Vladimir Nabokov

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

Adamson, Gerard: a "big flabby hulk of a man, nearing sixty" whose literary reputation was immensely superior to Audace (see corresponding entry) and "a pious philosopher", dies after a series of strokes in London, LATH (Pt. 4 Ch. 1 159, Ch. 4 175)

Adamson, Louise: a "porcelain-pretty and very fast girl" who is said to be "an irreproachable socialite", marries the narrator after her husband’s death, divorces soon after, is set to marry a "son of an Earl", LATH (Pt. 4 Ch. 1 159, Ch. 4 175, Ch. 6 186; Pt. 6 Ch. 2 231)

Albinus, Albert: protagonist, a wealthy and respectable art connoisseur, named Bruno Kretschmar in the original version, LD

Prince Adulf: King Gafon's son, rightful heir to the throne of Thule, a notorious libertine, K's (his cousin) involvement in his assassination, Solus Rex

Alfyorov, Aleksey Ivanovich: husband of Mashenka, lives in Room 1 of the Russian pension, businessman, was a teacher of mathematics in 'old' Russia, Mary (Ch. 2 5, 15-16, 23-24), Defense (Ch. 8 129; Ch. 13 203; Ch. 14 227)

Alfyorov, Mary: see Alfyorov, Mashenka

Alfyorov, Mashenka: former lover of Ganin and wife of Aleksey Alfoyorov, is to arrive by train in Berlin, described as "enchanting and animated" by Mrs. Luzhin, Mary, Defense (Ch. 8 129; Ch. 13 203) (see also Mary Alfyorov)

Ardalion: professed painter, lover of Lydia and is said to be her cousin, Despair

Audace: an "enchantingly talented poet" who is held in deep respect by the narrator, said to be a descendant of an “eloquent and ill-fated Girondist of that name”, LATH (Pt. 4 Ch. 1 158, Ch. 4 176)

Baumann, Rudolf: involved in a love triangle with Yasha and Olya (see their entries), described as "good-natured although not good; sociable, and yet a little skittish; impulsive, and at the same time calculating", Gift (Ch. 1)

Basilevski, Demian: an eminent Russian critic, a "stocky, fair-haired old fellow", his manner and mind is parodied by V.V. in his novel, The Dare, also emigrates to USA roughly at the same time as V.V., LATH (Pt. 1 Ch. 11 57-8; Pt. 2 Ch. 1 77 Ch. 5 100; Pt. 3 Ch. 1 130)

Beauharnais, Kim: kitchen boy at Ardis, photographs and blackmails Ada, ‘photo-fiend', blinded by Van with an alpenstock, Ada (Pt. 1 Ch. 1 6.24-5; Pt. 1 Ch. 32 205.20; Pt. 2 Ch. 11 445.30-4)

Belochkin, Dr. Yakov Grigorevich: pediatrician in pre-Soviet Russia, treats Pnin in his childhood during a fever, Pnin (Ch. 1 22; Ch. 5 132)

Belochkin, Mira: daughter of Dr. Belochkin (see above), Pnin’s early sweetheart, put to death in Buchenwald, Pnin (Ch. 5 134)

Bishop, Clare: Sebastian’s ideal love, muse and companion; marries a certain Mr. Bishop after Sebastian breaks up with her, RLSK (Ch. 8 75.7)

Black, Iris: V.V.’s first wife, meets her in the summer he spent at French Riviera, her attempts to learn Russian, their deteriorating marriage, shot dead by an admirer, Wladimir Blagidze, LATH (Pt. 1 Ch. 3 13-4, Ch. 10 53, Ch. 13 69-70)

Black, Ivor: college-friend of the narrator V.V., “a fine amateur actor”, V.V. spends a summer at his Cote d’Azur villa where he meets his sister, Iris Black, his cinema company that is shut down after his death, LATH (Pt. 1 Ch. 1 3-4, Ch. 3 13-14; Pt. 4 Ch. 1 156)

Uncle Black: a conjurer par excellence, cousin of Pahl Rechnoy, said to be a person "who can play the violin standing upon his head, multiply one telephone number by another in three seconds, and can write his name upside down in his ordinary hand", link with "the gentle old chess player Schwarz" from Sebastian’s fiction, RLSK (Ch. 15 142.7-13; Ch. 18 173.19-22)

Blagidze, Wladimir: apparently the real name of Lt. Starov, “subject to paroxysms of insanity”, shoots Iris dead and then attempts to commit suicide, is finally rendered insane, see entry for Lt. Starov, LATH (Pt. 1, Ch. 13 69-70)

Dr. Blagovo: father of Annette, an army surgeon before the Russian Revolution, absent-minded and forgetful, “one of the last gentlemen who still wore a dickey and elastic-sided boots”, LATH (Pt. 2 Ch. 8 110-1)

Blagovo, Anna Ivanovna (Annette): the narrator’s second wife (“long-necked Botticellian beauty”), meets her when he employs her as a typist, her forgetfulness and absent mindedness along with her elegance and languor that charms V.V., their move to America where they have a daughter, their separation after V.V. proves unfaithful, perishes with Nelly (see entry) in a flood following a tornado, (Pt. 2 Ch. 5 97-8, Ch. 7 104, 107; Pt. 3 Ch. 1 130, Ch. 2 135, Ch. 4 147; Pt. 4 Ch. 2 162-3)

