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Nikolai Gogol, an early 19th century Ukrainian-born Russian novelist, humorist, and dramatist, created some of the most important works of world literature and is considered the father of modern Russian realism. Gogol satirized the corrupt bureaucracy of the Russian Empire through the scrupulous and scathing realism of his writing, which would ultimately lead to his exile. Among some of his finest works are his short stories. Together in this collection are collected some of the best of these stories, they include the following: Old Fashioned Farmers, How the Two Ivans Quarrelled, The Nose, The Overcoat (The Cloak), St. John's Eve, The Night of Christmas Eve, and The Mantle.
Gogol's 1842 novel Dead Souls, a comic masterpiece about a mysterious con man and his grotesque victims, is one of the major works of Russian literature. It was translated into English in 1942 by Bernard Guilbert Guerney; the translation was hailed by Vladimir Nabokov as "an extraordinarily fine piece of work" and is still considered the best translation of Dead Souls ever published. Long out of print, the Guerney translation of Dead Souls is now reissued. The text has been made more faithful to Gogol's original by removing passages that Guerney inserted from earlier drafts of Dead Souls. The text is accompanied by Susanne Fusso's introduction and by appendices that present excerpts from Guerney's translations of other drafts of Gogol's work and letters Gogol wrote around the time of the writing and publication of Deal Souls. "I am delighted that Guerney's translation of Dead Souls [is] available again. It is head and shoulders above all the others, for Guerney understands that to 'translate' Gogol is necessarily to undertake a poetic recreation, and he does so brilliantly."-Robert A. Maguire, Columbia University "The Guerney translation of Dead Souls is the only translation I know of that makes any serious attempt to approximate the qualities of Gogol's style-exuberant, erratic, 'Baroque,' bizarre."-Hugh McLean, University of California, Berkeley "A splendidly revised and edited edition of Bernard Guerney's classic English translation of Gogol's Dead Souls. The distinguished Gogol scholar Susanne Fusso may have brought us as close as the English reader may ever expect to come to Gogol's masterpiece. No student, scholar, or general reader will want to miss this updated, refined version of one of the most delightful and sublime works of Russian literature."-Robert Jackson, Yale University
Since its publication in 1842, Dead Souls has been celebrated as a supremely realistic portrait of provincial Russian life and as a splendidly exaggerated tale; as a paean to the Russian spirit and as a remorseless satire of imperial Russian venality, vulgarity, and pomp. As Gogol's wily antihero, Chichikov, combs the back country wheeling and dealing for "dead souls"--deceased serfs who still represent money to anyone sharp enough to trade in them--we are introduced to a Dickensian cast of peasants, landowners, and conniving petty officials, few of whom can resist the seductive illogic of Chichikov's proposition. This lively, idiomatic English version by the award-winning translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky makes accessible the full extent of the novel's lyricism, sulphurous humor, and delight in human oddity and error.
An NYRB Classics Original The first of the great Russian novels and one of the indisputable masterpieces of world literature, Dead Souls is the tale of Chichikov, an affably cunning con man who causes consternation in a small Russian town when he shows up out of nowhere proposing to buy title to serfs who, though dead as doornails, are still property on paper. What can he have up his sleeve, the local landowners wonder, even as some rush to unload what isn't of any use to them anyway, while others seek to negotiate the best deal possible, and others yet hold on to their dead for dear life, since if somebody wants what you have then no matter what don't give it away. Chichikov's scheme soon encounters obstacles, but he is never without resource, and as he stumbles forward as best he can, Gogol paints a wonderfully comic picture of Russian life that also serves as a biting satire of a society as corrupt as it is cynical and silly. At once a wild phantasmagoria and a work of exacting realism, Dead Souls is a supremely living work of art that spills over with humor and passion and absurdity. Donald Rayfield's vigorous new translation corrects the mistakes and omissions of earlier versions while capturing the vivid speech rhythms of the original. It also offers a fuller text of the unfinished second part of the book by combining material from Gogol's two surviving drafts into a single compelling narrative. This is a tour de force of art and scholarship--and the most authoritative, accurate, and readable edition of Dead Souls available in English.
Opening a door to a bizarre world of broad comedy, fantasy, and social commentary, the title story offers an unforgettable depiction of a lunatic civil servant and his struggles to be noticed by the woman he loves. This excellent introduction to Gogol also features "Nevski Prospect" and "The Portrait."
This expanded collection of influential Russian satirist Nikolay Gogol's ingenious pieces now includes his most famous play.
"How dared you, in disregard of all decency, call me a goose?"This lesser-known work is perhaps the perfect distillation of Nikolai Gogol's genius: a tale simultaneously animated by a joyful, nearly slapstick sense of humor alongside a resigned cynicism about the human condition. In a sharp-edged translation from John Cournos, an under-appreciated early translator of Russian literature into English, How The Two Ivans Quarreled is the story of two long-time friends who have a falling out when one of them calls the other a "goose." From there, the argument intensifies and the escalation becomes more and more ludicrous. Never losing its generous antic spirit, the story nonetheless transitions from whither a friendship, to whither humanity, as it progresses relentlessly to its moving conclusion. The Art of The Novella Series Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.
The First New Translation in Forty YearsSet sometime between the mid-sixteenth and early-seventeenth century, Gogol's epic tale recounts both a bloody Cossack revolt against the Poles (led by the bold Taras Bulba of Ukrainian folk mythology) and the trials of Taras Bulba's two sons.As Robert Kaplan writes in his Introduction, "[Taras Bulba] has a Kiplingesque gusto . . . that makes it a pleasure to read, but central to its theme is an unredemptive, darkly evil violence that is far beyond anything that Kipling ever touched on. We need more works like Taras Bulba to better understand the emotional wellsprings of the threat we face today in places like the Middle East and Central Asia." And the critic John Cournos has noted, "A clue to all Russian realism may be found in a Russian critic's observation about Gogol: 'Seldom has nature created a man so romantic in bent, yet so masterly in portraying all that is unromantic in life.' But this statement does not cover the whole ground, for it is easy to see in almost all of Gogol's work his 'free Cossack soul' trying to break through the shell of sordid today like some ancient demon, essentially Dionysian. So that his works, true though they are to our life, are at once a reproach, a protest, and a challenge, ever calling for joy, ancient joy, that is no more with us. And they have all the joy and sadness of the Ukrainian songs he loved so much."From the Hardcover edition.
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