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Dead Souls

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  38,375 ratings  ·  1,244 reviews
Dead Souls describes the gambits of a quixotic opportunist in provincial Russia who sets out to buy deceased serfs at a low cost from their owners. Chichikov requires evidence of "property," since he wishes to marry an heiress, & is able to amass the "souls" because their owners must pay taxes on them until they are officially declared dead in the rolls of the next cen ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 9th 2003 by Dover Publications (first published 1842)
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Tomás O'rourke I read on the prologue to my edition, that some of the second part was burned by the author a few days before he died, and not all of it was managed…moreI read on the prologue to my edition, that some of the second part was burned by the author a few days before he died, and not all of it was managed to be recovered. I'm currently reading the first part of the book, so I'm not sure if that's the part that's missing, but it very well could be.

If those are the only pages mising, then it's probably not a joke, and the fragment that was lost.(less)
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2.0 stars. As much as I hate to say this about a book that is both a classic of Russian literature and considered one of the best satires ever written, THIS BOOK BORED ME TO DEATH!!! Okay, not quite "coffin ready" dead, but certainly bored to the point of suffering intermittent bouts of narcolepsy. I can certainly say without hyperbole that this is not a book I would recommend as an “enjoyable” experience, no matter how much Vodka you have standing by.

My assessment of the book arises DESPITE the
Vanja Antonijevic
Gogol's "Dead Souls" is a true masterpiece. It is the only Russian novel that I have read that brings me as much deep satisfaction as Dostoevsky’s great novels. The novel is satirical, intellectual, political, and also entertaining.

The intriguing plot is sketched as follows:

A somewhat mysterious middle class man, named Chichikov, comes to a town and attempts to build prestige by impressing minor officials of the place. The man spends beyond his means in order to impress, and tries to befriend t
Dec 20, 2013 Tej rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Almost, one and a three quarters of a century ago, Nikolay Vasilyevich Gogol-Yanovsky or simply, Gogol, himself lend words to the cries of dissent against the likes of him,

“Don’t we ourselves know that there’s much in life that’s contemptible and stupid? As it is, we often have occasion to see things that are far from comforting. Better that you show us what’s beautiful and distracting. Better that we should forget ourselves!”

That very arrogance and contempt has rocketed far beyond, eulogizing a
Sidharth Vardhan
Serfs in Russia were often referred to as souls which provides for literal meaning to the story. The symbolic meaning of title is easy to guess – people whose conscience is dead (in the story, they are mostly landlords)

The first part reads as a light satire on Russian landlords and society. The tone is of gentle humor and conversational nature (often referring to ‘reader’ and ‘author’) and makes a fast read. Almost all landlords in the book are caricatures of their personality type – and so the
غالباً ما يختبئ المؤلف أو الراوي خلف ستار إحدى شخصيات الرواية وتتولى تلك الشخصية بالنيابة عنه مهمة رواية الأحداث. إحساس القارئ بوجود المؤلف "فعلياً" قليل أو نادر الحدوث؛ هنا في الأنفس الميتة الوضع مختلف تماماً، الراوي خلق نوع من "النميمة" التي بطبعها تستدعي إحساس القارئ أنه جالس في جلسة مع متحدث لا تنقصه البراعة

في رسالة لبوشكين يقول غوغول: (بدأت أكتب الأنفس الميتة الموضوع امتد ليصير رواية طويلة جداً، واعتقد أنه مضحك جداً.....أحب أن أظهر في هذه الرواية جانباً واحداً على الأقل من روسيا)0

الأنفس الم
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: Dead Souls is eloquent on some occasions, lyrical on others, and pious and reverent elsewhere. Nikolai Gogol was a master of the spoof. The American students of today are not the only readers who have been confused by him. Russian literary history records more divergent interpretations of Gogol than perhaps of any other classic.

In a new translation of the comic classic of Russian literature, Chichikov, an enigmatic stranger and schemer, buys deceased serfs'
Parthiban Sekar
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? (Luke 9:25)


This is not a new story which Gogol tries to say through his not good looking, but not uncomely in appearance either, not overly fat, not overly thin Hero Chichikov whose desire takes him in pursuit of buying dead souls from landowners affected by sickness, famine, and other misfortunes which may befall any man. But, the same old story being told time and again, only in diff
Moira Russell
Was just as hilarious as I remembered, which is really saying something, since I last read Part I about twenty years ago maybe. I don't think I read Part II then; it's so sad, such a skeleton. "At once a wild phantasmagoria and a work of exacting realism" - well, I don't know how phantasmagoric it actually is, but that's about right. I do think Rayfield's translation is v questionable ("A pleasant feeling of calm invaded one's soul").

(Chichikov admiring himself in his "Navarino smoke-and-flame f
“Countless as the sands of sea are human passions, and not all of them are alike, and all of them, base and noble alike, are at first obedient to man and only later on become his terrible masters.”

Dead Souls follows the story of Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov, an ambitious and seemingly unscrupulous man who travels across Russia's countryside to buy dead serfs from landowners to relieve them from tax payment, making himself a wealthy man in the process.