Bliss, Betty: a graduate student in Comparative Literature at Waindell College, a “soft thorn in Pnin’s flesh”, Pnin (Ch. 2 42)

Blorenge, Ann and Leonard: Leonard is the Chairman of French Language and Literature at Waindell, schoolmate of President Poore, Ann is his wife, described as "a sweet woman of simple antecedents", Pnin (Ch. 2 30; Ch. 6 140-1)

Bogdanovich, Roman: regular visitor at the Khrushchovs’, keeps a diary which he sends weekly to a friend in Tallin, his ‘theory’ of Smurov as a homosexual (“sexual lefties”), also declares his love for Vanya, Eye (32, 64-65, 84, 94)

Bogolepov, Liza: psychotherapist, former lover of the narrator Vladimir Vladimirovich, emigre poet, attempted suicide, ex-wife of Pnin and Eric Wind, Pnin

Bohemsky, Lydia: One of the four Russian women from the list Silbermann gives V., V. employs a "Sherlock Holmes stratagem" to meet her, RLSK (Ch. 15 139; Ch. 16 151.10)

Boke, Sr.: professor of history, Lance’s father, medievalist, Lance

Boke, Lancelot Emery: astronaut, enthusiastic mountain-climber, school friend of Victor Wind, Lance, Pnin (Ch. 4 101)

Dr. Bonomini: a young Italian psychiatrist, author of The Heroics of Insanity, his interest in Falter proves to be fatal (“he became the prey of Falter’s Medusa”), Ultima Thule

Borg, Dolly von: granddaughter of the Stepanovs, the narrator spends a lot of time with her during his stay in Paris (then an eleven-year-old), his later affair with her when she’s a college student (as a 24 year old) at Columbia University, LATH (Pt. 2 Ch. 1 76-8; Pt. 3 Ch. 2 137, 139-40, Ch. 3 143, 145)

Brown, Rose: “cute little housemaid” in V.V.’s household, his consolation during the absence of Louise and Bel, LATH (Pt. 4 Ch. 7 193; Pt. 5 Ch. 1 202)

Baroness Bredow, née Tolstoy: Grand-aunt of the narrator who took him under her care, implores him to “look at the harlequins”, LATH (Pt. 1 Ch. 2 8-9)

Brewster, Jack: Mistaken name by which Quilty addresses Humbert Humbert, Humbert plays along saying "Je suis Monsieur Brustère", Lolita

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

Bubnov, Stephan: distinguished émigré writer, a "bearish, balding man of thirty, with a huge forehead, deep-set eyes, and a square chin", his love affair with Sonia is called off, his novella “Zoorland”, Glory (Ch. 33 140-1; Ch. 47 195)

Bychkov, Ilya Ilyich: Innokentiy’s father, village schoolmaster, Count Konstantin Godunov-Cherdyntsev helps him out of a political trouble, The Circle

Bychkov, Innokentiy: class-conscious 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 (Ch. 12 116-117)

Cecilia C.: mother of Cincinnatus, her duties as a midwife in a maternity ward, IB (Ch. 12)

Chamar, Anastasia: Russian by descent, mother of Armande, dies in a Belgian hospital after Armande's marriage, TT (Ch. 18 68)

Chamar, Armande: Hugh Person’s wife, has a lot of affairs, one of the novel's possible narrators, TT (Ch. 17 66-67)

Charnetski, Mstislav: a Polish landowner, a distant relation of V.V., his castle where V.V. recuperates in July of 1918, LATH (Pt. 1 Ch. 2 9)

Charski: lawyer, had asked Fyodor to help with a translation, Gift (Ch. 3; Ch. 5)

Clements, Joan, Isabel and Laurence: Laurence is the Professor of Philosophy at Waindell, Joan is his affectionate wife, have Pnin as a lodger in their house, Pnin occupies their married daughter's, Isabel's, vacant room, Pnin (Ch. 2 29, 35)

Chernosvitov, Alla: Martin’s first love-affair (elder to him at the time), who wrote "fashionable poetry", thought by Martin’s mother as a "a sweet, affable young lady" that does not "excuse her attractive vulgarity", Glory (Ch. 8 29; Ch. 9 34, 38)

Chernyshevski, Alexander Yakovlevich: Fyodor’s friend, becomes mentally ill after the death of his son by suicide, Gift (Ch. 1)

Chernyshevski, Alexandra: wife of Alexander, holds literary soirees and readings, Gift (Ch. 1)

Chernyshevski, Yasha: homosexual poet, tragic love-triangle, shoots himself, Gift (Ch. 1)

Cincinnatus C.: hero of the novel, sentenced to death because of his "gnostical turpitude", his engrossment in the novel Quercus, IB

Cockerell, Gwen and Jack: Jack is the Head of English Dept. at Waindell College, "emulates Timofey to perfection", Gwen is his wife, Pnin (Ch. 2 36; Ch. 7 187)

Conrad, Udo: German writer in exile, with an "exquisite vision and a divine style", friend of Albinus, see also entry for Segelkranz, LD (Ch. 16; Ch. 28)

