About the author

Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (31 March 1809 – 4 March 1852) was a Russian dramatist of Ukrainian origin.

Although Gogol was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the preeminent figures of the natural school of Russian literary realism, later critics have found in his work a fundamentally romantic sensibility, with strains of surrealism and the grotesque ("The Nose", "Viy", "The Overcoat", "Nevsky Prospekt"). His early works, such as Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, were influenced by his Ukrainian upbringing, Ukrainian culture and folklore. His later writing satirised political corruption in the Russian Empire (The Government Inspector, Dead Souls). The novel Taras Bulba (1835) and the play Marriage (1842), along with the short stories "Diary of a Madman", "The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich", "The Portrait" and "The Carriage", are also among his best-known works.

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Memoirs of a Madman

‘Memoirs of a Madman’ is a fascinating short following Poprishchin, a minor civil servant, as he descends into insanity. Unique in Golgol’s collection, it is the only story he wrote completely from the first person in the form of a number of diary entries. Constantly ridiculed by friends and repressed by the government of Tsarist Russia, he confides all in his journal documenting his slow decline in to insanity. As the only account we have is Poprishchin’s, we have no idea if the continually fantastical events happening before us are real or simply figments of his imagination. It is a fascinating novel, equally humourous as it is farcical, from talking dogs to tea-thirsty cows if you liked Leonardo Dicaprio’s ‘Shutter island’ you’ll love this short. Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol was one of the first writers to adopt surrealism and the grotesque in his work. As well as being one of Russia’s most acclaimed authors, he is acknowledged as one of the founders of the short story genre alongside Nathaniel Hawthorne and E.T.A Hoffman. His early writing was largely inspired by his time spent growing up in Ukraine, it’s culture and it’s folklore, while his later writing targeted and satirised the political corruption of the Russian Empire. His unique and strange form of writing similar to the ‘ostranenie’ technique, allowed his audience to see familiar topics and stories from a completely new perspective. Acknowledged for his brilliance by many acclaimed authors such as Fedor Dostoevsky his best works include ‘Dead Souls’, ‘Taras Bulba’ and ‘Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka’.
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Printed pages9 Sider
Publish date29 Mar 2022
Published bySAGA Egmont
Languageeng
ISBN epub9788726502008