Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
*St. Petersburg. Capital of Imperial Russia, whose northern location is so close to the Arctic Circle that it is subject to extreme variations in the lengths of its days and nights. During the winter, the sun hardly rises before it vanishes again beneath the horizon. Near the summer solstice, the sun hardly sets, creating the “white nights” for which the city is famous. Because of this, St. Petersburg is seen in literature as a city where reality is tenuous at best, where extraordinary things can happen. Although Oblomov lives in the city, he has little contact with the social life of the imperial capital. Occasionally his visitors may mention various activities they plan to attend at prestigious places, but Oblomov cannot find the energy or initiative to leave his bed, let alone go out on the town.
Oblomov’s house. Home in the Vyburg District where Oblomov settles with the landlady who becomes his wife. This dwelling, on the opposite side of the Neva River from the apartment where he lives earlier, is a model of domestic simplicity, in contrast to the high-society dwelling in which his former teacher Scholtz settles with Olga Sergeevna. At first Oblomov’s move represents a break from his former lassitude, and he begins to take initiative in his life once more. However, he eventually has a relapse to his former self and ultimately dies of a stroke in his sleep.
Oblomovka (oh-BLOH-mov-kah). Oblomov’s rural estate, a rather plain, quiet place in eastern Russia, near the border of Asia, and quite Asian in nature. It is seen only in Oblomov’s lengthy, dreamlike reminiscences and imaginings. There, Oblomov grew up, tended by a peasant nurse who told him fairy tales about a magical ideal bride, tales he came to prefer to practical reality. Oblomovka is also said to be the origin of the malady from which Oblomov suffers, the Oblomovshchina (the-shchina suffix is frequently used in Russian to describe an ill associated with a particular person, place, or thing, for instance: gruppovshchina, ethnic bullying, or Yezhovshchina, the Great Terror, after secret police chief Nikolai Yezhov).
Verklevo (ver-KLEH-voh). Location of Scholtz’s school. Although not far from Oblomovka, the school is utterly unlike the aimless Asiatic idleness of the Oblomov family’s estate. Scholtz, a German, insists upon industry and activity from his pupils, and gives them a broad-based education.