!!> PDF / Epub ☉ Suflete moarte ✩ Author Nikolai Gogol – Varanus.us

Suflete moarteAn NYRB Classics OriginalThe First Of The Great Russian Novels And One Of The Indisputable Masterpieces Of World Literature, Dead Souls Is The Tale Of Chichikov, An Affably Cunning Con Man Who Causes Consternation In A Small Russian Town When He Shows Up Out Of Nowhere Proposing To Buy Title To Serfs Who, Though Dead As Doornails, Are Still Property On Paper What Can He Have Up His Sleeve, The Local Landowners Wonder, Even As Some Rush To Unload What Isn T Of Any Use To Them Anyway, While Others Seek To Negotiate The Best Deal Possible, And Others Yet Hold On To Their Dead For Dear Life, Since If Somebody Wants What You Have Then No Matter What Don T Give It Away Chichikov S Scheme Soon Encounters Obstacles, But He Is Never Without Resource, And As He Stumbles Forward As Best He Can, Gogol Paints A Wonderfully Comic Picture Of Russian Life That Also Serves As A Biting Satire Of A Society As Corrupt As It Is Cynical And Silly At Once A Wild Phantasmagoria And A Work Of Exacting Realism, Dead Souls Is A Supremely Living Work Of Art That Spills Over With Humor And Passion And Absurdity Donald Rayfield S Vigorous New Translation Corrects The Mistakes And Omissions Of Earlier Versions While Capturing The Vivid Speech Rhythms Of The Original It Also Offers A Fuller Text Of The Unfinished Second Part Of The Book By Combining Material From Gogol S Two Surviving Drafts Into A Single Compelling Narrative This Is A Tour De Force Of Art And Scholarship And The Most Authoritative, Accurate, And Readable Edition Of Dead Souls Available In English

    10 thoughts on “!!> PDF / Epub ☉ Suflete moarte ✩ Author Nikolai Gogol – Varanus.us


  1. says:

    The book goes way back to 1842, before Russian serfs were emancipated in 1861 It s considered a picaresque novel Don Quixote ish a journey with a lot of satire and absurd situations with a rascal as a main character, a man who always has a get rich quick scheme going He s kind of happy go lucky a drinker, gambler, liar There arethan 2,000 reviews on GR so I ll be brief In this story the main character is buying dead souls papers from other property owners whose serfs died own The book goes way back to 1842, before Russian serfs were emancipated in 1861 It s considered a picaresque novel Don Quixote ish a journey with a lot of satire and absurd situations with a rascal as a main character, a man who always has a get rich quick scheme going He s kind of happy go lucky a drinker, gambler, liar There arethan 2,000 reviews on GR so I ll be brief In this story the main character is buying dead souls papers from other property owners whose serfs died ownership of serfs went with the property The point was to reduce his tax burden, since serfs were taxed unless he had papers showing they had died In the process we learn about life in Russia at the time masters and peasants He travels by coach with two servants and goes to a lot of taverns gambling Each negotiation to buy serfs is different We attend high society balls The author comments a lot on language Russian and French the provinces vs the cities and we Russians vs French, British, Germans and English There s humor but ultimately hopelessness of ever changing the conditions of serfdom A Russian classic Painting A Peasant Leaving His Landlord on Yuriev Day, by Sergei V Ivanov, 1908.Russian stamp honoring the author from previews.123rf.com images artnana art


  2. says:

    My rtvyjye d shi Dead Souls, Nikolai GogolDead Souls is a novel by Nikolai Gogol, first published in 1842, and widely regarded as an exemplar of 19th century Russian literature The purpose of the novel was to demonstrate the flaws and faults of the Russian mentality and character Gogol portrayed those defects through Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov and the people whom he encounters in his endeavors These people are typical of the Russian middle class of the time Gogol himself saw My rtvyjye d shi Dead Souls, Nikolai GogolDead Souls is a novel by Nikolai Gogol, first published in 1842, and widely regarded as an exemplar of 19th century Russian literature The purpose of the novel was to demonstrate the flaws and faults of the Russian mentality and character Gogol portrayed those defects through Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov and the people whom he encounters in his endeavors These people are typical of the Russian middle class of the time Gogol himself saw it as an epic poem in prose , and within the book as a novel in verse Despite supposedly completing the trilogy s second part, Gogol destroyed it shortly before his death Although the novel ends in mid sentence like Sterne s Sentimental Journey , it is usually regarded as complete in the extant form The original title, as shown on the illustration cover page , wasThe Wanderings of Chichikov, or Dead Souls Poema , which contracted to merelyDead Souls1991 1387 352 9789644483844 1379 19 1369 348


