Plays and Petersburg Tales: Petersburg Tales, Marriage, The Government Inspector (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 18 Feb 1999
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"Te best Gogol is here, in new and splendid translations by Christopher English."--The Sunday Telegraph
About the Author
Christopher English is a translator for the UN; Richard Peace is Professor Emeritus of Russian at the University of Bristol. Together they collaborated on Village Evenings near Dikanka and Mirgorad. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Without giving too much away about the blackly comic and absurdist story 'The Nose', the basic premise is that a vain, ambitious official wakes up one morning to discover that his nose has disappeared. It is later spotted out and about in St Petersburg, taking carriages and attending functions. This simple, silly little story works on many levels and any number of themes and inferences can be seen in it. Although I personally love Carver, Chekhov, etc, I think this is the greatest short story I have ever read.
This collection is worth recommending for its clear and readable English translations, and the fact that it has the stories published by Penguin Classics, plus Gogol's plays. Recommended for all readers looking for a rewarding, complex, unusual read.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Btw, Robert Maguire did the sterling Penguin Dead Souls, but to the best of my knowledge he never translated Gogol's stories.
"The Government Inspector" gives a humorous look at corruption in the Russian provinces during the mid-19th century. Reading this play you’ll feel like the plot is something you’ve read or seen before and that’s probably the case, but Gogol was the first to write such a tale. "The Overcoat" as deals with a Petersburg bureaucrat and the one thing that makes his life worth living; a coat. "Nevsky Prospect" highlights two ways in which to deal with the reality of pursuing women romantically. It gives a detailed and unique perspective of two men lusting after two different women. One man’s approach ends in death, the other man’s a near death; fascinating to say the least!
Some readers may grow impatient with Gogol's plots, for they typically unfold at a slow pace. For patient readers, however, they'll likely find Gogol's plots thought-provoking in their underlying statements about perception and how much it relates to one's overall sense of being in the world.