Darwin: Martin’s best friend from Cambridge, "sluggish and indolent", served in the army and has found success as a writer, proposes to and is rejected by Sonia, engaged to another by the end, Glory (Ch. 14 58-9; Ch. 45 188)

Denny: biologist, astronaut, friend of Lance, Lance

Diomedon: Marthe’s son, lame in his right leg which “resembled a rifle in its complicated harness: barrel, straps, sling”, IB (Ch. 9)

Dora: a “lady in pinks under the dripping lilacs”, her ‘clubfoot’, writes to V.V. begging him to visit St. Petersburg to see Isabella, V.V.’s now ailing daughter, their meeting in St. Petersburg, LATH (Pt. 5 Ch. 1 201-2; Ch. 3 211, 213)

Dorn, Lydia Nikolaevna: landlady of a Russian pension in Berlin, widow of a German businessman, Mary (Ch. 2 5)

Dreyer, Kurt: prosperous businessman, owns several firms, husband of Martha, maternal uncle of Franz, KQK

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

Edelweiss, Henry: Martin’s uncle, described as being fond "of economizing on trifles, clenching a penny in his left hand, he willingly wrote large checks with the right", lives in Lausanne, marries Sophie, Martin's mother later on, Glory (Ch. 10 41; Ch. 16 101)

Edelweiss, Martin Sergeevich: the novel’s romantic and adventurous protagonist, plans “an exploit” towards the end, Glory

Edelweiss, Sergey Robertovich: Martin’s father, a famous dermatologist, dies at the beginning of the novel, Glory (Ch. 1 2; Ch. 3 8-10; Ch. 19 79)

Edelweiss, Sofia: Martin’s ‘Anglophile’ widowed mother, her concern for Martin, writes to him every week, her secular philosophy of life, marries Henry (her late husband’s cousin) later on, Glory

Elisabeth: Albinus’s wife, "a docile, delicate and gentle" lady whose love for Albert was of "lily variety", LD (Ch. 2)

Emmie: 12-year-old daughter of the prison director, a restless and boisterous girl, her pledge to be “Cincinnatus’s rescuer”, IB (Ch. 4, Ch. 14)

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 (Ch. 5 95, 99, 108; Ch. 11 227)

Erika: cook, caretaker of the Russian pension owned by Frau Dorn, Mary (Ch. 2 13; Ch. 7 51)

Erica: Kurt Dreyer’s former mistress, “a slender bob-haired lady”, now a mother of a small boy, her perception of Kurt as having “a melting heart of an egoist”, KQK (Ch. 9 172-6, Ch. 12 235)

Everett, Charlie: beau of Isabel, their meeting with V.V. and Louise, they shift to Russia, his marriage to Isabel, he is later deported to a Soviet labour camp, LATH (Pt. 4 Ch. 7 195; Pt. 5 Ch. 1 199-200, Ch. 3 218), see also entry for Vetrov, Karl Ivanovich

Exkul, Waldemar: a “brilliant young Balt”, assistant to V.V. from Quirn University, set to be V.V.’s successor, LATH (Pt. 4 Ch. 1 157; Pt. 6 Ch. 1 225)

Falter, Adam: previously a hard-working person, possessed of a precise and powerful "volitional substance," makes a superhuman discovery, said to resemble a person whose "skeleton has been removed" but with "his mind intensified tenfold", his conversation with Sineusov, Ultima Thule

Felix: vagabond, Hermann’s “false double”, Despair

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

Ganin, Lev Glebovich: impressionable young protagonist of Mary, is due to leave his present lodgings, his past love “Mashenka”, Mary

Godunov-Cherdyntsev, Countess Elizaveta Pavlovna: Fyodor’s mother, writes long letters to her son, Gift (Ch. 2), 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 last scientific expedition to Central Asia, Gift (Ch. 1; Ch. 2), The Circle

Gornotsvetov: ballet dancer, lives with Kolin in Room 6 of the Russian pension, described as "effeminate", Mary (Ch. 2 5; Ch. 16 105)

Mr. Goodman: Sebastian Knight’s former secretary, writes an (according to V.) atrocious book "The Tragedy of Sebastian Knight", RLSK (Ch. 7 59; Ch. 12 116)

Gretchen: a maid of 18 years, works at the Khruschovs’, one of Smurov’s mistresses, is sent packing after she is discovered filching stuff from her masters', see also Hilda, Eye (72, 75)

Grinstein, Helene: One of the four Russian women from Silberman’s list, a funeral ceremony is in progress when V. visits her address, provides V. with crucial information, V. retrospects that "Girls of her type do not smash a man’s life—they build it", RLSK Ch. 14 (130, 132-135)

Gruzinov, Yuri Timofeich: staunch patriot, "dedicated to counter Bolshevist work", friends with Zilanov, his casual style of conversation which masks his “passion for danger, of his illegal crossings of the most perilous border in the world” Glory (Foreword, Ch. 32 138, Ch. 40 171-2)

Hagen, Herman: head of the German Dept. at Waindell College, “staunch protector” of Pnin, Pnin (Ch. 1 9-11)

Hentzner, Paul: "an eccentric farmer of German extraction, with old-fashioned hobbies such as taxidermy and herborizing," John Shade esteems his company because he knows "the names of things", PF (C. 347, 185)

