Dead Souls by Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol, Robert A. Maguire

By Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol, Robert A. Maguire

Dead Souls is without doubt one of the most unique works of nineteenth-century fiction and a devastating satire on social hypocrisy. Chichikov, a mysterious stranger, arrives in a provincial city and visits a succession of landowners to make every one an odd provide. He proposes to shop for the names of lifeless serfs nonetheless registered at the census, saving their vendors from paying tax on them, and to take advantage of those “souls” as collateral to reinvent himself as a gentleman. during this ebullient masterpiece, Gogol created a ugly gallery of human kinds, from the bear-like Sobakevich to the insubstantial idiot Manilov, and, particularly, the devilish con guy Chichikov.
* In his creation, translator and Gogol pupil Robert Maguire discusses the protracted and stricken tale of the novel's composition, Gogol's narrative method, and his position within the Russian and eu literary traditions
* features a chronology, feedback for extra examining, appendices, word list, map, and notes

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Sample text

Of course, this intense physical presence of nature is not always inviting for the characters: Steep vertical slopes, regions without a drop of water, heat, fierce storms, and darkness so absolute as to be almost palpable endanger the travelers, just as the primeval magnificence of the subterranean landscapes delights them. But whether it is splendid or menacing, the physicality of the environment in Verne舗s novel holds the reader spellbound. At the same time, Verne associates the materiality of the Earth with symbolic and metaphoric dimensions that may be quite familiar to the reader.

To the center of the Earth. Lidenbrock, Axel, and their Icelandic guide Hans penetrate deep beneath the Earth舗s crust, where they discover an alternative world of plants, animals, and even human beings that have long gone extinct on the surface, and return to ground level through another volcano. Although this plot may at first appear to be quite linear, it derives much of its narrative force from the way in which it invokes some of the founding stories of Western culture: the quest narrative, the descent to the underworld, and the initiatory voyage.

English novelist Henry Rider Haggard publishes King Solomon舗s Mines. 1886 Verne舗s deranged nephew, Gaston, shoots him in the leg, laming him for life. This personal disaster, and his growing cynicism about industrialization, marks a turn toward pessimism in Verne舗s outlook and writing. His longtime publisher , Hetzel, dies. Verne sells the Saint-Michel III because of financial concerns. Robert Louis Stevenson publishes Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. 1887 Verne舗s mother dies. 1888 Verne is elected to the municipal council of Amiens, where he will serve for fifteen years.

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