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Old 12-01-2007, 01:17 PM   #1
Roy White
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Gogol, Nikolai Vasilievich: The Overcoat and other selected Short Stories. Dec 2007

Gogol was one of the first masters of short prose, alongside Pushkin, Mérimée, Hoffmann, and Hawthorne. He wrote extensive short stories that are surprisingly difficult to find as e-texts. Here are 8 stories that appear to be his major works as short stories.

The Overcoat is his best known and spawned the phrase, "We all came out of Gogol's Overcoat" attributed to Dostoevsky.

Is worth a read. An insignificant clerk has a worn overcoat his co-workers tease him about. He decides to get it repaired but the tailor talks him into buying a new coat. He saves and buys a magnificent coat and is a smash hit at an office party. On the way home he gets robbed of his new life's joy. He goes to the police and meets resistance. Finally, obsessed with the coat he falls ill and dies. A ghost then begins accosting strangers in the city stealing their overcoats. Stuff happens...

The Nose (Another story) is great. A guy is eating his cheerios for breakfast and his nose falls off. He is an exceedingly shallow character and ... Stuff happens...

Other shorts in this collection include St. John's Eve, How the two Ivans Quarrelled, The Calash, and the great Taras Bulba. (Among others)

I tried to tackle Gogol twenty years ago and was stumped. Its time for me to give him another go. So I thought I would share it here..

Enjoy

Roy

(I will be posting his unfinished Novel Dead souls soon)
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:19 AM   #2
Roy White
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I read The Overcoat yesterday. Made me think quite a bit. All day long today I ruminated over this tale trying to come to grips with it. "We all come out of Gogols Overcoat" is a famous quote used by many Russian writers.

The Overcoat both changed and ruined his life. Does the Overcoat represent his shattered dreams? Pride? A self image built on other peoples expectations? The loss of the Overcoat.. Represents the stripping away of pretensions? A restoration of the true self? hmm.. Broken dreams?

I highly reccomend this story. It will make you think alot.
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