By Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol, Constance Garnett
Russia’s first significant novel, and maybe nonetheless its preferred, Nikolai Gogol’s Dead Souls is a comic book epic of greed and gluttony that's popular not just for its colourful solid of characters and devastating satire, but in addition for its feel of ethical fervor.
The anti-hero of the unconventional is a guy named Chichikov, who hatches a super plan to get wealthy fast. he'll trip via Russia and purchase up, at lowered charges, the lately deceased serfs of landowners, who now won’t need to pay govt taxes at the dead souls.’ With this checklist of fictitious serfs as collateral, Chichikov should purchase an property and start gathering his fortune. What follows is a sequence of grotesquely funny transactions with Russian landowners, every one extra queer and repellant than the final. even though Gogol spends a lot of the unconventional exposing the evils of the Russian gentry via absurd and hilarious satire, he additionally expresses a passionate love for his state that resonates with readers even today.
A stylistic journey de strength, encompassing an stunning diversity of voices from soft, intimate lyricism to powerful, bawdy ribaldry, Dead Souls is an intensely felt anatomy of the human situation.
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Additional info for Dead Souls (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed, Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,6 I am no prophet舒and here舗s no great matter; I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker, And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, And in short, I was afraid. Š And would it have been worth it, after all, After the cups, the marmalade, the tea, Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me, Would it have been worth while, To have bitten off the matter with a smile, To have squeezed the universe into a half7 To roll it toward some overwhelming question, To say: 舖I am Lazarus, come from the dead,8 Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all舗舒 If one, settling a pillow by her head, Should say: 舖That is not what I meant at all.
In 舖The Metaphysical Poets舗 ( 1921 ) he defined 舖dissociation of sensibility舗 as a break between feeling and thought that had occurred as English poetry was written in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; Eliot advocated the reuniting of emotion and intellect in works of literature. Eliot was also a playwright; among his major dramatic works are Murder in the Cathedral, The Family Reunion, The Cocktail Party, and The Elder Statesman. Shortly after the publication of his second masterpiece, Four Quartets (1943), Eliot received the Nobel Prize in Literature, as well as countless awards and honorary doctorates.
I think Eliot intended that people not read the poem in isolation, because it makes sense only to the extent that we appreciate it as being in dialogue with the vast tradition that preceded it. Eliot makes this point in one of his best-known essays, 舖Tradition and the Individual Talent舗 (see 舖For Further Reading舗), where he writes, 舖No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists.