A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow

by

Amor Towles

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Osip Ivanovich Glebnikov Character Analysis

A former Colonel of the Red Army who becomes the Chief Administrator of the secret police in Russia. When the Soviets reopen Russia to foreign relations, he asks the Count to tutor him in French and English—both for the language and for the culture. He argues with the Count on why Bolshevism is good, even though its revolutionary methods seem particularly rigid, providing the novel with a more sympathetic perspective on the Bolsheviks.

Osip Ivanovich Glebnikov Quotes in A Gentleman in Moscow

The A Gentleman in Moscow quotes below are all either spoken by Osip Ivanovich Glebnikov or refer to Osip Ivanovich Glebnikov. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of A Gentleman in Moscow published in 2016.
Book 3, Antics, Antitheses, an Accident Quotes

In 1916, Russia was a barbarian state. It was the most illiterate nation in Europe, with the majority of its population living in modified serfdom: tilling the fields with wooden plows, beating their wives by candlelight, collapsing on their benches drunk with vodka, and then waking at dawn to humble themselves before their icons. That is, living exactly as their forefathers had lived five hundred years before. Is it not possible that our reverence for all the statues and cathedrals and ancient institutions was precisely what was holding us back?

Page Number: 297
Explanation and Analysis:
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Osip Ivanovich Glebnikov Character Timeline in A Gentleman in Moscow

The timeline below shows where the character Osip Ivanovich Glebnikov appears in A Gentleman in Moscow. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 3, An Alliance
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
The Count goes into the Yellow Room and meets a Soviet official (later introduced as Osip), whom he describes as a man that is “no stranger to brute force,” particularly given... (full context)
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
The Count surmises that Osip is about forty and became a colonel by the end of World War I. The... (full context)
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
Dinner arrives, and Osip serves a portion of roast duck for himself and the Count. Osip starts to rattle... (full context)
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
Osip is surprised to hear that the Count thinks of the Bolsheviks as his countrymen, and... (full context)
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
Osip finally introduces himself as Osip Ivanovich Glebnikov, former colonel of the Red Army and an... (full context)
Book 3, Ascending, Alighting
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...arrives at the meeting, however, Andrey reminds him that he has his usual appointment with Osip that night, and that there is a dinner for the country’s leading car manufacturer at... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...and then heads down to the Yellow room at ten o’clock for his appointment with Osip. They have been dining once a month since 1930. At first, they dedicated their studies... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
For this meeting, the Count had told Osip to read Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. But as Osip starts to discuss the... (full context)
Book 3, Antics, Antitheses, an Accident
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
At 7:30 that evening, the Count meets with Osip, who notices quickly that something is off with the Count. The Count tells him not... (full context)
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
Osip became engrossed in each film, and dissected each one afterward. The musicals were mere entertainment... (full context)
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
And so on this evening, Osip and the Count watch The Maltese Falcon again. As they watch, the Count asks if... (full context)
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
Osip argues that heritage must be swept aside in order to allow the people to progress.... (full context)
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
The Count wonders at what cost progress must come. Osip states that it comes at the greatest cost, pointing to America and its history of... (full context)
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
When the Count and Osip say goodnight, the Count returns to the Shalyapin, where the American general’s aide-de-camp, Richard, is... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
The Count explains Mishka’s lament of Russia’s disappearing history, and Osip’s argument that brushing the past aside is necessary for progress. Richard argues that both Mishka... (full context)
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...that soon she will be just fine. The Count begins to thank the doctor when Osip appears. (full context)
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
The Count is confused why Osip is there, and Osip reiterates that it is his job to keep track of certain... (full context)
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Osip leads the Count to the back of the hospital, saying as they part that it... (full context)
Book 5, An Association
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
The Count and Osip watch Casablanca together. Over the last several years, they have met less and less frequently,... (full context)
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
When the film starts, Osip is engrossed. After twenty minutes, Osip admits that this may be Bogart at his best.... (full context)
Afterword, Afterwards…
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
...Chief Administrator of a special branch of the country’s security (who is revealed to be Osip by the scar above his left ear) is reviewing a file when a young man... (full context)
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Chance, Luck, and Fate Theme Icon
...for Finland. The young man wonders, however, why the Count did not shoot the Bishop. Osip answers that it is because the Bishop was not an aristocrat. (full context)