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  • Dead Souls
  • Written by Nikolai Gogol
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307797810
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Dead Souls

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Written by Nikolai GogolAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Nikolai Gogol
Translated by Richard PevearAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Richard Pevear and Larissa VolokhonskyAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Larissa Volokhonsky

eBook

List Price $15.95

On Sale: July 17, 2012
Pages: 432 | ISBN: 978-1-59017-655-9
List Price $9.99

On Sale: June 22, 2011
Pages: 432 | ISBN: 978-0-307-79781-0
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Synopsis

Synopsis

Nikolai Gogol’s Dead Souls is the great comic masterpiece of Russian literature–a satirical and splendidly exaggerated epic of life in the benighted provinces.

Gogol hoped to show the world “the untold riches of the Russian soul” in this 1842 novel, which he populated with a Dickensian swarm of characters: rogues and scoundrels, landowners and serfs, conniving petty officials–all of them both utterly lifelike and alarmingly larger than life. Setting everything in motion is the wily antihero, Chichikov, the trafficker in “dead souls”–deceased serfs who still represent profit to those clever enough to trade in them.

This lively, idiomatic English version by the award-winning translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky makes accessible the full extent of the novel’s lyricism, sulphurous humor, and delight in human oddity and error.

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

Nikolai Gogol|Richard Pevear|Larissa Volokhonsky

About Nikolai Gogol

Nikolai Gogol - Dead Souls
Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol was born in 1809; his family were small gentry of Ukrainian cossack extraction, and his father was the author of a number of plays based on Ukrainian popular tales. He attended school in Nézhin and gained a reputation for his theatrical abilities. He went to St Petersburg in 1829 and with the help of a friend gained a post in one of the government ministries. Gogol was introduced to Zhukovsky, the romantic poet, and to Pushkin, and with the publication of Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka(1831) he had an entrée to all the leading literary salons. He even managed for a short period to be Professor of History at the University of St. Petersburg (1834-5).

Diary of a Madman and The Story of the Quarrel between Ivan Ivanovich and Ivan Nikiforovich appeared in 1934, The Nose in 1836, and The Overcoat in 1842. Gogol also wrote the play The Inspector (1836), Dead Souls (1842), and several moralizing essays defending the Tsarist regime, to the horror of his liberal and radical friends. He lived a great deal abroad, mostly in Rome, and in his last years became increasingly prey to religious mania and despair. He made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1848, but was bitterly disappointed in the lack of feeling that the journey kindled. He returned to Russia and fell under the influence of a spiritual director who told him to destroy his writings as they were sinful. He burned the second part of Dead Souls, and died in 1852 after subjecting himself to a severe regime of fasting.

About Richard Pevear

Richard Pevear - Dead Souls

Photo © Brigitte Lacombe

Richard Pevear has published translations of Alain, Yves Bonnefoy, Alberto Savinio, Pavel Florensky, and Henri Volohonsky, as well as two books of poetry. He has received fellowships or grants for translation from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the French Ministry of Culture. Larissa Volokhonsky was born in Leningrad. She has translated works by the prominent Orthodox theologians Alexander Schmemann and John Meyendorff into Russian.

Together, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have translated works by Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Gogol, Bulgakov, and Pasternak. They were twice awarded the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize (for their versions of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov and Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina), and their translation of Dostoevsky’s Demons was one of three nominees for the same prize. They are married and live in France.

About Larissa Volokhonsky

Larissa Volokhonsky - Dead Souls

Photo © Brigitte Lacombe

Larissa Volokhonsky was born in Leningrad. She has translated works by the prominent Orthodox theologians Alexander Schmemann and John Meyendorff into Russian.

Together, Volokhonsky and Richard Pevear have translated Dead Souls and The Collected Tales by Nikolai Gogol, The Complete Short Novels of Chekhov, and The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment, Notes from Underground, Demons, The Idiot, and The Adolescent by Fyodor Dostoevsky. They were twice awarded the PEN Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize (for their version of Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov and for Tolstoy's Anna Karenina), and their translation of Dostoevsky's Demons was one of three nominees for the same prize. They are married and live in France.

 

 

Praise

Praise

“Gogol's Dead Souls, has achieved a magnificent re-birth. . . . Rayfield's translation is one that Vladimir Nabokov would unreservedly admire. . . . A big, beautiful book and a mould-breaking classic reinvigorated.”

-William Boyd, The Guardian 


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