Author, dramatist and satirist, Nikolay Gogol deeply influenced later Russian literature with his powerful depictions of a society dominated by petty beaurocracy and base corruption. This volume includes both his most admired short fiction and his most famous drama. A biting and frequently hilarious political satire, "The Government Inspector" has been popular since its first performance and was regarded by Nabokov as the greatest Russian play every written. The stories gathered here, meanwhile, range from comic to tragic and describe the isolated lives of low-ranking clerks, lunatics and swindlers. They include "Diary of a Madman," an amusing but disturbing exploration of insanity; Nevsky Prospect, a depiction of an artist besotted with a prostitute; and "The Overcoat," a moving consideration of poverty that powerfully influenced Dostoevsky and later Russian literature.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Gogol, Nikolay Vasilyevich (1809-52), Russian writer, whose plays, short stories, and novels rank among the great masterpieces of 19th-century Russian realist literature. Ronald Wilks has translated many Russian works of literature including, for Penguin, those of Gorky, Sologub, Tolstoy, and Pushkin, and most recently, three volumes of Chekhov's stories and his short novel, The Shooting Party. Robert A Maguire is Professor and Head of Department at Columbia University. He is the author of several books about Russian literature and the prize-winning translator of Petersburg by Andrei Bely (Indiana UP, 1979) and most recently, for Penguin, of Gogol's Dead Souls.