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Dead Soulsby Nikolai Vasil'evich Gogol
Synopses & Reviews
Chichikov, a mysterious stranger, arrives in a provincial town and visits a succession of landowners to make each a strange offer. He proposes to buy the names of dead serfs still registered on the census, saving their owners from paying tax on them, and to use these "souls" as collateral to reinvent himself as a gentleman. In this ebullient masterpiece, Nikolai Gogol created a grotesque gallery of human types, from the bear-like Sobakevich to the insubstantial fool Manilov, and, above all, the devilish con man Chichikov. Dead Souls, Russia's first major novel, is one of the most unusual works of nineteenth-century fiction and a devastating satire on social hypocrisy.
This version of Dead Souls is the translation by C. J. Hogarth.
In this surreally funny classic of Russian literature, Nikolai Gogol's wily antihero, Chichikov, is in the business of buying up "dead souls"—deceased serfs who exist only on paper.
About the Author
Nikolai Gogol (1809-1852) was a Russian novelist, humorist, and dramatist. Considered the father of modern Russian realism, his best-known works are the novels Dead Souls and Taras Bul'ba, the play The Inspector-General, and the short stories "Diary of a Madman," "The Nose," and "The Overcoat." With their scrupulous and scathing realism, ethical criticism, and philosophical depth, they remain some of the most important works of world literature. However, because much of Gogol's writing satirized the corrupt bureaucracy of the Russian Empire, he was temporarily exiled from Russia. Arthur Morey has performed in theaters and cabarets in New York, Chicago, and Milan. He freelanced scripts for Paramount and ABC-TV and won awards for both plays and fiction. A former literary manager of Chicago's Body Politic Theatre, he taught acting at Fordham and writing at SUNY Rockland, Northwestern University, and the School of the Art Institute. He edited Viola Spolin for Northwestern University Press and later was managing editor at Renaissance Books in Los Angeles. Winner of a number AudioFile Earphones Awards, he has narrated novels by John Irving, Nathan Englander, Richard Russo, and John Burnam Schwartz, as well as nonfiction by Kurt Eichenwald, John McCain, George Tenet, Deepak Chopra, Gay Talese, and others.
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