Gogol Three Plays: The Government Inspector; Marriage; The Gamblers

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Bloomsbury Academic, Aug 5, 1999 - Drama - 256 pages
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This collection contains Gogol's three completed plays

The Government Inspector, which satirises a corrupt society was regarded by Nabokov as the greatest play in the Russian language and is still widely studied in schools and universities: "I resolved to gather into one heap everything that was bad in Russia which I was aware of at that time, all the injustices being perpetrated in those places, and in those circumstances that especially cried out for justice, and tried to hold them all up to ridicule, at one fell swoop." (Nikolai Gogol)

Marriage is a comedy about the business of matchmaking and matrimony; The Gamblers is an exoriating piece about the excesses of the Moscow aristocracy.
"Two and two make five, if not the square root of five, and it all happens quite naturally in Gogol's world... Gogol was a strange creature, but then genius is always strange" (Vladimir Nabokov)

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About the author (1999)

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.

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