  3. says:

    What was the riddle, indeed, what was the riddle of the dead souls There was no logic whatsoever in dead souls Why buy dead souls Where would such a fool be found What worn out money would one pay for them To what end, to what business, could these dead souls be tacked And why was the governor s daughter mixed up in it If he wanted to carry her off, why buy dead souls for that And if he was buying dead souls, why carry off the governor s daughter Did he want to make her a gift of these What was the riddle, indeed, what was the riddle of the dead souls There was no logic whatsoever in dead souls Why buy dead souls Where would such a fool be found What worn out money would one pay for them To what end, to what business, could these dead souls be tacked And why was the governor s daughter mixed up in it If he wanted to carry her off, why buy dead souls for that And if he was buying dead souls, why carry off the governor s daughter Did he want to make her a gift of these dead souls, or what The madness of Dead Souls Is it Gogol s madness or is it the insanity of Russian society What is Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov up to Where does he come from He is insinuating himself into a community and going around to the local landowners and offering to buy up their dead peasants What is the going rate for dead souls One of the rules that I ve always followed in making business deals is that I must understand the motivations of the people I m negotiating with and the end game for all parties involved If Chichikov showed up on my doorstep with a ridiculous request to buy my, obviously worthless or are they , dead peasants, I would have many questions and would have to determine if he were brilliant or quite mad Being either or both can lead one to ruin or, quite possibly, to wealth and riches The much lauded translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky give us a clue to what Chichikov is up to in the introduction by explaining the system of serf ownershipLandowners were not required to pay taxes, but their peasants were, and it was up to the landowner to collect them He was responsible for turning in the tax money for as many souls as has been counted in the latest census The action of Dead Souls is set in the period between the seventh official census of 1815 and the eighth, taken in 1833 During that time a number of peasants would die, but the master remained responsible for the tax on them until they were stricken from the rolls at the next census It was possible for a landowner to obtain money from the government by mortgaging some or all of the peasants of whom he was the certified owner So a plague sweeps through that takes a large number of your serfs all at once It is a tragedy on many levels Setting aside the fact that these are human beings and not just line items in a ledger book, families are devastated The time for grief and the pairing of new couples from the remains of the old will slow reproduction Think of the time it takes a bairn to become a full grown useful laborer It is enough to leave a landowner gripping his hair in agitation Not only do you lose the use of the dead serf s labor, but you also have to keep paying tax on those dead souls, possibly for a number of years, until the next census It is a very Russian, very nonsensical system Nikolai Gogol was living abroad for most of the time he was writing this novel He had to come back to Russia to usher the first of three parts of the novel through the census board Golokhvastov, the acting chairman of the census committee, was disconcerted by the title of the bookDead Souls No, never will I allow that the soul is immortal, there can be no such thing as a dead soul the author is taking up arms against immortalityWhen the idea of the novel was explained further to the chairman, he was evenoffendedEven worse That means it is against serfdom I can see the struggle that Gogol had with this book, but it isn t just about struggling with plots or wrestling with characters Gogol the man was battling Gogol the writer His expectations for himself were so high that feelings of failure were inevitable He burned the manuscript of part two in 1845 and 1852 Cathartic in the moment, but what a hangover that must have left him with the next morning I ve been enjoying the RussianPrime series Gogol, which has been a real pleasure to watch It begins with Gogol buying up books of his published poetry, getting very drunk, and burning them in a fireplace There have been numerous writers over the decades who, I m sure, have had similar reactions to their published work So Gogol keeps the reader in the dark as to Chichikov s true motivations for most of the novel As I was reading, looking for hints of his past, I kept speculating about who he is I kept thinking if I knowabout him, maybe I can discover what he is up to Is he even a man Is he a demon stealing these souls Con man An escapee from a mental institution Gogol, as the narrator, does worry about his hero At several points, Gogol speculates about whether readers will even like him at all Even then, he understands the fickleness of readers One black smudge on his character that they don t approve of, and his book goes from a five star to a one star If he thought readers were harsh on books during his time, imagine what he would think of the readers on Goodreads today What is the going rate for dead souls It seems to be an arbitrary number, certainly negotiable, and believe me, these suspicious landowners are worried about being hoodwinked One widow says to him,I will check on the pricesAs if there is a stock market price for dead souls To have a going rate, one must have buyers, certainlythan one seemingly crazy one There are certainly comedic elements to the book After all, it is a farce of Russian culture and a condemnation of the owning of serfs Any criticism offered by a Russian writer of the system had to be hidden beneath a veneer of humor The book does have a cobbled together feel to it The censoring committee did demand some changes, though according to Pevear they were minor, so it wasn t censorship that created this disjointed feeling I would say that Gogol wrote thousands of words, maybe hundreds of thousands, that never made it into the final manuscript It did take me a bit of time to settle into the novel, but I was driven by a burning curiosity to know exactly what Chichikov was up to I also took pleasure in smiling at Gogol s caricatures of Russian people and the speculations they shared with one another that upon the retelling went from baseless fiction to fact I did fear that our hero would find himself being carried out of town on a rail This Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky translation is highly recommended If you wish to seeof my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at


