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Dead Souls (Everyman's Library Classics) Hardcover – 2 Sep 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman; New Ed edition (2 Sept. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857152808
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857152807
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.1 x 21.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for previous translations by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, winners of the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Prize

"The Brothers Karamazov
" One finally gets the musical whole of Dostoevsky s original. "New York Times Book Review"
It may well be that Dostoevsky s [world], with all its resourceful energies of life and language, is only now and through the medium of [this] new translation beginning to come home to the English-speaking reader. "New York Review of Books
"
"Crime and Punishment
" The best [translation] currently available An especially faithful re-creation with a coiled-spring kinetic energy Don t miss it. "Washington Post Book World"
Reaches as close to Dostoevsky s Russian as is possible in English The original s force and frightening immediacy is captured The Pevear and Volokhonsky translation will become the standard version. "Chicago Tribune
"
"Demons
"
The merit in this edition of "Demons" resides in the technical virtuosity of the translators They capture the feverishly intense, personal explosions of activity and emotion that manifest themselves in Russian life. "New York Times Book Review
"
[Pevear and Volokhonsky] have managed to capture and differentiate the characters many voices They come into their own when faced with Dostoevsky s wonderfully quirky use of varied speech patterns A capital job of restoration. "Los Angeles Times"
With an Introduction by Richard Pevear" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

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Format: Hardcover
Volume 1 of Dead Souls was published in Russia to immediate acclaim in 1842 when Gogol was 33 years old. Volume 2 remained incomplete on his death in 1852. Therefore there is no final resolution, and what exists of Volume 2 (while enjoyable) is fragmentary.

The basic "plot" is summarised in the Amazon synopsis. It consists of the adventures of Chichikov as he tries to buy up his "dead souls". The humour lies in the widely different characters he encounters and their responses to him. We do not find out Chichikov'a own history and what he is up to until the last chapter of Volume 1.

Gogol casts a cynical eye over Russian society. Not one of his characters comes out well and it is hard to like any of them. The humour is essentially satire and how funny you find the novel will depend on your taste. It has a historic interest - although presumably the widescale corruption and deceit portrayed is a caricature rather than a portrait.

Translation is a difficult art. I have no means of judging how well it has been done. However I missed the strong sense of the author's humanity that runs through Gogol's short stories.

The Everyman edition is the usual beautufully (for the price) produced hardback, bound in cloth with an attractive paper jacket and printed in Bembo. It contains a helpful short introduction, a bibliography, a chronology to help place the novel aginst world events, a Translators' Note, Volumes 1 and 2 of the novel and Notes on the text. Reading the short Translators' Note before the novels is a must if you want to understand the relevance of key English words used.

It would have helped to have had a summary of the different grades of nobility and public service in Imperial Russia as an understanding of relative social rank is important at points of the story.
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Format: Hardcover
The Peaver/Volokhonsky translation is so good... It's like when you finally get a radio tuned just perfectly to a station and all the static falls away leaving the pure sound. So many other translations let you strain to hear the station through the static noise, but Peaver/Volokhonsky take it to a new level. I left my copy of this translation at work over the weekend and decided to read on with an older, though also respectable, translation I had at home. If I had never come across Peaver and Volokhonsky, I would have been happy with the other translation, but the comparison was striking. Fresh, clean, clear. Gogol's wit and playfulness, so dominant in the Russian original somehow manage to shine through even into the English. I can't recommend the Everyman's edition highly enough - stunning translation in a physically beautiful book, at a bargain price (2010 price - well under £[]).
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Format: Hardcover
"Dead Souls," by Gogol, is the greatest humourous novel in the Russian language! Probably,
the most popular book in Russia. Published in 1842, it has been entertaining a wide audience
ever since.

It is the story of a man's adventures in 'old' Russia and it has a deeper human appeal than
many other Russian books written subsequently. Bernard Gilbert Guerney's translation of 1942
was autographed for me many years ago. Coming from a master of Russian and English, like
Vladimir Nabokov, "an extraordinarily fine piece of work" (the translation) made me cherish
my copy of the book in English.

I have been meaning to review 'Dead Souls' translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky for some years. Their fine translations from many writers are truly excellent.
Theirs has certainly become the definitive edition!

Greatly recommended!

Dag Stomberg
St Andrews, Scotland
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