Nabokov’s Gogol book is one of the most exhilarating, engaging, and original works ever written by one writer about another.

—Elizabeth Hardwick

Available January 19, 1961

Nikolai Gogol

Nonfiction by Vladimir Nabokov

The work of Gogol—one of the greatest of Russia’s literary geniuses—has become fairly well known in America but has seldom been understood. There have been many unfortunate translations of his work in English and few good ones. Critics have often tried to label him “the Russian Dickens” or viewed him as a forerunner of our own literary champions of the oppressed. In this brilliant study, Vladimir Nabokov shows us that Gogol’s comedy was not Dickensian, but biting and salty, textured throughout by a use of the irrational not duplicated by any other writer; that in the play The Government Inspector and Dead Souls, a novel, his depiction of the frauds of bureaucracy and the vagaries of Russian serf-owners were not so much intended to hasten social change as to serve as a framework for displaying the fantasies of the human spirit. Nabokov, whose own uniqueness is known through his many novels, brings the singularity of Gogol’s genius to life—the strange, unhappy, self-deluding man and his extraordinary literary methods and achievements.

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Paperback (published January 19, 1961)

ISBN
9780811201209
Price US
13.95
Page Count
186

Vladimir Nabokov

20th Century Russian novelist

Nabokov’s Gogol book is one of the most exhilarating, engaging, and original works ever written by one writer about another.

—Elizabeth Hardwick

The creative reader who wishes to soar on Gogol’s own wingéd-steed troika will choose Nabokov as his courier.

—B. G. Guerney, New Republic