  4. says:

    2.0 stars As much as I hate to say this about a book that is both a classic of Russian literature and considered one of the best satires ever written, THIS BOOK BORED ME TO DEATH Okay, not quite coffin ready dead, but certainly bored to the point of suffering intermittent bouts of narcolepsy I can certainly say without hyperbole that this is not a book I would recommend as an enjoyable experience, no matter how much Vodka you have standing by.My assessment of the book arises DESPITE the 2.0 stars As much as I hate to say this about a book that is both a classic of Russian literature and considered one of the best satires ever written, THIS BOOK BORED ME TO DEATH Okay, not quite coffin ready dead, but certainly bored to the point of suffering intermittent bouts of narcolepsy I can certainly say without hyperbole that this is not a book I would recommend as an enjoyable experience, no matter how much Vodka you have standing by.My assessment of the book arises DESPITE the fact that the novel is very well written and gives an excellent description of old Russia cold, dreary and depressing but otherwise a great place to visit The historical detail is both precise and very broad as Gogol includes in the narrative detailed discussions of many aspects of Russian life from the economy to social life to politics to the very unique mindset of the Russian people Thus, as a historical overview of a not very well known period of Russian history the novel is very good In addition, the basic plot itself or at least the idea of the plot was very interesting The dead souls of the title refers to the measuring unit i.e., souls used by the Russian census takers to count the numbers of serfs that landowners owned Serfs, while not exactly the same as slaves, are similar enough for purposes of this review as they were considered property and had very few rights The taxes that Russian landowners paid during this time were based on the number of serfs they owned Anyway, the main character of the novel, Pavel Ivanovitch Chichikov, devises a plan to purchase from various landowners those serfs who have died since the last census but are still listed as alive for purposes of the taxes paid at least until the next census which is only done every 5 to 10 years Why he wants to do this, I will not spoil but it is very clever and I thought an excellent basis for a good story So we have a book that is very well written, full of superb historical detail and an original and potentially interesting plot So what was the problem Well, first offNO VODKA No, in all seriousness, I found the book to be simply way too dull and plodding The satirical elements were UNDERWHELMING and that is being kind and the story was just incredibly slow to unfold I kept trying to give this the benefit of the doubt, it is a classic after all, but it was just determined to remian not very interesting or enjoyable The various characters Chichikov encounters were intended to portray various types of Russians and I guess I was not familiar enough with the period to understand the nuances and thus the intended caricature that Gogal was trying to highlight Therefore, the various encounters just sort of bled into one another and left me anxious for the end In sum, this was a book that I could appreciate on many levels the quality of the writing, the historical detail, the cleverness of the plot and there were certainly moments of the story that I truly liked However, at the end of the day, from the standpoint of my enjoyment of the novel as literature, I can not rate it higher than two stars