Hilda: alternate name for Gretchen, see entry for Gretchen, Eye

Horn, Robert: see entry for Axel Rex, LD

Iogolevich, Aleksandr Naumovich: close friend of Mikhail Zilanov, dedicated "anti-Bolshevist", dies of heart failure, his “public” obituary, Glory (Ch. 22 89-90; Ch. 33 142-3)

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 (Ch. 5 108; Ch. 10 192-5)

Irma: eight-year-old daughter of Albert and Elisabeth, LD

Isabel (Bella): V.V. and Annette’s daughter, “strange, marvellous and precociously brilliant”, a vaguely incestuous relation with her father that V.V. seeks to counter by re-marriage, the resulting estrangement, their final meeting in Switzerland before her elopement to Russia with “her beau”, LATH (Pt. 3 Ch. 2 135; Pt. 4 Ch. 2 165, Ch. 3 168, 170, Ch. 6 189-90, Ch. 7 195; Pt. 5 Ch. 1 199-200)

Ivanov: barber in Berlin, formerly a captain, nickname “Razor”, Razor

Jacquot: the gardener’s boy who “rubbed and dusted things in the Iris Villa”, LATH (Pt. 1 Ch. 6 31-2, Ch. 9 47)

Profs. Junkers: a local consultant, consisting of “husband and wife” from Cannice (Cannes and Nice) whom V.V. visits during his stay at the “Iris Villa”, LATH (Pt. 1 Ch. 4 17-8)

Karl, Kurt and Günther: Three drunk Berliners who drop Luzhin off at his fiancé’s home on the event of his collapse after his chess match with Turati (Kurt calls him Pulvermacher), Defense (Ch. 9 144-8)

Kanner: “great pianist and butterfly hunter”, his celebrity status, LATH (Pt. 1 Ch. 6 30, Ch. 7 35-6)

Karenina, Dorianna: well-known German actress, famous "for her exquisite shoulders, her Mona Lisa smile and her husky grenadier voice", her stage-name suggested by a boy who committed suicide, LD (Ch. 16; Ch. 23), Pnin (Ch. 6 159)

Karlovich, Hermann: in the business of chocolate manufacturing, wannabe author, murderer of Felix, Despair

Kashmarin: cuckolded and jealous husband of Matilda, his ‘bright-knobbed black’ cane with which he administers a beating to Smurov, by the end he seems apologetic and offers Smurov a lucrative job, Eye (5, 13-14, 101-2)

Kern: civil engineer, interest in turbines, knew Alexander Blok, Gift (Ch. 1)

Khrushchov, Evgenia: elder sister of Vanya, described as "lady of the house", her resemblance to her sister, Eye (29-30)

Khrushchov, Filip Innokentievich: Evgenia’s ‘burly’ husband, works at bank, Eye (29-30, 86-87)

King Wing: Demon Veen’s wrestling master, teaches Van how to walk, ‘dance on his hands’ which he designates as ‘a rare art’, also teaches him some wrestling holds, Ada (Pt. 1 Ch. 13 81.24-25; 82.16-18; Pt. 1 Ch. 39 7-12)

Klara: a 26-year old typist, described as "a full-busted and very cosy young lady", is in love with Ganin, Mary (Ch. 2 5, 12; Ch. 4 37; Ch. 7 51, 53-54)

Kolya: one of Martin's playmates from Yalta, Lida's brother, Glory (Ch. 4 12)

Kolin: ballet dancer, lives with Gornotsvetov in Room 6 of the Russian pension, sees himself as "Verlaine’s half Pierrot and half Gavroche", Mary (Ch. 2 5; Ch. 9 63)

Komarov, Oleg and Serafima: Oleg is a muralist at Fine Arts of Waindell, Serafima is his wife, Pnin (Ch. 3 71-2)

Koncheyev: emigre-poet, Fyodor’s mysterious alter-ego, Gift (Ch. 1; Ch. 5)

Knight, Sebastian: acclaimed novelist, dies of a rare heart-condition, subject of the book, RLSK

Knight, Virginia: Sebastian’s mother, dies of a rare variety of angina pectoris, known as "Lehmann’s disease" that Sebastian inherits, RLSK (Ch.1 9.10)

Kretschmar, Bruno: see entry for Albert Albinus, LD

Krotki, Olga: now deceased teacher of an "intensive wartime school", taught "Fenugreek and Lethean", Pnin (Ch. 2; Ch. 6 148)

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

Kunitsyn, Peter: an "old schoolfellow" of Podtyagin who graduated with a "gold medal from high school", gives Podtyagin some money which he takes hesistantly, Mary (Ch. 5 38, 40, 43)

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

Kutaysov, Tatiana nee Godunov-Cherdyntsev: Fyodor’s sister, married and has a daughter, Gift (Ch. 2), The Circle

Lake: Victor’s revered art teacher at St. Bart’s school, "unconventional and unusual teacher", his fascinating theory of colors, Pnin (Ch. 4 95-7)

Dr. Lampert: old family doctor of Albert, "a fine throat-specialist and an indifferent violinist", "his ideas about Hindemith", treats both Margot and Irma during their illness, LD (Ch. 16, Ch. 19)

Lang: a "great painter", paints a celebrated mural at Waindell College, also makes Sybil Shade’s “portrait”, Pnin (Ch. 3 71), PF (P. 682 58, C.682 246)

