Diary of a Madman, and Other Stories

Front Cover
Penguin, 1972 - Fiction - 188 pages
6 Reviews
These five stories, including 'Diary of a Madman - the Overcoat and The Nose', make the best introduction to Gogol. His world is less a world than an atmosphere, a question of sleight of hand and trapdoor humour, involving characters that are vivid in the way only ghosts or government clerks can be. 'When, as in his immortal 'The Overcoat', he really let himself go and pottered happily on the brink of his private abyss, he became the greatest artist that Russia has yet produced,' wrote Nabokov, adding that 'after reading Gogol one's eyes may become gogolized and one is apt to see bits of his world in the most unexpected places'.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
1
4 stars
4
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Big_Bang_Gorilla - LibraryThing

The eponymous story in this collection, justly celebrated and turned into a successful stage piece, acts as a wonderful anchor to the book, with its intriguing description of the gradations between ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - blake.rosser - LibraryThing

Surprising and refreshing given my experience with other Russian writers. Gogol's stories are contrastingly light and comic, and his intrusive narration sometimes hilarious. His close to "The Nose," a ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

DIARY OF A MADMAN
17
THE NOSE
42
THE OVERCOAT
71
HOW IVAN IVANOVICH QUARRELLED WITH IVAN NIKIFOROVICH
109
IVAN FYODOROVICH SHPONKA AND HIS AUNT
160
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1972)

Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol was born in 1809 in the Ukraine. His father was an amateur playwright who had a small estate with a number of serfs. From the ages of 12 to 19, young Gogol attended a boarding school where he became known for his sharp wit and ability to amuse his classmates. After school he worked as a government clerk. He soon began writing memories of his childhood. His quaint depictions of the Ukrainian countryside marked his style and helped to make him famous. Gogol quickly gained fame and formed a friendship with the influential poet, Aleksandr Pushkin. Gogol is largely remembered for his realistic characterizations, his rich imagination, and his humorous style. His works include Mirgorod, a collection of short stories including Taras Bulba. Gogol's wit is evident in his short story, The Nose, where a man's nose wanders off around town in a carriage. Gogol's masterpiece is the novel Dead Souls. In this work, a swindler plots to buy from landowners their dead serfs. Towards the end of Gogol's life, his creative powers faded and he fled to Moscow. Here, he came under the power of a fanatical priest. Ten days before his death he burned some manuscripts of the second part of Dead Souls. He died of starvation in 1852, on the cusp of madness.

Bibliographic information