Characters in Nabokov's works

Please add more! Use alphabetical order and this format:

Name (cross-refer to Surname, first name): brief identification, Text (see Abbreviations for books) page# line# (Pt# [if any] Ch#); Next text in alphabetical order, . . . 


Ada Veen: see Veen, Ada

Ardalion: professed painter, cousin of Lydia, love-affair with, Despair

Belochkin, Dr. Yakov: pediatrician from Pre-Soviet Russia, treats Pnin in his childhood during a fever, Pnin

Belochkin, Mira: daughter of Dr. Yakov (see above), Pnin's early sweetheart, put to death in Buchenwald, Pnin

Bishop, Clare: Sebastian’s ideal love, muse and companion, marries a certain Mr. Bishop after Sebastian, RLSK

Bliss, Betty: graduate student at Comparative Literature, a "soft thorn in Pnin's flesh", Pnin

Blorenge, Leonard: Head of French Dept. at Waindell, schoolmate of President Poore, Pnin

Bogolepov, Liza: psychotherapist, emigre poet, ex-wife of Pnin, Eric Wind, Pnin

Boke, Sr.: professor of history, Lance's father, specialist of medieval times, Lance

Brewster, Jack: Mistaken name Quilty calls Humbert Humbert (rather Falstaffian), Lolita

Bubendorf, Franz: Dreyer's nephew, lover of his wife, comes to Berlin to work in his uncle's firm, KQK

Bychkov, Ilya Ilyich : Innokentiy's father, village schoolmaster, Godunov-Cherdyntsev Sr. helps him out of a political trouble, The Circle

Bychkov, Innokentiy: Protagonist of the story, leanings towards 'Radical Left' once, in love with Tanya, The Circle

Carswell, Roy: paints a wonderful portrait of Sebastian (around 1933) that V. describes, RLSK

Chamar, Anastasia: Russian by descent, mother of Armande, dies after Armande's marriage in a Belgian hospital, TT

Chamar, Armande: Hugh Person's wife, has a lot of affairs, one of the possible narrators, TT

Clementses, Laurence, Joan and Isabel: Laurence as Professor of Philosophy at Waindell, Joan as his affectionate wife, have Pnin as a lodger in their house, their daughter Isabel who is married and whose room Pnin occupies, Pnin

Chernyshevski, Alexander Yakovlevich: Fyodor's friend, catastrophic effect of his son's death on him, Gift

Chernyshevski, Alexandra: wife of Alexander, holds literary soirees and readings, Gift

Chernyshevski, Yasha: homosexual poet, tragic love-triangle, shoots himself, Gift

Cockerells, Jack and Gwen: Jack as Head of English Dept. at Waindell College, "emulates Timofey to perfection", Gwen as his wife, Pnin

Denny: biologist, astronaut, friend of Lance, Lance

Dreyer, Kurt: prosperous businessman, has several firms under ownership, husband of Martha, maternal uncle of Franz, KQK

Dreyer, Martha: wife of Kurt Dreyer, lover of her husband's nephew, KQK

Edelweiss, Martin: adventurous and level-headed protagonist of Glory, plans “an exploit” towards the end, Glory

Old Enricht alias Menetek-El-Pharsin: Franz's landlord where Franz and Martha have their rendezvous, "famed illusionist and conjurer", counterpart of the Inventor figure (see below), KQK

Felix: vagabond, Hermann's "false double", Despair

Ferdinand: Franco-Hungarian writer, Nina's husband, Spring in Fialta

Godunov-Cherdyntsev, Countess Elizaveta Pavlovna: Fyodor's mother, writes long letters to her son, Gift, The Circle

Godunov-Cherdyntsev, Fyodor Konstantinovich: poet, critic, biographer, protagonist and implied author of the novel, Gift

Godunov-Cherdyntsev, Count Konstantin Kirillovich: Fyodor's father, famous naturalist, never returns from his scientific expedition to Central Asia, Gift, The Circle

Mr. Goodman: Sebastian Knight’s former secretary, writes an atrocious book “The Tragedy of Sebastain Knight”, RLSK

Hagen, Herman: head of German Dept. at Waindell College, "staunch protector" of Pnin, Pnin

The Inventor: a somewhat sinister figure in the novel staying at the "Montevideo", designs for Dreyer a series of "auto-mannequins" - dummies who move in a life-like way so as to exhibit clothes, counterpart of Enricht (see above), KQK

