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Dead Souls

ISBN-10: 0140441131
ISBN-13: 9780140441130
Edition: N/A
List price: $10.95
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Description: Gogol's tale of a dismissed civil servant turned unscrupulous confidence man is the most essentially Russian of all the great novels in Russian literature. With its rich and ebullient language, ironic twists, and cast of comedic characters, Dead  More...

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Book details

List price: $10.95
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date: 9/30/1961
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 384
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.25" long x 0.73" tall
Weight: 0.550
Language: English

Gogol's tale of a dismissed civil servant turned unscrupulous confidence man is the most essentially Russian of all the great novels in Russian literature. With its rich and ebullient language, ironic twists, and cast of comedic characters, Dead Souls (1842) stands as one of the most dazzlingand poetic masterpieces of the nineteenth century. This brilliant new translation by Christopher English is complemented by a superb introductory essay by the pre-eminent Gogol scholar, Robert Maguire.

Mikhail Afanasevich Bulgakov was a Russian playwright, novelist, and short-story writer best known for his use of humor and satire. He was born in Kiev, Ukraine, on May 15, 1891, and graduated from the Medical School of Kiev University in 1916. He served as a field doctor during World War I. Bulgakov's association with the Moscow Art Theater began in 1926 with the production of his play The Days of the Turbins, which was based on his novel The White Guard. His work was popular, but since it ridiculed the Soviet establishment, was frequently censored. His satiric novel The Heart of a Dog was not published openly in the U.S.S.R. until 1987. Bulgakov's plays including Pushkin and Moliere dealt with artistic freedom. His last novel, The Master and Margarita, was not published until 1966-67 and in censored form. Bulgakov died in Moscow on March 10, 1940.Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol was born in 1809 in the Ukraine. His father was an amateur playwright who had a small estate with a number of serfs. From the ages of 12 to 19, young Gogol attended a boarding school where he became known for his sharp wit and ability to amuse his classmates. After school he worked as a government clerk. He soon began writing memories of his childhood. His quaint depictions of the Ukrainian countryside marked his style and helped to make him famous. Gogol quickly gained fame and formed a friendship with the influential poet, Aleksandr Pushkin. Gogol is largely remembered for his realistic characterizations, his rich imagination, and his humorous style. His works include Mirgorod, a collection of short stories including Taras Bulba. Gogol's wit is evident in his short story, The Nose, where a man's nose wanders off around town in a carriage. Gogol's masterpiece is the novel Dead Souls. In this work, a swindler plots to buy from landowners their dead serfs. Towards the end of Gogol's life, his creative powers faded and he fled to Moscow. Here, he came under the power of a fanatical priest. Ten days before his death he burned some manuscripts of the second part of Dead Souls. He died of starvation in 1852, on the cusp of madness.

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