Langley, Ninel Ilinishna (Nelly): ex-wife of the “great Prof. Langley”, constant companion to Annette on her arrival in US, her joint letter (with Annette) to the narrator, perishes with Annette after “a twister struck”, LATH (Pt. 3 Ch. 1 131, Ch. 4 148, 150; Pt. 4 Ch. 2 162)

Madame Lecerf: V’s climatic meeting with her, friend of Helene von Graun, Sebastian's mysterious lover, they meet at her country-house in Lescaux, current name of Nina Rechnoy after she married Mr Lecerf, see also entries for Nina Rechnoy and Toorovetz, RLSK (Ch. 16 148.14; Ch.17 161.24)

Lecerf, Nina: apparently a neighbour of Ivor Black in his “Iris Villa”, LATH (Pt. 1 Ch. 3 14) see also entry for Mme. Lecerf

The Librarian: librarian of the prison which is “second in the city for its size and rarity of volumes”, his “defiant laconism” and “sickly appearance”, IB (Ch. 4, Ch. 7, Ch. 16)

Lida: one of Martin's playmates from Yalta, Kolya's sister, his later recollection and link with Sonia, Glory (Ch. 4 12, Ch. 7 26, Ch. 34 147)

Lorentz, Carl: Geschichtsmaler, Fyodor’s neighbour from his previous lodgings, toiler, misanthrope and a conservative”, develops a sullen attachment to Romanov, Gift (Ch.1)

Lorentz, Margarita: Lorentz’s "pug-faced wife", "a young and enchanting dilettante who dabbled in all the arts", holds literary soirées, Zina took some drawing lessons from her back in St. Petersburg, Gift (Ch. 1; Ch. 3)

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

Luzhin, Ivan: see entry for Luzhin Sr., Defense, Gift

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 (Ch. 3 44; 51-53; Ch. 4 74)

Luzhin Junior: see entry for Luzhin, Aleksandr Ivanovich, Defense

Luzhin Senior, or elderly Luzhin: Luzhin’s father, writes sentimental novels for children, owns estate, over-concerned with Luzhin’s future, Defense (Ch. 2 25-7; 30)

Luzhin’s mother: elder Luzhin’s wife, her father as a virtuoso violinist, dies by end of Chap 4 alone, Defense (Ch. 2 25; Ch. 3 39-40; Ch. 4 74)

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

Maria Vasilevna: heroine of A Slice of Life

Marthe: Cincinnatus’s inexhaustibly unfaithful wife, pays a visit to his cell with her family, IB (Ch. 5, Ch. 9)

Matilda: Smurov’s mistress in Berlin, conducts numerous affairs, her "noble brute" of a husband, Eye (5-7)

Mrs. Luzhin: Luzhin’s wife, daughter from a wealthy family, currently living in Germany, cares tenderly for Luzhin, kind and sensitive but unable to save Luzhin from disaster, Defense

Mrs. Luzhin’s mother: Luzhin’s mother-in-law; disapproves of her son-in-law and his profession; wages a cold war with her daughter, Defense (Ch. 10 157, 168)

Mertz, Oscar Grigorevich: Zina’s much loved natural father, dies of heart ailment, of Jewish stock, Zina proud of her Jewish heritage, Gift (Ch. 3)

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

Dr. Moody: A London “celebrity” specialist, his diagnosis of the narrator’s neurological condition as the “numerical nimbus” syndrome, LATH (Pt. 1 Ch. 4 15)

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", his "urnaism", Glory (Ch. 15 63-4; Ch. 23 97)

Moore, Julia: stepdaughter of German-English writer Mr. R, R’s "love of life", brief affair with Hugh, friend of Armande, TT (Ch. 10 32; Ch. 13 45-47; Ch. 21 83)

Moser: One of Luzhin’s chess opponents, Defense (Ch. 8 130; Ch. 14 248)

Morozov, Boris: “an amiable grizzly bear of a man”, a distinguished poet, “whose fame preceded exile”, share the same publisher as the narrator, LATH (Pt. 1 Ch. 10 51, Ch. 11 57; Pt. 2 Ch. 4 90)

Mukhin, Colonel M. M.: Vanya’s soon-to-be husband, engineer and former White officer, soon to enter his father-in-law’s firm, Eye (Foreword, 84, 91)

Nikita Lukich: chief engineer, designs a "surprise" display in the park at midnight, IB (Ch. 17, Ch. 20)

Nina: heroine of Spring in Fialta

Nikolaevna, Marianna: ‘pacifist’ lady-doctor, relative of Evgenia and Vania, Eye (Foreword, 30)

Dr. Oates: a "famous heart-specialist", advises Sebastian to go to Blauberg for convalescence, RLSK (Ch. 11 104)

Oksman, Osip Lvovich: a “tall, bony, elderly man with a Shakespearean pate”, owner of a bookstore and the ‘Boyan’ publishing firm, puts him in touch with Annette, dies later while attempting an “intrepid escape from the Nazi concentration camp”, LATH (Pt. 2 Ch. 4 90-1, 95)

Olya G.: a compatriot of Yasha, "indolent, grasping, morosely freakish girl”, who falls for Yasha (see their entries), love-triangle, Gift (Ch. 1)

