Five tragicomic tales from the visionary writer heralded by Vladimir Nabokov as “the greatest artist that Russia has yet produced”
A midlevel bureaucrat in the czar’s administration, Poprishchin is hurrying to work when he sees a woman step out of a carriage. Her beauty astounds him, and as she passes by, he hears something impossible: Her dog opens its mouth, and begins to speak. It is Poprishchin’s first step on the road to insanity, a journey that will take him into the depths of hell—and raise him up to the heights of emperors and kings.
“Memoirs of a Madman” is one of Nikolai Gogol’s definitive short works, a satire of the excesses of czarist bureaucracy told with wit, empathy, and his signature blend of the real and surreal. Other highlights in this indispensable volume include the haunting title story and “The Nose,” an absurdist masterpiece.
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