Vadim's benefactor (and father?) Nikifor Starov is a namesake of Nikifor, blagorodneyshiy starik (a fine old man) in Lebyadkin's fable Tarakan (The Cockroach). Ignat Lebyadkin is a character in Dostoevski's novel Besy (The Possessed, 1872). The characters of Dostoevski's story Skvernyi anekdot (A Nasty Anecdote, 1862) include Stepan Nikiforovich Nikiforov, Pralinski's former chief. Before he crushes the party at the wedding celebration of Pseldonymov, Ivan Ilyich Pralinski had five or six flutes of champagne at Nikiforov's birthday party.
Vadim's second wife, Annette leaves him after his "escapade" at J. B.'s birthday party (3.4). Kvirn (as Annette contemptuously transliterates "Quirn" in her letter to Vadim) seems to hint at skvernyi (nasty, foul; bad), the epithet used by Dostoevski in the title of his story.
Quirn (Vadim's University) means "a mill for grinding grain, the upper stone of which is turned by hand." Orest Miller (1833-89) was Dostoevski's biographer. On the other hand, it is near Miller's, the confectioner's, that the hero and narrator of Dostoevski's novel Unizhennye i oskorblyonnye (Humiliated and Insulted, 1861) meets Jeremy Smith and his dog Azorka:
Поровнявшись с кондитерской Миллера, я вдруг остановился как вкопанный и стал смотреть на ту сторону улицы, как будто предчувствуя, что вот сейчас со мной случится что-то необыкновенное, и в это-то самое мгновение на противоположной стороне я увидел старика и его собаку.
As I reached Miller’s, the confectioner’s, I suddenly stood stock-still and began staring at that side of the street, as though I had a presentiment that something extra-ordinary was just going to happen to me; and at that very instant I saw, on the opposite side of the street, the old man with his dog. (Part One, chapter one)
И походка их и весь их вид чуть не проговаривали тогда с каждым шагом: Стары-то мы, стары, господи, как мы стары!
And their gait and their whole appearance seemed almost to cry aloud at every step: “We are old [stary], old [stary]. Oh Lord, how old [stary] we are!” (ibid.)
A few days later Azorka and his master die almost simultaneously.
В столе отыскался его паспорт. Покойник был из иностранцев, но русский подданный, Иеремия Смит, машинист, семидесяти восьми лет от роду.
In the table drawer they found his passport. The dead man turned out to be of foreign birth, though a Russian subject. His name was Jeremy Smith, and he was a mechanical engineer, seventy-eight years old. (ibid.)
The novelist Ivan Shipogradov nicknamed his old rival, Vasiliy Sokolovski, "Jeremy":
A far less engaging figure was I. A. Shipogradov's old rival, a fragile little man in a sloppy suit, Vasiliy Sokolovski (oddly nicknamed "Jeremy" by  I.A.), who since the dawn of the century had been devoting volume after volume to the mystical and social history of a Ukrainian clan that had started as a humble family of three in the sixteenth century but by volume six (1920) had become a whole village, replete with folklore and myth. (2.1)
The characters of Dostoevski's novel Podrostok (The Adolescent, 1875) include old Prince Sokolski and his young son. The names Sokolski and Sokolovski both come from sokol (falcon).
"The eminent novelist and recent Nobel Prize winner," I. A. Shipogradov reminds one of I. A. Bunin (1870-1953). Bunin famously loathed Dostoevski for his "spilling Jesus all over the place." According to Vadim (whose novel The Dare includes a concise biography and critical appraisal of Fyodor Dostoyevski), Dostoevski's novels are "absurd with their black-bearded killers presented as mere negatives of Jesus Christ's conventional image, and weepy whores borrowed from maudlin romances of an earlier age." (2.5) In the Bible Jeremiah is the "weeping prophet." Jeremiah is mentioned by Turkevich, a character in Korolenko's story V durnom obshchestve (In Bad Company, 1885):
"Иду!.. Как пророк Иеремия... Иду обличать нечестивых!"
"I'm going forth like the prophet Jeremiah to chastise the wicked!"
Turkevich's words are quoted by D. S. Merezhkovski (Bunin's rival who must have been the model of LATH's Sokolovski; although he was nominated for the Nobel Prize several times, Merezhkovski, 1865-1941, never won it) in his essay The Stories of Vladimir Korolenko (1889). The setting of In Bad Company is a city in West Ukraine where Korolenko came from and where the action of most of his stories takes place. Korolenko is the author of Sokolinets (1885), a story about the tramps who escaped from Sakhalin (Sokolinets title actually hints at the place of penal servitude in the Tsarist Russia). In his essay on Korolenko Merezhkovski also mentions Dostoevski's Humiliated and Insulted. LATH's Sokolovski also reminds one of Adam Sokolovich, the protagonist of Bunin's story Petlistye ushi (Loopy Ears, 1917).
Jeremy Smith is obviously English. According to Vadim, Count Starov sported some English blood (6.1).
Ninel Ilinishna Langley is a namesake of Nina Voronskoy, "that Cleopatra of the Neva" with whom in Pushkin's Eugene Onegin Princess N. sits at a table. On the other hand, in his Commentary to Annette's farewell letter Vadim twice calls Ninella Langley (who used to call Vadim's wife "Netty") "Nelly:"
The first four or five lines are no doubt authentic, but then come various details which convince me that not Netty but Nelly masterminded the entire communication. Only a Soviet woman would speak like that of America. (3.4)
Good-bye, Netty and Nelly. Good-bye, Annette and Ninette. Good-bye, Nonna Anna. (ibid.)
In Humiliated and Insulted Nelly is Jeremy Smith's grand-daughter, a thirteen-year-old orphan who moves to the narrator after her grandfather's death. (But she suffers from epilepsy and eventually dies of consumption.)
Ninel is Lenin backwards. Leaving her husband, Annette moves with Ninel to Rustic Roses (3.4). A roza upala na lapu Azora (And the rose fell on Azor's paw) is one of Russian most famous palindromes (composed by A. Fet).
Btw., the Azores are mentioned in LATH:
In all their habits of expression Ben Kulich and Miss Haworth [Vadim's translators, a Russian-born New Yorker and an Englishwoman who had spent three years in Moscow] were so close that I now think they might have been secretly married to one another and had corresponded regularly when trying to settle a tricky paragraph; or else, maybe, they used to meet midway for lexical picnics on the grassy lip of some crater in the Azores. (2.10)
Alexey Sklyarenko
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