Orlov, Oleg Igorevich: a fellow author who wrote “poems in prose” in the Paris of 1920s, attempts to ‘convert’ V.V. during his clandestine visit to Russia, V.V. strikes him with a blow of “presentable power” with his left fist, LATH (Pt. 5 Ch. 2 207-8; Ch. 3 217-8)

Orlovius: lawyer, acquaintance of Hermann and Lydia, Despair (Ch. 3 48; Ch.8 133)

Pan, Alexis: the [Russian futurist] poet to whom Sebastian "devoted" the summer of 1917, RSLK (Ch. 3 26-8)

Pan, Larissa: elderly, moody wife of Alexis Pan, said to be “violently in love with her freak of a husband”, RLSK (Ch. 3 26-8)

Uncle Pasha: 80-year-old uncle of Evgenia and Vanya, lives in Munich, ‘mobile, noisy and inquisitive’, Smurov overhears his conversation at the dentist’s, is dead by the end, Eye (62-64, 92)

Paul: brother-in-law of Albert, a simple man to whom "his sister’s married happiness was a sacred thing", LD (Ch. 7)

Pauline: daughter of Marthe, ends up under Cincinnatus's care, "red-haired, cross-eyed, bespectacled, arousing not laughter but sadness with those polka dots and plumpness", IB (Ch.2, Ch. 9)

Pavlov, Irina: niece of Mrs. Zilanov, was a "quiet, plump, normal though melancholy girl of fourteen" before her roughing up and abuse in a train that leaves her mentally disabled, Glory (Ch. 20 80; Ch. 35 149-150)

Peppermill, Horace: V.V.’s lawyer, brings Isabel to V.V. after her mother’s death, later settles the terms of the divorce with Louise for the narrator, LATH (Pt. 4 Ch. 2 164-5, Pt. 6 Ch. 2 230)

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 (Ch. 5 14-15; Ch. 6 16)

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

Peters, Margot: Albinus’s young mistress, was a cinema usherette, a cold and calculating woman who dreams of being a model and a film-star, LD

Petrishchev: schoolmate of Luzhin, meets Luzhin in the Ball later on, Defense (Ch. 3 48, Ch. 12 197)

Petrov: a plain-looking man at a party in Luzhin’s Berlin apartment, who is described thus: "his sole function in life was to carry, reverently and with concentration, that which had been entrusted to him, something which it was necessary at all costs to preserve in all its detail and in all its purity", Defense (Ch. 14 230-1)

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

Phil: R’s publisher, Hugh worked at his publishing house, TT (Ch. 10 31; Ch. 21 82-3)

Pierre, Mssr.: Cincinnatus’s executioner which he regards as “his craft”, disguises himself as a fellow inmate to gain Cincinnatus’s confidence, his hobby of “photography”, a 30-year-old “beardless fat man”, IB (Ch. 5, Ch. 7, Ch. 16)

Pilgram, Eleanor: compassionate wife of Paul, The Aurelian

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

Mr. Plunkett: a reformed “gruff and kindly” card-sharper, also described as an “artist” and “gaming conjurer”, had done some "sleuthing for the police" and who to Van was “even more fascinating than King Wing”, friends with Demon Veen, Ada (Pt. 1 Ch. 28 172.12-30)

Pnin, Dr. Pavel Antonovich: Pnin’s father, an ophthalmologist, had treated in the past Leo Tolstoy and the “narrator” of Pnin, Pnin (Ch. 1 21; Ch. 7 174)

Pnin, Timofey: Professor of Russian Literature, hero of the novel, Pnin, PF (C.172, 155; C.894, 268)

Pnin, Valeria: mother of Timofey Pnin, daughter of “a famous revolutionary”, Pnin (Ch. 1 22)

Podtyagin, Anton Sergeyevich: an “aging Russian poet”, lives in a Russian pension along with Ganin, has a heart ailment, loses his “passport” to Paris, Mary (Ch. 2 5-6; Ch. 11 78; Ch. 16 109), Defense (Ch. 14 227), Gift (Ch. 5)

Poore, Sam: President of Waindell College, in wheelchair, lost his sight, Pnin (Ch. 3 70-1)

Pratt, Helen: Clare Bishop’s “great friend”, V’s source of information about Clare and Sebastian, RLSK (Ch. 6 58; Ch. 8 73.30-31)

Mr. R, also von R: Author of several novels, pronounced as a “master-stylist” by reviewers, definitely one of the narrators, TT (Ch. 8 24; Ch. 10 30)

Rechnoy, Paul Pahlich: Ex-husband of Nina Rechnoy, married to Varvara Mitrofanna. A dressmaker when V. visits him, RLSK (Ch. 15 140.13; 143.2)

Rechnoy, Nina: The then wife of Paul Rechnoy, described by him as "an international spy; Mata Hari type", Sebastian’s last love affair, see also entries for Nina Toorovetz and Mme Lecerf, RLSK (Ch. 15 143.24-25)

Reich, Sarah: Dreyer’s secretary at the office, KQK (Ch. 5 107; Ch. 9 177)

Rex, Axel: "a fine artist with a pencil in hand" with "a wonderful hand at freaks" but a chilling cynical and "dangerous man", his previous affair with Margot, named Robert Horn in the Russian version, Kamera obskura, LD (Ch. 1, Ch. 18)

