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About the book
  • Published: 3 February 2011
  • ISBN: 9781846143304
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 160

Nikolai Gogol


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Nikolai Gogol was one of the great geniuses of nineteenth century Russian literature, with a command of the irrational unmatched by any writer before or since. His strange tales, though often read as forceful demands for social change, were displays of the fantasies of the human spirit. In this ideal marriage of subject and critic, Nabokov analyses his endlessly inventive compatriot, focusing on the masterpieces Dead Souls, The Overcoat and The Government Inspector.
Misunderstood by his contemporaries, mishandled by theatre directors and ending his life mistreated by doctors - with medicinal leeches hanging from his exceptional nose - it took Nabokov to give Gogol, 'the oddest Russian in Russia', the critical biography he and his singular, brilliant work deserve.

  • Pub date: 3 February 2011
  • ISBN: 9781846143304
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 160

About the Author

Vladimir Nabokov

One of the twentieth century's master prose stylists, Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977) was born in St Petersburg, but left Russia when the Bolsheviks seized power. He studied French and Russian literature at Trinity College, Cambridge, then lived in Berlin and Paris, where he launched a brilliant literary career. In 1940 he moved to the United States, and achieved renown as a novelist, poet, critic, and translator. He taught literature at Wellesley, Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard. In 1961 he moved to Montreux, Switzerland, where he died in 1977.

His first novel in English was The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, published in 1941. His other books include Ada or Ardor (1969), Laughter in the Dark (1933), Pale Fire (1962), the short story collection Details of a Sunset (1976) and Lolita (1955), his best-known novel.

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