  5. says:

    Dead Souls Reading DiaryJanuary 4th, 2019I ve just reached page 249 where finally the hero, to the waving of the cap of the houseman, who was standing there in the same fustian frock coat, and in the presence of the inn servants and someone else s lackeys and coachmen, who had gathered to gape at the departure of someone else s master, and amid all the other circumstances that accompany a departure, took his seat in the vehicle, and the britska, which was of the sort in which bachelors ride, and Dead Souls Reading DiaryJanuary 4th, 2019I ve just reached page 249 where finally the hero, to the waving of the cap of the houseman, who was standing there in the same fustian frock coat, and in the presence of the inn servants and someone else s lackeys and coachmen, who had gathered to gape at the departure of someone else s master, and amid all the other circumstances that accompany a departure, took his seat in the vehicle, and the britska, which was of the sort in which bachelors ride, and which has been standing so long in the town and thus has perhaps even become boring to the reader, finally drove out of the gate of the hostelryIf I ve felt the need to post this long passage, therefore beginning this review though I ve not finished reading the book yet, it s because I m struck by the mirror effect of the scene which occurs half way through the book Gogol, who is a slippery devil, has just made his main character take the reverse journey he took on page 1, when, through the gate of a hostelry in a provincial capital that will remain nameless rolled a small, rather handsome britska on springs, of the kind in which bachelors travel retired lieutenant colonels, staff captains, landowners possessing a hundred or so peasant souls in a word, all those who are known as gentlemen of the middling sort.Of course, the travelling carriage has rolled in and out of the same gate many times during the 247 intervening pages as the mysterious gentleman of the middling sort , who owns it, visited the landowners of the surrounding countryside, but only on page 1 and page 249 did the carriage have all his luggage onboard The luggage was as odd and mysterious as the gentleman himself, and I might even say as odd and mysterious as the book inside of which he, Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov, his carriage, and his servants are confined The luggage comprises a leather trunk that takes two men to lift, a small mahogany box inlaid with Karelian birch, and sundry other items, including shoe trees But I m refusing to be distracted by the shoe trees because I suspect that it is the small mahogany box that will prove to be the most interesting item Chichikov keeps putting pieces of paper into it, theatre bills, letters, but most mysteriously, long lists of dead soulsSo now the small mahogany box is inside the carriage, and the carriage is on the road leading out of the nameless provincial capital, and I m turning over page 249 in hopes of discovering the mystery that s inside the box that s inside the carriage that s inside this book I don t know how well my investigation will proceed as I m completely in the dark at present the leather curtains are drawn in the carriage because Chichikov is sleeping but I m curious to know where I m going I promise to keep you updatedif I can see my way to doing it.January 6th Page 280When I turned over page 249, I didn t know that it marked the beginning of an interlude that would last thirty pages Yes, Gogol left Chichikov sleeping in his travelling carriage with the curtains closed for a considerable time during which he obligingly agreed to fill me on on Chichikov s origins You see, I d been very curious about events in Chichikov s life before his carriage rolled into the inn on page 1, so I got comfortable and listened carefully to the back story which didn t come without many digressions Speaking of digressions, I d been thinking about the author of Tristram Shandy from the early pages, but in this section, evenso It s the games Gogol plays with the reader that remind me of Laurence Sterne apart from the frequent mention of Chichikov s nose By games, I mean not only the obvious humour that is part of character and plot but the fun that is embedded in anodyne words, linking phrases, and even punctuation ellipses are often used in a comical way, especially when it comes to describing women So, what I m coming to is that the reader might be tempted to keep turning the pages of this book, interested only in where the plot takes the characters, but Gogol, like Sterne, challenges us to slow down and watch, as it were, the sideshows in the writing itself.January 7thPage 304One of the sideshows I was thinking about yesterday, and it is a very elaborate type of sideshow, is The Tale of Captain Kopeykin which begins on page 226 It s a long story told by a minor character about an army officer who