TCHITCHIKOFF'S JOURNEYS : or, Dead Souls. Part I - Nikolai GOGOL
Acclaimed by many as the greatest work of Russian Literature ever written, it also claims a position as one of the Supreme Masterpieces of World Fiction - translated into every language, in print for over 170 years. Originally released under the current title: 'Tchitchikoff's Journeys' due to Russian censoring difficulties.
"Do you suppose that the ashes and spirits of the departed concern themselves with such things?" Virgil
A Few Words about Part I: Originally entitled 'Dead Souls' by its author, Nikolai Gogol was obliged to rename it 'Tchitchikoff's Journeys' by the Petersburg Censors, after having been turned down by the Moscow Censors on the grounds that it showed "Gogol was taking up arms against Immortality". For the first 1842 edition its original title was only used as a sub-title, and the word "Poem", (in the sense of an epic narrative) served to describe its literary form. the novel - of which this volume forms the first part - tells of pavel Tchitchikoff, a man who is in search of 'dead souls', that is, serfs who are included in the last census list, but have since died, though their owners still have to pay taxes for them. Inspired by an idea of Pushkin's, this picaresque novel is simultaneously shocking and hilarious, while Gogol's talent for concrete description and psychological acuity have never been bettered - equalled only perhaps by Dostoievsky.
And Part II?: Even though Gogol published Part I of this novel during his lifetime, his complete vision of the work was one that comprised three parts. Unfortunately, Part II of was twice burned by Gogol, and all that remains of this stage of his work are the early drafts of several chapters, some merely fragments. A reconstructed version of this second 'installment' will be available from LTP. The volume you now hold in your hands is that of the second edition of Part I. The incredible characters, an unpredictable story and great writing make this one of the most compelling volumes of fiction ever. The translation here is that of Isabel F. Hapgood.
Features of this Edition: Gogol's own Author's Preface, 'From the Author to the Reader', in which he wishes to relate to the reader of his work personally; Two Portraits of Gogol, one by Moller, the other by Mamonov; Table of Russian Ranks which is most valuable in understanding the hierarchy of the Russian society of Gogol's time; Textual Annotations - both those of Gogol and the translator of the present edition.
A Brief Extract: "A Small and quite a pretty britchka on springs entered the gates of the hostelry in the provincial city of N.N. : it was of the sort in which ride retired colonels, staff-captains, landed gentry who own about two hundred souls of peasants, and, in a word, by all who are called gentlemen of the middle class. In the britchka sat a gentleman who was neither a beauty nor yet very plain in his personal appearance, neither too stout nor too thin: it was impossible to say that he was old, neither could he be called very young. His arrival produced no commotion whatever in the town, and was accompanied by nothing in particular: only two muzhiks who were standing at the door of the pot-house opposite the inn, made some remarks, which had, however, more reference to the equipage than to the person seated in it. "Just look", said one of them to the other, "what a wheel that is! What do you think? Will that wheel last as far as Moscow if need be, or will it not?" - "It will hold out", replied the other. "But it won't hold out as far as Kazan, I fancy?" - "It will not", returned the other. And here the conversation ended. But when the britchka drove up to the inn, it was met by a young man in white duck trousers very narrow and very short, and a swallow-tailed coat with claims to fashion, beneath which was visible a shirt-front fastened with a Tula pin, in the shape of a bronze pistol. The young man turned round, surveyed the equi-page, caught hold of his cap, which the wind was on the point of blowing off, and went his way".
Essential for all Lovers of Great World Literature!