April 23 was Vladimir Nabokov's birthday. In an earlier post, I mentioned the Monkey Ship at the Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville, Indiana. In Nabokov's novel Lolita, the pedophilic protagonist Humbert Humbert and Lolita visited the zoo and saw the Monkey Ship, which in the old days housed a colony of rhesus monkeys. Ironically, in recent years, the moat around the ship has been converted into a bumper boat ride for children.
In other late-breaking news, Nabokov's son Dmitri recently announced he will not honor his father's request to burn his unfinished novel Original of Laura. The novel, which exists on 50 index cards in a Swiss bank vault, will be published.