Ivanov: barber in Berlin, formerly a captain, nickname "Razor", Razor

Karlovich, Hermann: insurance man, wannabe author, Despair

Engineer Kern: civil engineer, interest in turbines, knew Alexander Blok, Gift

Komarovs, Oleg and Serafima: Oleg as a muralist, at Fine Arts of Waindell, Serafima as his wife, Pnin

Koncheyev: emigre-poet, Fyodor's mysterious alter-ego, Gift

Knight, Sebastian: acclaimed novelist, dies of a heart-condition, RLSK

Knight, Virginia: Sebastian’s mother, dies of a rare variety of angina pectoris, known as “Lehmann’s disease” that Sebastian inherits, RLSK

Kruzhevnitsyn, Lavrentiy Ivanovich, Lik: actor, protagonist of Lik

Kutaysov, Ivan Ivanovich: Tanya's husband, The Circle

Kutaysov, Tatiana nee Godunov-Cherdyntsev: Fyodor's sister, married and has a daughter, Gift, The Circle

Lancelot, Emery Boke: astronaut, enthusiastic mountain-climber, Lance

Lydia: wife of Hermann, on-going affair with Ardalion, Despair

Luzhin, Aleksandr Ivanovich: Grandmaster, hero of Zashchita Luzhina, Defense

Lupolova, Praskovia (c.1784-1809): A counterexample to how Mademoiselle arrived in winter (zima), when coming to Vyra in 1905.  A Russian folk hero who won a reprieve for her father's exile through an imperial decree, an ukase (указ). Her story is referenced by the mention of Xavier de Maistre's novella, La Jeune Sibérienne / The Young Siberian Girl, DB (Ch. 5)

Luzhin's Aunt: second cousin to Luzhin's mother, "sweet copper-haired", Luzhin bunks school to play chess at her house, affair with his father, Defense

Luzhin Senior, or elderly Luzhin: Luzhin's father, writes sentimental novels for children, owns estate, over-concerned with Luzhin's future, Defense

Luzhin's mother: elder Luzhin's wife, her father as a virtuoso violinist, dies by end of Chap 4 alone, Defense

Miss Phalen: [Also See Phalen, Euphemia] Watchdog of Lolita for Mrs. Haze. Miss Phalen had misfallen into the wordplay of Phalène, when she broke her hip, Lolita [See articles: Miss Phalen in Lolita and Meet Miss Phalen in Lolita.]

Miss Pratt: Headmistress of Beardsley School for Girls (Lolita's finishing school); Nabokov might have been playing on a formula such as ‘prattling prate of a prat,’ Lolita

Mrs. Luzhin: Luzhin's wife, daughter from a wealthy family, currently living in Germany, sets everything up, kind and sensitive but unable to reach out to Luzhin, Defense

Mrs. Luzhin's mother: Luzhin's mother-in-law; disapproves of her son-in-law and his profession; cold war with her daughter, Defense

Mertz, Oscar: Zina's much loved natural father, dies of heart ailment, Gift

Mertz, Zina: Fyodor's muse, works at a lawyer's office, in love with his writing, developing romance, Gift

Moon, Archibald: Cambridge Professor of Russian literature and history, plans an English-language history of Russia which would “give a perfect image of one orbicular millennium”, Glory

Moore, Julia: stepdaughter of German-English writer Mr. R, R's "love of life", brief affair with Hugh, friend of Armande, TT

Moser: One of Luzhin's chess opponents (Chapter 8, Chapter 14), Defense

Nina: heroine of Spring in Fialta

Oleg Sergeyevich Smirnovski: Theosophist and proprietor of a liqueur factory, acts as a witness in Luzhin's wedding, Defense

Orlovius: lawyer, acquaintance of Hermann and Lydia, Despair

Perov, Konstantin: poet of Georgian Nights, dubbed as "Russian Rimbaud", A Forgotten Poet

Person, Dr. Henry Emery: Father of Hugh Person, dies during their trip in Switzerland, one of the possible narrators, TT

Person, Hugh: Protagonist of Transparent Things, copy-editor, markets the 'Person Pen', TT

Petrishchev: schoolmate of Luzhin, queries about a math problem in Chap 3, meets Luzhin in the Ball in Chap 12, Defense

Phalen, Euphemia: [Also See Miss Phalen] Miss Euphemia Phalen, whose first name speaks well of ill-omened things, just like Humbert Humbert does with his euphemisms for pedophilia, Lolita