becomes a brigand in order to get rich The telling allows Gogol to demonstrate with much humour the kind of larded language used by many people at the time such a contrast to his own as can be seen in the p 304 update quote below , and which he s been making fun of from the early pages It s the kind of language that includes a lot of unnecessary trimmings, for example you know in a certain sense you can just picture it so to speak in a word you understandBut the really interesting thing about this sideshow tale is that it gives us some insight into Chichikov, but we don t realise this until we get to the backstory interlude on page 250 where we learn about Chichikov s life long obsession with saving his kopecks cents , and then we suddenly remember the Tale of Captain KopeykinThe other interesting thing about the Kopeykin tale, told after all in such a different style, was that it reminded me of inserted stories in Don Quixote and Tristram Shandy, as well as Ovid s Metamorphoses which I m currently reading, specifically Book Four where Ovid allows a couple of his characters to tell stories in their own voices using their own verse style Unlike Narcissus, I m always on the lookout for echoesJanuary 8thPage 380When I mentioned sideshows two days ago, I had no idea just what a funfair I was about to experience The second part of this book introduces a series of characters, eachbizarre than the previous one And as I m still travelling with Chichikov, I ve been able to step inside their strange houses and eat at their overloaded tables there s a lot of eating in this book Chichikov s carriage needed some repairs after he woke up so we had to knock at the door of a very lovelorn land owner who, after wining and dining us thoroughly, sent us on a mission to the fearsome father of the object of his affections From there, having been reasonably successful, we set out to visit a relative of the fearsome father on another mission, but took the wrong road and ended up at the estate of a fisherman farmer where we ate our way through a monstrous sturgeon before making our escape to a model estate run by a very billious man who, on hearing that Chichikov might like to turn landowner, sent us off to the complete opposite kind of estate run by a most cheerfully incompetent man who needed to sell up Oh, and in between we visited a crazy ex general, obsessed with administrationJanuary 9thConcluding chapterAs I was saying three days ago, before I got distracted by the many sideshows in this fun fair of a book, Gogol s announcement on page 250 of his intention to reveal Chichikov s back story was exactly what I wanted to hear And I listened carefully to everything in the thirty pages that followed But for all my assiduity, I still didn t learn much about the small mahogany box And I learned even less about the list of dead souls Chichikov keeps inside it, or about his plans for those souls There was an explanation on page 274 but it wouldn t seem to lodge in my brain no matter how many times I reread it It was as if a spell had been cast over the words by a magician, and I had to conclude that Gogol himself was the biggest sideshow in the fun fair He d bamboozled me completely on page 275, he just moved on from the subject of the dead souls as if no further explanation was needed, saying So it was that this strange plot took shape in our hero s head Whether readers will be grateful to him for it, I don t know As for how grateful the author is, that s really hard to put into words For, say what you will, if this idea hadn t entered Chichikov s head, this long poem would never have seen the light of day.Isn t that a neat trick Gogol just pushes all the responsibility for the dead souls plot onto Chichikov s shoulders and walks away In the concluding chapter, I had a similar bamboozling experience This time, the explanation about the dead souls came directly from Chichikov but even while I was reading it, the meaning just wafted away from me like wisps of smoke, impossible to grasp.Around about then, my comprehension faced an even bigger challenge because bracketed ellipses began to appear on every page But instead of being humourous avoidance strategies such as Gogol used earlier in the book, now they seemed to signify genuine gaps in the text as if someone had removed entire sections I couldn t help wondering if Chichikov himself was somehow responsible, because, in the meantime, he seemed to have acquired a mysterious fortune and was suddenly spending lots of money which he was very reluctant to do before and getting himself a new suit the colour of smoke and flame What the devil And believe it or not, the little wooden box reentered the story in a significant though rather unholy way and Chichikov was so happy to recover it that I wondered if, along with those mysterious lists of dead souls, it might not have contained the missing sections of this bookThe End


