By Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol
(Book Jacket prestige: Jacketed)
Nikolai Gogol’s Dead Souls is the nice comedian masterpiece of Russian literature–a satirical and wonderfully exaggerated epic of existence within the benighted provinces.
Gogol was hoping to teach the realm “the untold riches of the Russian soul” during this 1842 novel, which he populated with a Dickensian swarm of characters: rogues and scoundrels, landowners and serfs, conniving petty officials–all of them either completely realistic and alarmingly greater than lifestyles. atmosphere every thing in movement is the wily antihero, Chichikov, the trafficker in “dead souls”–deceased serfs who nonetheless signify revenue to these smart adequate to alternate in them.
This vigorous, idiomatic English model via the award-winning translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky makes available the whole quantity of the novel’s lyricism, sulphurous humor, and pleasure in human oddity and blunder.
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Extra resources for Dead Souls (Everyman's Library)
The Mongol overlords interfered little in the Russians’ daily lives and tolerated the Orthodox Church. If, however, any Russian town or group resisted their dominion, the Mongols, reacting swiftly, wreaked terrible vengeance on the rebels, leveling villages or towns and killing or enslaving the inhabitants. The Mongols ruled the Russian lands in this fashion for about 140 years. Because of Mongol decline and growing Russian strength, as we shall see in the next chapter, after 1380 the Russians, although still obliged to recognize Mongol suzerainty and subject to sporadic depredations by Mongol troops, became increasingly independent.
Perhaps the most important was its political weakness. Neither effectively centralized nor cohesive in the best of times, by the late 1100s under weaker princes Kievan Russia increasingly disintegrated into rival princedoms and towns that spent more time fighting each other than their common external enemies. As we saw earlier, no institutionalized central government existed, and the struggle to become grand prince became increasingly divisive. For example, between 1139 and 1169, the throne changed hands seventeen times.
Its largest town, calling itself Lord Novgorod the Great, had a population of over thirty thousand and ranked in splendor and culture with the major towns of Europe. qxd 32 5/21/08 11:28 AM Page 32 RUSSIA AND THE SOVIET UNION controlled a considerable hinterland from which it drew forest and agricultural products. It traded extensively with Scandinavia and the northern German towns along the Baltic Sea, exchanging Russian furs, wax, honey, and timber for grains, woolens, wine, metal, and sweets.
Dead Souls (Everyman's Library) by Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol