his hotel rooms in Montreux

(July 1) To Saas Fee (Valais) and next day on to Zermatt (Valais), Hotel Mt. Cervin    

1963

(May 27) By car (Peugeot) to Loèche-les-Bains (Leukerbad), Valais, Hotel Bristol

(mid-July) By car to Les Diablerets, Grand Hotel

(August 19) By car back to Montreux    

1964

(March 17) Leaving Montreux and crossing the Atlantic on the 'SS United States' for the launching of 'Pushkin Eugene Onegin'

(end of March) At Hampshire House in New York City, then by train to Ithaca, New York

(April 2) Flying back to New York City

(April 9) To Cambridge, Massachusetts

(April 10) Last public reading at Sanders Hall, Harvard University

(mid April) Back to New York City

(April 21) Bollingen Press reception in honor of 'Pushkin Eugene Onegin'

(April 23) On 'SS United States' back to Europe

(June 22) Publication of 'Pushkin Eugene Onegin'    

1965

(late April) Grand Hotel, Gardone Riviera (Brescia) on Lake Garda (working on Ada)

(July) Suvretta-House, St. Moritz (Grisons)

(August 10) Back at his hotel rooms in Montreux

1966

(mid April) Off on their tour to Italy, to hunt butterflies and to see art collections (for the Butterflies in Art project and for Ada)

(mid April) Staying in Monza with Dmitri for a few days

(late April) Bologna, to visit the art gallery

(late April) In Florence for two weeks, visiting more than a dozen galleries

(early May) Two days at Pompei where they were not allowed to see the erotic frescoes in the Lupanare

(May 7 to c. May 20) Albergo Cappucino Convento, Amalfi (Salerno)

(c. May 20 to May 24) Naples, visiting the Museo Nazionale (seeing the fresco La Primavera from Stabiae)

(last week of May to end of June) Grand Hotel Excelsior, Chianciano Terme (Siena)

(July) Panorama Hotel, Ponte di Legno (Brescia)     

1967

(January 9) Publication of revised version of Speak, Memory

(April 4 to June 13) Albergo Cenobio dei Dogi, Camogli (Genoa)

(July): Cita Grand Hotel, Limone Piemonte (Alpes-Maritimes)       

1968        

(late March) Véra brings friend and cousin Anna (Anyuta) Feigin whose health had been deteriorating over from New York City to Montreux, sets her up in an apartment there and nurses her until her death in 1972

(April 17, for a week) Cernobbio on Lake Como (Como, Lombardy)

(from May 10 to early July) Hôtel des Salines, Bex-les-Bains (Vaud)

(from early July to early August) Parc Hotel, Verbier (Valais)        

1969

(April 2) Publication of Ada or Ardour: A Family Chronicle

(June 20) To Lugano (Ticino), Switzerland, Hotel Splendide Royal

(July) In a rented house at Cureglia near Lugano (Ticino)

(first three weeks of August) In Adelboden (Bern)

(August 22) Back to Montreux

1970

(March 19) To Rome

(from April 5) By train and ferry to Taormina (Sicily), San Domenico Palace Hotel, room 220 ("the hotel is charming"), Véra arriving on April 15

(mid-May) Back to Montreux

(last week of June) By car to Saas Fee (Valais), Grand Hotel

(late July) Back to Montreux

1971

(March 24) Flying (for the first time in life) from Geneva to Lisbon, Portugal; staying at the Hotel Ritz until March 30

(March 30 to April 14) To Praia de Rocha, Algarve Hotel (the weather too cold and windy for butterfly hunting)

(end of April) Flying back to Montreux earlier than had been planned

(May) Flying to Nice and on to Tourtour near Draguignan (Var), Hôtel des Masques

(August) In a chalet between Gstaad and Saanen (Bern), Résidence Wyssmüllerei      

1972

(January 6) Véra Nabokov's cousin and friend Anna (Anyuta) Feigin dies in Montreux

(April) By train to Amélie-les-Bains (Pyremées Orientales) for a short rest

(June 19 for a month) Lenzerheide (Grisons)

(August) Résidence Wyssmüllerei near Gstaad (Bern)

(October 13) Publication of Transparent Things

1973

(April 10) Publication of A Russian Beauty

Publication of Strong Opinions

(early June) By taxi Cervia, south of Ravenna, on Adriatic Coast, staying three weeks

(late June to August 3) Cortina d'Ampezzo

1974

(February 25) Publication of Lolita: A Screenplay

(July) Zermatt (Valais), Hotel Mt. Cervin

(August 27) Publication of Look at the Harlequins!

1975

(January 27) Publication of Tyrants Destroyed

(end of May) To Paris for live tv interview with Bernard Pivot (day of broadcast May 30)

(June 5 to 19) With Véra to the resort town of Davos (Grisons), to rest and to hunt butterflies, staying at Hotel Flüela close to the railway station.

(July 13) Slips twice on a steep slope (probablyy beneath the Jakobshorn cablecar) during one of his butterfly hikes, tumbling 150 feet; though nothing is broken, he is unable to get up; when the cablecar operator notices him two and a half hours later, he is carried down on a stretcher; has to rest in bed for some days. Returns to Montreux on June 19. The accident marks the beginning of his physical decline

(early September) To Montreux Hospital for a urographic examination; a tumor on the prostate is diagnosed

(October 15) To the Clinique de Montchoisi in Lausanne, for an operation of the tumor that turns out to have been benign. Returns home after two weeks, but with an infection of sorts (hospital-induced?) and insomnia worse than ever

1976

(March 9) Publication of Details of a Sunset

(April 24) Nocturnal panic attack

(May 1? to May 10?) Falls in his bathroom and with a concussion is taken by ambulance to the CHUV (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois), Lausanne

(June 17) Again to the Clinique de Montchoisi, Lausanne, because of persistent temperatures; partly semi-conscious. Diagnosis of too low sodium and potassium levels and an infection of the urinary tract

(July 9) Transferred to the Nestlé Hospital in the CHUV complex

(September 7) Discharge from the Nestlé Hospital

(September) Two weeks of convalescence at the Valmont Clinic in Glion (Vaud), just above Montreux

(September 21) Return home

       

1977

(March 19) By ambulance back to the Nestlé Hospital in Lausanne with a high fever

(May 7) Discharged and return home, but still feverish

(June 5) Back to the CHUV in Lausanne, getting ever weaker

(June 30) Moved to intensive care within the CHUV

(July 2, 6:50 pm) Dies from congestive bronchitis

(July 7) Nabokov's body cremated in Vevey

(July 8) Nabokov's ashes interred in the cemetery of Clarens (on a hill between Vevey and Montreux)

       

       

1991

(April 6) Véra Nabokov taken to the hospital in Vevey because of respiratory trouble

(April 7) Véra Nabokov dies at the Vevey hospital 

                  

Elena Nabokova's Prague addresses

(courtesy of Brian Boyd, May 19, 1999)       

 1923       

Smíchov district 

 1925       

(31 August) Villa Kaura, 60, Radošovica u Prahi

(from September) to April 1934: 64-I Palackeho Třida, Karlin, Praha     

 1934       

(May-September at least) Sadova 1424, Dejvice - Praha

193   1935       

(De   (December to 1935 and later) Koulova 8, Dejvice - Praha 

 1935       

Ruska prazdninova kolonie, Zànuk Bzi, P/P Bzi

  

Further addresses

Weil, Gans & Dieckmann (Anwaltskanzlei), Berlin W 62, Landgrafenstraße 1 (the law firm where Véra worked, figuring in The Gift)

Rul – Russische Demokratische Zeitung, Ullsteinhaus, Berlin SW 68, Kochstraße 22. From 1924: Zimmerstrasse 7-8

       

 

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