When Pushkin first read some of the stories in this collection, he declared himself "amazed." "Here is real gaiety," he wrote, "honest, unconstrained, without mincing, without primness. And in places what poetry! . . . I still haven't recovered."
More than a century and a half later, Nikolai Gogol's stories continue to delight readers the world over. Now a stunning new translationfrom an award-winning team of translatorspresents these stories in all their inventive, exuberant glory to English-speaking readers. For the first time, the best of Gogol's short fiction is brought together in a single volume: from the colorful Ukrainian tales that led some critics to call him "the Russian Dickens" to the Petersburg stories, with their black humor and wonderfully demented attitude toward the powers that be. All of Gogol's most memorable creations are here: the minor official who misplaces his nose, the downtrodden clerk whose life is changed by the acquisition of a splendid new overcoat, the wily madman who becomes convinced that a dog can tell him everything he needs to know.
These fantastic, comic, utterly Russian characters have dazzled generations of readers and had a profound influence on writers such as Dostoevsky and Nabokov. Now they are brilliantly rendered in the first new translation in twenty-five yearsone that is destined to become the definitive edition of Gogol's most important stories.
About the Author
Nikolai Gogol was born in the Ukraine in 1809 and died in 1852. Originally trained as a painter, he became interested in the theater and was soon known for his plays and short stories, notably "The Diary of a Madman" (1834), "The Nose" (1836), and "The Overcoat" (1842). Dead Souls, his novel, was published in 1842.
Richard Pevear, a native of Boston, and Larissa Volokhonsky, a native of Leningrad, are married and live in France. Their translation of Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov won the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize.
Also translated by Pevear and Volokhonsky, (and also available from Vintage Books) are Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol; and Crime and Punishment, Demons, and Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
Read an Excerpt
Translated and Annotated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
Excerpted from "The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol"
Copyright © 1999 Nikolai Gogol.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
St. John’s Eve
The Night Before Christmas
The Terrible Vengeance
Ivan Fyodorovich Shponka and His Aunt
Old World Landowners
The Story of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich
The Diary of a Madman
What People are Saying About This
"The greatest artist that Russia has yet produced."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The first two stories were very folktale-ish. Fantastic, loved the devil and sorcerers. The next ones were very Russian in style, reminiscent of Tolstoy in writing style. Whimsical flavor also, especially "The Nose". I think I remember that Kafka was influenced by him. I can see the influence in that hint of the ridiculous such as in "The Overcoat". A man died and came back a s a ghost to take vengeance- whereas in a serious story he would have just died.