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If you are a reader of taste and discernment, a reader who values their time, you could do worse than pick up this little volume of tales by Nikolai Gogol How many books of a merely 231 pages can offer you four masterpieces three short stories, one novella and one delightful, expertly crafted short story that might convince you it was a masterpiece too if you had discovered it almost anywhere except in this august company From the first, Gogol was an outsider Ukrainian born but descended from Cossacks a gentleman but of the lesser gentry fiercely ambitious, but moody and solitary, his schoolmates called him our mysterious dwarf His early work was a series of Ukrainian stories, but his mother had to help him research the details, for he had only a little knowledge of his own history His later tales are set in St Petersburg, the governmental capital of Russia, from whose closely regulated social hierarchy he felt alienated, and which he held in great contempt Still an outsider, he was a Ukrainian in a Russian world Fortunately, though, St Petersburg recognized great work when they saw it Pushkin admired him, his play The Government Inspector was a success, and Gogol was welcomed into the literary world.The tale of Gogol s life grows darker from then on, but all the works in this small volume are taken from this early period Taras Bulba is a romantic epic in miniature, an account of the Cossack people at war with the Poles, filled with savagery and heroism The other masterpieces here are all taken from his St Petersburg Tales, ironic depictions of petty men obsessed with their position in a bureaucratic hierarchy in the ghostly tale The Overcoat perhaps the greatest of the works here a bureaucrat seeks and loses a new coat to uphold his declining status in the surrealistic work The Nose, a bureaucrat s own nose abandons him, and goes off to seek social status on its own and in wildly funny and pathetic The Diary of a Madman, a bureaucratic clerk obsessively in love with his employer s daughter disintegrates into increasingly delusions The other tale, the comically anti climactic The Carriage, though it is set in a little town where the cavalry is stationed and features a local landowner and former cavalryman, is filled with same concerns for social status as The St Petersburg Tales The translation here is a good one, and flows easily I didn t find the afterward by Priscilla Meyer all that helpful But at least it is mercifully brief. This book forever changed my view of little dogs. O , , ,,.To 5 5 ,, , , ,,, 4 5 ,who cares, the man is fucking Gogol. When you look back to the Golden Era of Russian Literature, Nikolai Gogol is like the odd man out You have the romanticism of Pushkin, the philosophical depth found in Dostoyevsky, complex examinations of Russian society in Tolstoy, the realist style of Turgenev and then you have the satirical and farcical works of Gogol It s funny because Gogol s stories fit ever so comfortably amongst the twentieth century Russian literature, where satirical stories were rampant due to Soviet censors It s ever so comfortable because you don t need to consciously place your mind in nineteenth century Russia to read Gogol Somehow he places it for you, without any extended visual sequences needed You are just there, in amongst the surrealism, the farce, the political satire, the absurdism, the quirkiness, the sadness, the self awareness Gogol effortlessly transports you on a literary odyssey like no other literature from that era It s all these qualities that keeps Gogol s stories so fresh, timeless and hilarious It s understandable that without Gogol we would have no Dostoyevsky, Kafka, Bulgakov, Platonov and so many other different writers Soviet writers of the early twentieth century, especially during Stalin s regime, can only thank Gogol for writing socially and politically charged satires and managing to get away with them Let s not forget that there were strict censors even during the nineteenth century, especially during Gogol s lifetimeI confess I felt deeply troubled when I considered how unusually delicate and insubstantial the moon is The moon, as everyone knows, is usually made in Hamburg, and they make a complete hash of it I m surprised that the English don t do something about it The moon is manufactured by a lame cooper, and it s obvious the idiot has no idea what it should be made of The materials he uses are tarred rope and linseed oil That s why there s such a terrible stink all over the earth, which makes us stop our noses up And it also explains why the moon is such a delicate sphere, and why people can t live there only noses For this reason we can t see our own noses any , as they re all on the moon Gogol, Diary of a Madman Diary of a Madman, The Nose and The Overcoat are probably his very best short stories, and all stylistically very different from one another Utilising the diary format, the protagonist, Poprishchin, in Diary of a Madman challenges governmental bureaucracy and upper society in a hilarious and somewhat sad satire of a delusional man simply wanting to be noticed in the world, echoing the world we live in today Some of literature s funniest lines can be found in Diary of a Madman The Nose is a complete farce, an almost proto Kafkaesque and self aware journey of a man whose nose has mysteriously fallen off his face, and his travels around St Petersburg to find it The Overcoat completely changes tone into a gloomy, atmospheric tale of perception and troubled consciences, all revolving around an overcoat Still, Gogol retains his trademark absurdism and structured prose, in an all round fantastic collection of his short stories Gogol is simply one of Russia s greatest writers. The diary of a madman It s a 4,5 One of the finest short stories i have ever read I loved it 3 , ,, ,601 3. ,, , ,, , ,,, ,, , ,. ^Free Book ⇨ Diary of a Madman and Other Stories ☉ Hailed By Nabokov As The Greatest Artist That Russia Has Yet Produced, Nikolai Gogol Left His Mark As A Playwright, Novelist, And Writer Of Short Stories Gogol S Works Remain Popular With Both Writers And Readers, Who Prize His Originality, Imaginative Gifts, And Sheer ExuberanceThis Collection Offers An Excellent Introduction To The Author S Works Opening A Door To His Bizarre World Of Broad Comedy, Fantasy, And Social Commentary, The Title Story Portrays A Petty Official S Mental Disintegration As He Struggles For The Attention Of The Woman He Loves Set During The Repressive Rule Of Nicholas I, It Satirizes The Bureaucratic Excesses Of The Era Additional Tales Include The Nevski Prospect, A Portrayal Of The Feverish Pace Of St Petersburg Street Life, And The Portrait, A Gripping Depiction Of A Soul S Perdition