  6. says:

    Another classic bucket list book As he buys dead souls in an attempt to help increase his social standing Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov represents the all too common association that is made between power, ethics and the law The dead on the list are treated by the law better than they ever were when they were living Should be required reading to get an MBA.


  7. says:

    An absurd and brilliant satire To think I avoided reading this novel for years because I thought it was going to be depressing Ha Dead Souls reminded me in many ways of the Odyssey Don Quixote written by Mark Twain in a Russian prose poem Gogol captures the absurdity of the mid 19th century Russia Included in Gogol s satire farce is an absurd and brilliant look at the corruption of the government, the stratification of society, the pretentiousness of the Russian middle class, etc Anyway, An absurd and brilliant satire To think I avoided reading this novel for years because I thought it was going to be depressing Ha Dead Souls reminded me in many ways of the Odyssey Don Quixote written by Mark Twain in a Russian prose poem Gogol captures the absurdity of the mid 19th century Russia Included in Gogol s satire farce is an absurd and brilliant look at the corruption of the government, the stratification of society, the pretentiousness of the Russian middle class, etc Anyway, the writing was amazing and the Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky s translation was fantastic


  8. says:

    What is this book I can t remember anyif Gogol described it as a Poem or an Epic, maybe it doesn t matter what he called it since he had great chunks of the manuscript fed into the fire on the advice of his religious advisor.So we are left with part one, some bits of part two and an outline of the three part whole of the work, the rest having gone up in smoke.What there is of the first part is generally read as a comedy It is funny, but bear in mind that the first part is about a young ma What is this book I can t remember anyif Gogol described it as a Poem or an Epic, maybe it doesn t matter what he called it since he had great chunks of the manuscript fed into the fire on the advice of his religious advisor.So we are left with part one, some bits of part two and an outline of the three part whole of the work, the rest having gone up in smoke.What there is of the first part is generally read as a comedy It is funny, but bear in mind that the first part is about a young man travelling around in rural Russia in the 1820s buying the souls of dead peasants from their masters This isn t that kind of a supernatural book though, buying dead souls the title was originally censored because as the Church teaches souls are immortal and can t be dead was a reasonable financial undertaking at the time Serfs could be mortgaged by their owners Censuses in Imperial Russia were only undertaken once every twenty five years and peasants who had died since the last one enjoyed a strange half life in which they could still be mortgaged even though as assets they were completely non liquid at least financially speaking since they were securely lodged in the graveyard So we find our hero, or hero , travelling about, meeting various members of the nobility and attempting to buy their dead souls from them.If you ve read some of Gogol s short stories you ll have some idea of what to expect when a man meets various members of the nobility and attempts to acquire legal title to their dead serfs If you haven t read some of his short stories that s probably the best place to start In the three part scheme there would have been a return to moral grace, but since this was burnt, with in the background as Nabokov describes the still youngish but dying Gogol with leeches hanging off his long nose, we re left instead with the tale of a wheeler dealer coaching round the bizarre and comical landowners that populated the imagined Ukraine of Gogol s pen


  9. says:

