Dead Souls by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

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Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol, Russian writer, was first published in 1842, and is one of the most prominent works of 19th-century Russian literature. Gogol himself saw it as an “epic poem in prose”, and within the book as a “novel in verse”. Despite supposedly completing the trilogy’s second part, Gogol destroyed it shortly before his death. Although the novel ends in mid-sentence (like Sterne’s Sentimental Journey), it is usually regarded as complete in the extant form. In Russia before the emancipation of the serfs in 1861, landowners were entitled to own serfs to farm their land. Serfs were for most purposes considered the property of the landowner, and could be bought, sold, or mortgaged against, as any other chattel. To count serfs (and people in general), the measure word “soul” was used: e.g., “six souls of serfs”. The plot of the novel relies on “dead souls” (i.e., “dead serfs”) which are still accounted for in property registers. On another level, the title refers to the “dead souls” of Gogol’s characters, all of which visualise different aspects of poshlost (an untranslatable Russian word which is perhaps best rendered as “self-satisfied inferiority”, moral and spiritual, with overtones of middle-class pretentiousness, fake significance, and philistinism).

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Description
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol, Russian writer, was first published in 1842, and is one of the most prominent works of 19th-century Russian literature. Gogol himself saw it as an “epic poem in prose”, and within the book as a “novel in verse”. Despite supposedly completing the trilogy’s second part, Gogol destroyed it shortly before his death. Although the novel ends in mid-sentence (like Sterne’s Sentimental Journey), it is usually regarded as complete in the extant form. In Russia before the emancipation of the serfs in 1861, landowners were entitled to own serfs to farm their land. Serfs were for most purposes considered the property of the landowner, and could be bought, sold, or mortgaged against, as any other chattel. To count serfs (and people in general), the measure word “soul” was used: e.g., “six souls of serfs”. The plot of the novel relies on “dead souls” (i.e., “dead serfs”) which are still accounted for in property registers. On another level, the title refers to the “dead souls” of Gogol’s characters, all of which visualise different aspects of poshlost (an untranslatable Russian word which is perhaps best rendered as “self-satisfied inferiority”, moral and spiritual, with overtones of middle-class pretentiousness, fake significance, and philistinism).
Language
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-11-10 20:43
last episode published
2017-04-21 00:00
publication frequency
1.0 days
Contributors
Loyal Books owner   author  
Explicit
false
Number of Episodes
27
Rss-Feeds
Detail page
Categories
Society & Culture History Literature Comedy Arts

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Episodes

Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors
21.04.2017

00 – Introduction by John Cournos, and Author’s Preface

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Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol author
20.04.2017

01 – Part I, Chapter I

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19.04.2017

02 – Part I, Chapter II – Section 1

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18.04.2017

03 – Part I, Chapter II – Section 2

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17.04.2017

04 – Part 1, Chapter III – Section 1

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16.04.2017

05 – Part 1, Chapter III – Section 2

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15.04.2017

06 – Part I, Chapter IV – Section 1

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14.04.2017

07 – Part I, Chapter IV – Section 2

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13.04.2017

08 – Part I, Chapter V – Section 1

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12.04.2017

09 – Part I, Chapter V – Section 2

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11.04.2017

10 – Part I, Chapter VI

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10.04.2017

11 – Part I, Chapter VII – Section 1

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9.04.2017

12 – Part I, Chapter VII – Section 2

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8.04.2017

13 – Part I, Chapter VIII

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7.04.2017

14 – Part I, Chapter IX

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6.04.2017

15 – Part I, Chapter X

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5.04.2017

16 – Part I, Chapter XI – Section 1

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4.04.2017

17 – Part I, Chapter XI – Section 2

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3.04.2017

18 – Part II, Chapter I – Section 1

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2.04.2017

19 – Part II, Chapter I – Section 2

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1.04.2017

20 – Part II, Chapter II

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31.03.2017

21 – Part II, Chapter III – Section 1

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30.03.2017

22 – Part II, Chapter III – Section 2

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29.03.2017

23 – Part II, Chapter IV – Section 1

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28.03.2017

24 – Part II, Chapter IV – Section 2

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27.03.2017

25 – Part II, Chapter IV – Section 3

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26.03.2017

26 – Part II, Chapter IV – Section 4

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