Dead Souls

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Kessinger Publishing, May 1, 2005 - Fiction - 540 pages
30 Reviews
1923. Odets writes in his introduction that the brutal censorship imposed upon the great Russian Empire of Gogol's time by its feudal lords and masters is comparable in our time to only that imposed upon the peoples of certain Fascist states. Enlightenment was not then a word to utter lightly on a muddy street corner. But Gogol set out to enlighten the Russian people, and his method was curiously simple. Of his central character Tchitchikov, in Dead Souls he states, Him I have taken as a type to show forth the vices and failings, rather than the merits and virtues, of the commonplace Russian individual; and the characters which revolve around him have also been selected for the purpose of demonstrating our national weaknesses and shortcomings.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - hhornblower - LibraryThing

A very enjoyable read. I con man travels throughout Russia, meeting along the way fawning officials, an idealist egalitarian, an extreme economic liberal and your average everyday hollow shell whose ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Kirmuriel - LibraryThing

I was so much fun! Maybe it was not the best translation, but it still managed to put across the author's style. I felt like Chichikov was the Russian Sutpen, but more confident and calmed. Normally ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

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.

Ernest Lehman lives in Los Angeles, California. One of the most critically and commercially successful screenwriters ever to work in Hollywood, his movie scripts include "Sabrina," "The King and I," "Somebody Up There Likes Me," "West Side Story," "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf," and "Portnoy's Complaint,"
Known primarily as one of the great American playwrights--his classic dramas in "Waiting for Lefty" and "Rocket to the Moon--"Clifford Odets also wrote or co-wrote 18 movies for film and television.

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