Rodion: Cincinnatus’s jailor, his “flame-red beard” and his “imbecile azure of eyes”, the spider is his “official friend”, IB (Ch. 1, Ch. 11)

Rodrig Ivanovich: director of the prison holding Cincinnatus, his “smooth black toupee” and corpulent figure, IB (Ch. 1, Ch. 14)

Roman Vissarionovich: Cincinnatus’s lawyer, his “made-up face with dark blue eyebrows and long harelip”, IB (Ch. 3)

Romanov, Vsevolod: young painter, has "a bold and original gift" that "obscurely thrills" Fyodor, several paintings “Coincidence”, “Autumn”, “Four Citizens catching a Canary”, “Footballer”, “Countess d’X” are described, said however to have an “objectionable character”, Gift (Ch. 1 58-9; Ch. 3 181)

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

Rosanov, Natasha: Sebastian’s first love, now a mother of two boys, RLSK (Ch. 2 15.19; Ch. 14 138)

Rose: "[G]oddess of the Cambridge tearoom", makes loves to Martin "stormily, clumsily, rustically", Glory (Ch. 24 102-3)

Rubanski, Lyudmila Borisovna: introduced as Ganin’s lover which is subsequently broken up, friends with Klara, Mary (Ch. 2 12; Ch. 8 55)

Savich, Lyubov Serafimovna: granddaughter of a country priest, V.V. employs her as a typist during his work on The Red Top Hat, her immaculate skills, V.V. rejects her love-confession, LATH (Pt. 2 Ch. 2 81, 83-4)

Segelkranz, Dietrich: see entry for Udo Conrad, LD

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

Shade, Caroline nee Lukin: mother of John Shade, co-author of Birds of Mexico, PF (C.71 100)

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

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

Shade, Maud: painter, poet, “dear bizarre” aunt of John Shade, PF (P. 86-90 36; C. 86-90 113)

Shade, Samuel: father of John Shade, vice-president of a firm dealing in surgical instruments, ornithologist, co-author of Birds of Mexico, PF (C. 71 100)

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

Shchyogolev, Marianna: Zina’s mother, remarries, has Fyodor as a tenant, loves Berlin, Gift (Ch. 2; Ch. 5)

Shchyogolev, Boris Ivanovich: a public prosecutor in Pre-Soviet Russia, gets a position at Copenhagen, Zina’s adopted father, "a type of person whom Zina's father would not have allowed over his threshold", a "cocky and corny Russian", Gift (Ch. 2; Ch. 3; Ch. 5)

Sheldon, P.G.: poet, friends with Clare and Sebastian, RLSK (Ch. 11 99.13, 108)

Sheppard, Bill: Pnin’s landlord, former superintendent of college grounds at Waindell, Pnin (Ch. 4 107)

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

Shipogradov, Ivan: eminent novelist and Nobel laureate, radiates “talent and charm”, LATH (Pt. 2 Ch. 1 76, Ch. 4 94)

Shishkov, Peter: protagonist of Orache, A Bad Day

Mr. Silbermann: offers V. his services as a sleuth which helps him in his quest to discover Sebastian’s last affair, RLSK (Ch. 13 126-128)

Sineusov, Dmitri Nikolaevich: artist (‘no longer independent’), commissioned by a Nordic poet to illustrate a poem, entitled “Ultima Thule”, his recently deceased wife, Ultima Thule, Solus Rex

Smirnovski, Oleg Sergeyevich: Theosophist and proprietor of a liqueur factory, acts as a witness in Luzhin’s wedding, Defense (Ch. 8 129; Ch. 11 177)

Smurov: young Russian tutor in Berlin, later works for Weinstock as his salesman, narrator and protagonist of Eye, Eye

Sokolovski, Vasiliy: an old rival of Shipogradov, “a fragile little man in a sloppy suit”, who has been writing a book “replete with folklore, mystical and social history” about a Ukrainian clan, LATH (Pt. 2 Ch. 1 76, Ch. 4 94)

Lt. Starov: a “dark, brooding, gloomy but handsome” man, his continuous physical twitching and tics after his involvment in war, also under the patronage of Count Starov (see entry), takes the Count’s offer of an office job in the White Cross, apparently an alias for Wladimir Blagidze, LATH (Pt. 1 Ch. 3 11, Ch. 11 59, Ch. 13 66), see corresponding entry of Blagidze, Wladimir

Starov, Dr. Alexander Alexandrovich: Sebastian’s consulting doctor; also treated his mother Virginia, RLSK (Ch. 19 183; Ch. 20 191)

Starov, Nadezhda Gordonovna: wife of Lt. Starov, Iris takes lessons in Russian from her, leaves her “dasher” of a husband, LATH (Pt. 1, Ch. 11 59-60)

Starov, Count Nikifor Nikodimovich: a “grave old-fashioned Mason”, belongs to Russian nobility, rumoured to be an admirer of V.V.’s mother, takes the narrator under his patronage in London, “his abiding paternal interest” in V.V., LATH (Pt. 1 Ch. 2 10-11; Ch. 10 49-52)

Stepanov, Berta Abramovna: wife of Stephan, suggests taking Annette as his typist, LATH (Pt. 2 Ch. 1 75, Ch. 3 88)