    The longer andcarefully we look at a funny story, the sadder it becomes Nikolai GogolBefore saying anything else, I think I must begin with my association with this novel It was that period of my age, years and years ago when I had read only a few books, most of them incomplete, yet I used to impress my friends with that precocious intelligence I gathered from those books devoured by me in such scanty doses And what about my knowledge of Russian literature then That was extraordi The longer andcarefully we look at a funny story, the sadder it becomes Nikolai GogolBefore saying anything else, I think I must begin with my association with this novel It was that period of my age, years and years ago when I had read only a few books, most of them incomplete, yet I used to impress my friends with that precocious intelligence I gathered from those books devoured by me in such scanty doses And what about my knowledge of Russian literature then That was extraordinarily abundant even at that time Was that a joke Indeed it was If you had asked me to name any two authors of Russia then, I would have said the first name in a very confident tone Tolstoy and second name, after a pause of a few seconds, I could have uttered aforementioned in full, with littledignity The Leo Tolstoy.Yes That is true I was not aware of any other name What a pity No I was like an infant still swinging in my cradle of innocent ignorance as long as the book reading was concerned I was a newbie After some time when I started reading contemporary authors I was reading a book by Jhumpa Lahiri There, for the first time, I encountered this unique name GOGOLJhumpa had created a fictitious character there in her plot whose name was Gogol I thought then that she might have been inspired by the modern day Google However somewhere in between, she described the Gogol as someone like this as far as I remember, an eccentric genius, an intelligent queer and sickly creature, a hypochondriac and a deeply paranoid, morbidly melancholic one among Russian literary greats So, Jhumpa was decidedly the one who introduced me to the second name from the Russian Literary world many years backGOGOL Since then I wanted to read this fellow I had notified Gogol and his Dead Souls in excitement then It seems a silly association but it is quite true Before turning to Dead souls finally, I had already read him three years back in his short tales, The Nose and The Overcoat I loved both of them.Now coming back to the Book, you can instantly see that I was reading this book with very high expectations and enthusiasm Did this book meet my expectations I ll first say YES And then I ll say NO as well Actually this book had two parts In the first part, I loved everything whatsoever was written by Gogol there But in the second part, I ll say my excitement just perished in a very unusual way It ended flat from the point of view of the story, leaving me disconcerting and a little disappointed as well So this book just fell short of a five star read for me.The storyline is rather simple A clever man is trying to make wealth through trick and hoax He is using the officials Corruption practices among those officeholders made his fraud of buying and selling those dead souls quite convenient Dead souls were those serfs who were dead but they were still shown as living ones in the census there on paper So this guy used all his brain to acquire a huge sum of money through the deed of sale of such dead souls.Our hero, the hero of this novel, as is defined in the beginning, is peripatetic rouge and is very solicitous about his descendants Our hero is a traveler but his travel is of a different sort One day our hero CHICHIKOV enters in a provincial city of N Gogol has constantly used this term our hero everywhere in the narration, whenever he had a strong intent to peep out in between the storyline and wanted to talk to the reader directly, this our hero of Gogol, though acts throughout the book villainously He entered in style on a pretty brichka a type of horse drawn carriage and entered the gate of a hostelry in this city And thus began his journey in this novel Dead souls.Every chapter of this book brings to the reader a unique character and an entirely new backdrop from Russian society A scene changes every time a chapter finishes Chichikov either deliberately reaches there or lands up there accidentally And here in every chapter of this novel especially in the first part, Gogol has shown the class of his penmanship in framing such humorous circumstances and very sharp observations of Russian people and their behavior And I really liked all the characters created by Gogol in this book The humor content is at its best and the conversations and Gogol s delibrations on various issues of Russia can be seen in a new light But wise is the man who disdains no character, but with searching glance explores him to the root and cause of all These FOUR things I noticed throughout the book You will find here DIVERSITY of Russian classes and characters, then you will witness the DRAMA among the characters in the satirical language of Gogol, the dialogues and narration will fill you with unstoppable jest in that classic Gogolian HUMOR, and finally, a big time SUSPENSE will linger on every time there.So, Diversity, Drama, Humor, and Suspense are my four takeaways from this novel.This is for sure a great classic book and is quite strange and queer in its approach and scope both, and one must read it if one is interested in peeking into the Russian ways of the 19th century through the eyes and style of Gogol Nabokov had once described Gogol as the strangest prose poet Russia ever produced and I too have felt this strangeness of his craft in this novel


  10. says:

    Gogol s Dead Souls is a true masterpiece It is the only Russian novel that I have read that brings me as much deep satisfaction as Dostoevsky s great novels The novel is satirical, intellectual, political, and also entertaining The intriguing plot is sketched as follows A somewhat mysterious middle class man, named Chichikov, comes to a town and attempts to build prestige by impressing minor officials of the place The man spends beyond his means in order to impress, and tries to befriend t Gogol s Dead Souls is a true masterpiece It is the only Russian novel that I have read that brings me as much deep satisfaction as Dostoevsky s great novels The novel is satirical, intellectual, political, and also entertaining The intriguing plot is sketched as follows A somewhat mysterious middle class man, named Chichikov, comes to a town and attempts to build prestige by impressing minor officials of the place The man spends beyond his means in order to impress, and tries to befriend the townspeople in order to execute a curious little plan regarding the selling of dead souls.The idea is that the Russian state taxes these landowners pay are based on the number of serfs or souls on record The problem is that many of these landowners must also pay for the serfs that have already died It is these dead souls that Chichikov wants to buy from the landowners He does not tell the owners why he wants the souls, but one can imagine that his plans are somewhat twistedThe novel is ultimately a social and political commentary involving exaggerated characters

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