Vadim Alexandrovich Glebov
Vadim Alexandrovich Glebov (vah-DIHM ah-lehk-SAN-droh-vihch GLEH-bov), a literary critic whose life has been defined by envy, anger, and caution. He avoids taking firm stands on any issue until the last possible moment, avoids contradicting people, and carefully nurtures his relationships without growing too close, all of which result in his ability to fit in with practically any circle of people without actually committing himself to being a part of any one group exclusively. As a boy, he enjoyed special authority among his friends because his mother worked at a cinema to which he could take his friends without paying. That authority vanished when Lev Shulepnikov moved to the neighborhood because Lev owned a film projector. Glebov eventually enters an institute to study literature, later becoming the lover of Sonya Ganchuk, his adviser’s daughter. When an attempt is made to oust his adviser, Glebov does not rise to his defense, which in essence is an act of betrayal. Shortly thereafter, he abandons Sonya. By the end of his career, he is a well-ensconced establishment figure in literary circles, even having the uncommon privilege of being allowed to travel abroad as part of his duties.
Lev Mikhailovich Shulepnikov
Lev Mikhailovich Shulepnikov (mih-KHAH-ih-loh-vihch shew-LEHP-nih-kov), or Shulepa (shew-LEH-pah), a childhood friend of Glebov and the chief object of Glebov’s childhood envy. Arrogant and bold because of his stepfather’s influence, he owns...
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