Stepanov, Stepan Ivanovich: friend of V.V., “a prominent journalist of independent means”, V.V. stays for two months at his “spacious, old-fashioned house” in Paris, hold literary soirees, LATH (Pt. 2 Ch. 1 75-6, Ch. 3 87)

Stoboy, Klara: Fyodor’s former landlady, “which to a Russian’s ear sounded with sentimental firmness as: Klara is with thee (s toboy)”, Gift (Ch. 1; Ch. 5)

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

Mr. Tamworth: Baron R’s secretary, also his “Boswell”, TT (Ch. 10 30; Ch. 21 83)

Teddy: friends with Martin, his “extreme approach to chastity”, Glory (Ch. 25 107)

Thayer, Margaret and Roy: 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 (Ch. 6 147, 157)

Todd, Terry: Dolly’s companion, an ex-student in V.V.’s course, informs Mrs. Langley of the affair with Dolly, LATH (Pt. 3 Ch. 2 138, Ch. 3 145)

Toorovetz, Nina: Maiden name of Nina Rechnoy, see the entries for Nina Rechnoy and Mme. Lecerf, RLSK (Ch. 15 145.15)

Turati: has the final chess match with Luzhin adjourned, Luzhin composes an elaborate but ultimately unused “defense” against him, Defense (Ch. 8 136; Ch. 9 154)

Unnamed lady and her son: A wife of a Soviet businessman, “a nicely bobbed lady” who used to visit Mrs. Luzhin’s family in Petersburg, visits them while on a trip to Berlin, knew Luzhin’s Aunt, asks assistance of Mrs. Luzhin while shopping in Berlin, her “fat, gloomy” son Ivan whom Luzhin tries to engage and entertain, Defense (Ch. 13 209-13, 215-7)

Ushakov: fellow student of Smurov’s during his "single university year in Russia", Eye (10-11)

V.: Sebastian’s half-brother, purported writer of the biography, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, RLSK

Vadim: friend of Martin and Darwin, described as “a nice, chummy, attractive fellow” though an incorrigible prankster, Glory (Ch. 17 70-1)

Vadimovich, Vadim (V. V.): the narrator and a famed Russian-born noble and later American writer, his Russian oeuvre as well as his English originals, his four loves: Iris, Annette, Bel, Louise and the final, unnamed "You", alias of Vadim Blonsky, LATH

Valentin Ivanovich: Mr. and Mrs. Luzhin’s common geography teacher, Defense (Ch. 3 47-8, 50; Ch. 6 88)

Valentinov: Luzhin’s erstwhile manager, his “chess father”, working on a movie by the end, Defense (Ch. 5 80; Ch. 14 238, 248)

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

Vane, Sybil: College student, sister of Cynthia, her suicide, The Vane Sisters

Vanya: lives in the sixth-floor apartment of the same building as Smurov, also called "Mona Vanna", Smurov professes his love to, soon to be wedded to Mukhin, Eye (29, 56, 94-95)

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

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, see also Lucette, Lucy

Veen, Lucy: see entry for Lucinda Veen

Veen, Lucette: see entry for Lucinda Veen

Veen, Ivan (Van): lover of sister Ada, “hero” and “villain” of the novel Ada, psychologist, author, philosopher, Ada

Van, Veen: see entry for Ivan Veen

Vetrov, Isabella Vadimovna: see entry for Isabel, LATH

Vetrov, Karl Ivanovich: see entry for Everett, Charlie (his American namesake), LATH

Victor: central character and narrator of Spring in Fialta

Vladimir Vladimirovich: narrator, Pnin’s coeval, had an affair with Liza Bogolepov prior to her marriage to Pnin, is take up a new post at Waindell’s English Dept., Pnin’s deep seated animosity to him, Pnin (Ch. 7)

Weinstock, Vikentiy Lvovich: eccentric Jewish bookseller, spiritualist, employs Smurov, Eye (Foreword, 37)

Wind, Eric: psychotherapist, bigamist, ex-husband of Liza, leaves for Ecuador later-on, Pnin (Ch. 2 46; Ch. 4 86, 90)

Wind, Victor: son of Eric and Liza Wind, prospective painter, has Pnin as his spiritual father, Pnin (Ch. 4)

Zilanov, Mikhail Platonovich: Sonia’s father, "intensely active in liberal politics", escaped "a Soviet death by crawling through a drainpipe", first to notify of Martin’s father’s death, Glory (Ch. 19 77-8)

Zilanov, Nelly: elder daughter of the Zilanovs’, married to a Russian army officer, dies during childbirth in Brindisi, husband killed in Crimea, Glory (Ch. 12 53; Ch. 21 88)

Zilanov, Olga: mother of Sonia and Nelly, her husband, Mikhail, a "well-known public figure in Russia", Glory (Ch. 12 52)

Zilanov, Sonia: Martin’s love interest, works at an office in Berlin, VN characterizes her in his Foreword as an "oddly attractive young girl, although obviously a moody and ruthless flirt", her ‘Zoorland’ conversations with Martin. Although she dismisses Martin as her lover, she is nonetheless uncontrollably distressed when she learns about Martin’s probable death on his attempt to cross over (illegally) to Russia, Glory

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