RED SNOW; RED SKIES:an imperial russia les miserables au
saint-petersburg, 1824: as the tsarist regime continues to suppress the lower classes and the institution of serfdom continues to choke the empire, tightly-knit groups of young students, nobles, and officers begin to gather together to voice their discontent. one of these clandestine societies is “les amis de l’abaisse” or in russian simply “druzya”: the friends. they belong to history, and consist of…
count konstantin pavlovich enzholrayev / граф константин павпович энжолраев: the chief. comes from a noble family, but lacks any pretension. when his lineage is mentioned, brushes it off with an air of indifference. chooses to live in a humble garrett rather than his family’s estate. detests his father for keeping serfs, and for this reason maintains a lofty marble distance from his family. finds comfort in progress and his friends. emulates the french revolution and has for his aim the liberation of all peoples.
kirill maximovich komfyerin / кирипп максимович комферин: the guide. friend of knowledge and emitter of warmth. originally from a poor family, but after intolerable circumstances in the home, was brought up on the estate of the enzholrayevs. consequently, kirill and konstantin have been practically inseparable for the majority of their lives despite societal differences. they share accommodations near the center of petersburg.
ivan alexandrovich pruverin / иван александрович пруверин: the poet. most often called jehan, sometimes vanya, and vanyechka when one wants to get a rise out of him. whimsical, romantic, yet perceptive sometimes to the point of sharpness. melancholy. brave. maintains infrequent correspondence with alexander pushkin. lives alone, but even in solitude, he is never really alone.
viktor lvovich feuilly / виктор львович фуй: the artist. originally from a poor merchant family of french and polish extraction. an orphan. extremely nationalistic, and abhors the russian empire’s treatment of poland. poor, yet completely self-sufficient. often called either “the foreigner” or “the french pole.” lover of the common folk.
prince nikolai mikhailovich kufyerov / князь николай михайлович куферов: the center. charming and sociable. makes no attempts to hide his title, but doesn’t quite flaunt it either (except to win the attentions of a pretty face, perhaps). makes frequent appearances at balls, to the delight of young ladies and their mothers and to the chagrin of their fathers. many nights when he informs his family and valet that he is “going to his club”, he is actually paying long visits to pruverin’s rooms.
boris andreyevich bahorel / борис андреевич бахорель: the flame. no one (including himself) knows his true nationality, though he’s probably just french. a son of peasants. lives in no one place exclusively, but puts himself up at a different friend’s house every night. tried being a hussar, but found he did not like taking orders. has fought a number of duels, and been shot only in one. he prizes the scar.
grigory alexeyevich legletsky / грирорий алексеевич леглецский: the unlucky. most often called bossuet. laughs at everything. like most of his friends is a student in the university, but his performance is rarely satisfactory. like bahorel, has no real home, and no money, but is never unhappy. would perhaps be at his happiest and most comfortable sleeping under a bridge among his fellow men and creatures.
sergei vasilyevich zholin / сергей васильевич жолин: the hypochondriac. student of medicine. a son of poor simple parents who can’t imagine what good will come of their son’s education, but they remain proud of him anyway. he visits them often, bringing them presents and any money he manages to save. the happiest of the bunch. most often plays host to legletsky and is all too glad to do so.
roman romanovich grantyerev / роман романович грантьерев: the cynic. son of a family of military officials. estranged from his family, and therefore destitute (although one kind aunt sends a few rubles a month, which is promptly spent on vodka). a half-hearted art student. shares a top floor garrett with feuilly, whose hard-working nature sometimes serves to counteract his apathetic tendencies. spends a great deal of time with a revolutionary group for someone who has no faith in revolution.