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Black Lamb

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Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.

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A Week in Literary History

March 31st, 2002

Ukrainian novelist Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol (Dead Souls, 1842) is born in Velyki Sorochyntsi in 1809.

Nikolai Gogol, b. March 31, 1809, d. 1852

gogolportrait.jpgSo long as people believe in literature, Gogol’s Dead Souls will be read alongside the great novels of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky — and perhaps with even greater pleasure, providing it is read in the astounding translation by Bernard Guilbert Guerney. The famous Russian heaviness is absent in Gogol, who instead supplies headlong humor and a deliciously mordant satire of life in the Russian countryside. Some, among them Vladimir Nabokov and translator Guerney, regard Gogol and Turgenev as antidotes to the later excesses of Dostoevsky. This may be a matter of taste, but Gogol’s novel can surely be put among the great comic novels of history, and for our money, his Chichikov is as engaging a character as, for instance, Don Quixote or Tom Jones.

Suggested Reading Novels Dead Souls, 1842. Taras Bulba, 1842. Short stories The Nose, 1836. The Overcoat, 1842. Plays The Inspector General, 1836. The Marriage, 1842.

Posted by: The Editors
Category: A Week in Literary History, Books and Authors | Link to this Entry

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