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Nabokov, Vladimir / Nikolai Gogol

SKU 9780811201209 / Nikolai Gogol / Nabokov
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The work of Gogol—one of the very greatest of Russia's literary geniuses—has become fairly well known in America but has seldom been properly understood. There have been many bad, but a few good, translations of his work available in English, and critics have often tended to put labels on him, to make him out "the Russian Dickens" or a forerunner of our own literary champions of the oppressed.

In this brilliantly recreative study, Vladimir Nabokov shows us that Gogol's comedy was not Dickensian, but biting and salty, textured throughout by a use of the irrational not duplicated by any other writer; that, in his play The Government Inspector and his great novel Dead Souls, his depiction of the frauds of bureaucracy and the vagaries of Russian serf-owners were not so much intended to work social change as to serve as a framework for portraying the fantasies of the human spirit.

Nabokov, whose own uniqueness is known through his novels Lolita and The Real Life of Sebastian Knight brings the uniqueness of Gogol to life—the strange, unhappy, self-deluding man and his singular literary methods and achievements.

Nikolai Gogol was originally published by New Direction some years ago, when Edmund Wilson called it "one of the best volumes so far in the interesting series called 'Makers of the Modern Literature'." And B.G. Guerney said in the New Republic, "The creative reader (and student) who wishes to soar on Gogol's own winged-steed troika will choose Nabokov as his exhilarating courier."

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