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Dead Souls

ISBN-10: 1400043190
ISBN-13: 9781400043194
Edition: 2004
List price: $23.00 Buy it from $9.75
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Description: Nikolai Gogol’sDead Soulsis the great comic masterpiece of Russian literature–a satirical and splendidly exaggerated epic of life in the benighted provinces. Gogol hoped to show the world “the untold riches of the Russian soul” in this 1842 novel,  More...

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Book details

List price: $23.00
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 9/21/2004
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 488
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.25" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.298
Language: English

Nikolai Gogol’sDead Soulsis the great comic masterpiece of Russian literature–a satirical and splendidly exaggerated epic of life in the benighted provinces. Gogol hoped to show the world “the untold riches of the Russian soul” in this 1842 novel, which he populated with a Dickensian swarm of characters: rogues and scoundrels, landowners and serfs, conniving petty officials–all of them both utterly lifelike and alarmingly larger than life. Setting everything in motion is the wily antihero, Chichikov, the trafficker in “dead souls”–deceased serfs who still represent profit to those clever enough to trade in them. 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.

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.

Richard Pevear has produced acclaimed translations of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Gogol, & Bulgakov. The translation of "The Brothers Karamazov" won the 1991 PEN Book of the Month Club translation prize.

Larissa Volohonsky has produced acclaimed translations of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Gogol, & Bulgakov. The translation of "The Brothers Karamazov" won the 1991 PEN Book of the Month Club translation prize.

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