Nikolai Gogol

Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol was a Ukrainian-born Russian dramatist, novelist and short story writer.
Considered by his contemporaries one of the preeminent figures of the natural school of Russian literary realism, later critics have found in Gogol's work a fundamentally romantic sensibility, with strains of Surrealism and the grotesque. His early works, such as Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, were influenced by his Ukrainian upbringing, Ukrainian culture and folklore. His later writing satirised political corruption in the Russian Empire, leading to his eventual exile. The novel Taras Bulba and the play Marriage, along with the short stories "Diary of a Madman", "The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich", "The Portrait" and "The Carriage", round out the tally of his best-known works.
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Nikolai Gogol
Gogol's 1842 novel Dead Souls, a comic masterpiece about a mysterious con man and his grotesque victims, is one of the major works of Russian literature. It was translated into English in 1942 by Bernard Guilbert Guerney; the translation was hailed by Vladimir Nabokov as "an extraordinarily fine piece of work" and is still considered the best translation of Dead Souls ever published. Long out of print, the Guerney translation of Dead Souls is now reissued. The text has been made more faithful to Gogol's original by removing passages that Guerney inserted from earlier drafts of Dead Souls. The text is accompanied by Susanne Fusso's introduction and by appendices that present excerpts from Guerney's translations of other drafts of Gogol's work and letters Gogol wrote around the time of the writing and publication of Deal Souls.

 

"I am delighted that Guerney's translation of Dead Souls [is] available again. It is head and shoulders above all the others, for Guerney understands that to 'translate' Gogol is necessarily to undertake a poetic recreation, and he does so brilliantly."—Robert A. Maguire, Columbia University

 

"The Guerney translation of Dead Souls is the only translation I know of that makes any serious attempt to approximate the qualities of  Gogol's style—exuberant, erratic, 'Baroque,' bizarre."—Hugh McLean, University of California, Berkeley

 

"A splendidly revised and edited edition of Bernard Guerney's classic English translation of Gogol's Dead Souls. The distinguished Gogol scholar Susanne Fusso may have brought us as close as the English reader may ever expect to come to Gogol's masterpiece. No student, scholar, or general reader will want to miss this updated, refined version of one of the most delightful and sublime works of Russian literature."—Robert Jackson, Yale University

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