Dead Souls

Dead Souls

Book - 1961
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A stranger arrives in a Russian backwater community with a bizarre proposition for the local landowners: cash for their "dead souls," the serfs who have died in their service. Gogol's comic masterpiece offers a vast and satirical painting of 19th-century Russia. A work of great symbolism, it continues to inspire 21st-century authors and readers.
Publisher: Mattituck, NY : Amereon House, 1961
ISBN: 9780486426822
Branch Call Number: GOGOL
Characteristics: 278 p
Alternative Title: Nikolai Gogol's Dead souls


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Sep 06, 2012

Very interesting Russian novel, Gogol's narration is quite characteristic. He reminds the reader of his presence throughout the tale of Chichikov, interjecting praises of Russia and troikas, the open road, and plenty of insightful musings on social relations. Reminded me mostly of Sterne's "Tristram Shandy," though the well-written translator's introduction rules out Sterne's influence. Also reminded me of Rabelais in humor and the long lists.
I think I had a tough time getting into the book, but I know it really picked up and hooked me with a great passage in the 7th chapter on the fate of writers who pander to mass opinion vs. those who try to speak truthfully about their society, warts and all. From there on out, I felt for the man, and enjoyed his perspective. We had quite a few laughs. A really good work.

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