Phalen, Miss: [See Miss Phalen], Lolita

Phil: R's publisher, Hugh worked at his publishing house, TT

Pilgram, Eleanor: compassionate wife of Paul, The Aurelian

Pilgram, Paul: "lepper", an Aurelian of the old, shop-keeper, The Aurelian

Pnin, Dr. Pavel: Pnin's father, an ophthalmologist, had treated in the past Leo Tolstoy and the "narrator" of Pnin, Pnin

Pnin, Timofey: Professor of Russian Literature, Pale Fire, Pnin

Pnin, Valeria: mother of Timofey Pnin, Pnin

Poore, Sam: President of Waindell College, in wheelchair, lost his sight, Pnin

Pratt, Miss: [See Miss Pratt], Lolita

Pratt, Helen: Clare Bishop’s “great friend”, V’s source of information about Clare and Sebastian, RLSK

Mr. R, also von R: Author of several novels, pronounced as a "master-stylist" by reviewers, definitely one of the narrators, TT

Reich, Sarah: Dreyer's secretary at the office, KQK

Romanovich, Pavel: love-interest of Maria, A Slice of Life

Rosanov, Natasha: Sebastian’s first love, now a mother of two boys, RLSK

Segur: art-collector, friend of Ferdinand, Spring in Fialta

Shade, Caroline nee Lukin: mother of John Shade, co-author of Birds of Mexico, PF

Shade, Hazel: Daughter of poet, John Shade, PF

Shade, John: poet-scholar, poet of Pale Fire, PF

Shade, Maud: painter, poet, aunt of John Shade, PF

Shade, Samuel: father of John Shade, vice-president of a firm dealing in surgical instruments, ornithologist, co-author of Birds of Mexico, PF

Shade, Sybil: John Shade's wife, translator, PF

Shchyogolev, Marianna: Zina's mother, remarries, has Fyodor as a tenant, loves Berlin, Gift

Shchyogolev, Boris: a public prosecutor in Pre-Soviet Russia, gets a position at Copenhagen, Zina's adopted father, Gift

Sheldon, P.G.: poet, friends with Clare and Sebastian, RLSK

Sheppard, Bill: Pnin's landlord, former superintendent of college grounds at Waindell, Pnin

Shigaev, Leonid Ivanovich: compiler of dictionary, beloved friend of Victor in In memory of L.I.Shigaev

Shishkov, Peter: protagonist of Orache, A Bad Day

Siberian Girl, The YoungA counterexample to Mademoiselle, her foil of arrival. [See Lupolova, Praskovia], DB

Mr. Silbermann: offers V. his services as a sleuth which helps him in his quest to discover Sebastian’s last affair, RLSK

Tal, Ilya Borisovich: company director, writer, Lips to Lips

Mr. Tamworth: Baron R's secretary, also his "Boswell", TT

Thayer, Roy and Margaret: Roy as Professor of English Literature, scribbles "cryptogrammic" verses in diary, Margaret his wife, works at the library, cousin of Joan Clements (see above), Pnin

Turati: has the final chess match with Luzhin adjourned, Luzhin composes an elaborate but ultimately unused "defense" against him, Defense

Valentin Ivanovich: Mr. and Mrs. Luzhin's common geography teacher, Defense

Valentinov: Luzhin's erstwhile manager, his "chess father", working on a movie by the end, Defense

Vane, Cynthia: spiritualist, painter, host of literary 'salons', older sister of Sybil, The Vane Sisters

Vane, Sybil: College-student, sister of Cynthia, The Vane Sisters

Vasiliy, Ivanovich: dreamer, protagonist of Cloud, Castle, Lake

Vasiliy, Nikolai: brother of Maria, A Slice of Life

Vasilevna, Maria: heroine of A Slice of Life

Veen, Adelaida (Ada): Lover of brother Ivan (Van) Veen, actress, explorer-naturalist, author, Adapassim

Veen, Lucinda (Lucette; Lucy): Consumed by her hopeless, tragic love for cousin Van Veen, Ada

Veen, Ivan (Van): "hero" and "villain" of the novel Ada, psychologist, author, philosopher, etc.

Victor: central character and proposed author of Spring in Fialta

Wind, Eric: psychotherapist, ex-husband of Liza, married to a Mr. Church,  Pnin

Wind, Victor: son of Eric and Liza Wind, prospective painter, has Pnin as his spiritual father, Pnin

Zographos: schoolmate of Van Venn at Riverlane, Ada 33.14 (Pt. 1 Ch 4), 146.11 (as "Zogdog") (Pt. 1 Ch 23)