This novel has a slow start, with Chichikov re
For my review of Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet I asked you to imagine that someone has given you a beautiful old watch, a gift with a catch, which is that it unfortunately does not work, is not, somehow, whole. Would you, in this situation, feel aggrieved, because the watch is not all that it could have been? Or are you happy to have it as it is, opining that you have gained something, rather than lost out, because you cannot lose something that never was [the watch had never and could ...more
OK what just happened here? First things were going splendidly and then – like Chinua Achebe says, things just fall apart. Where did the magic go? I was robbed, I tell you.

This feels exactly like one of those unfortunate cases, where Mother Nature goes on strike, having had enough of the standard conveyor belt assembly tactics, and proceeds to screw together two halves that obviously don’t fit together:


I now know Gogol never finished the book and that may be the reason the second half was a mess
Simon A. Smith
I didn't enjoy this novel nearly as much as I enjoyed Gogol's short stories. A couple of things...

1. Several times throughout, the text breaks off and a line is inserted that reads something like, "and here there are many pages missing..." and then the story picks back up in the middle of nowhere again. I didn't know that going in and it was a little confusing.

2. The first 100 pages are very funny and highly engrossing. Starting on about 150 there begins the most monotonous passages. All the bac
Maru Kun
The hero of Dead Souls, Chichikov, these days would be Fabulous Chichikov.

Sitting at his 40th floor, 200 West Street dealing desk Fabulous Chichikov’s eye would travel from screen to screen searching out deals in NINJA loans, distressed debt and CDOs squared. Debits and credits would flit in and out of his trading book as ephemeral as any Dead Soul.

Instead of a “troika suitable for bachelors”, Fabulous Chichikov would travel by Uber limousine. He would move from Manhattan steakhouse to members o
Pelas alminhas...
Terminei o livro há pouco mais de uma semana e já não me lembro de quase nada. Ou estou a ficar gágá, ou Gogol não é do meu gosto.
Vamos lá fazer um esforço...

Na Rússia do século XIX, um homem, acompanhado do criado, visita casas de proprietários rurais propondo-lhes adquirir, por baixo valor, um "produto" que a ele lhe é útil e a eles só dá despesa.
Com uma galeria de personagens - composta, na sua maioria, de vigaristas, sovinas e espertalhões - que protagonizam cenas com algu
Riku Sayuj
Feb 13, 2012 Riku Sayuj rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tanuj Solanki
Shelves: favorites
Why has no one turned thought to completing this in some form as a homage to the master. SO many literary works have spawned from this and yet...
فلنفرض أن أحدهم عرض عليك شراء شيء لا تحتاجه البتة، بل ويثقل ببعض التكاليف، لقاء مبلغ رمزي مع التزامه بدفع كل ما يتعلق بالسلعة. بدعوى التبسيط، تخيل أن أحدهم عرض عليك شراء فواتير الكهرباء الخاصة بكمع التكفل سدادها. هل ستقبل العرض دون تردد أم لن تترك الصفقة تمر دون تمحيص؟ هل ستطمع في المزيد أم ستستفسر أولاً عن وضع الحلال والحرام؟ هل ستصر على طلب التوضيح حتى وإن حال ذلك عن إتمام الصفقة، أم ستتهم المشتري في قواه العقلية؟ أياً كان موقفك فستجده مُدوناً في هذه الرواية الساخرة ببطلها الغريب (تشيتشكوف) وم ...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
I was a bit surprised by this. Old Russian novels usually are like long, black trains loaded with ponderous themes travelling the entire length and breadth of Russia and ending up in Siberia with all its passengers dead or dying. The title of this book itself, "Dead Souls," suggests a good halloween read. I made a grave mistake.

This is more like Huckleberry Finn, except that its principal protagonist (or "hero," as Nikolai Gogol calls him), named Chichikov, is not a young clever boy but a wily,
Erik Graff
Jun 06, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Russian lit fans
Recommended to Erik by: Ed Erickson
Shelves: literature
By the last two years of high school many of my friends were older fellows already in college. Most were poorer than the average Maine South student, so their colleges weren't far away. As a consequence, I was afforded opportunites to visit and sometimes stay at Roosevelt University, Loyola University, Kendall College, Oakton Community College, the University of Illinois (Chicago and Champaign), the University of Chicago, Oxford University etc.--a practice continued, reciprocally now, when I mat ...more
I have read only fifty pages of Gogol in Russian, enough to know how hilarious he is, and to regret his conversion and attempt to destroy this great book.
"Sobakavich" alone rewards the reader with the Russian patronymic, "Son of" applied to "Sobaka," a bitch. Yet Sobakavich is the most genial of men, who refuses to sell even those of his employ who have died. His sentimental valuing of the mere memory of his dead worker is a triumph over materialism. Lovely stuff. Viva Gogol! Sobakievich is ev
Continua il mio viaggio alla scoperta della letteratura russa, sono arrivata a Gogol’ passando da Dostoevskij, ed è proprio il caso di dire meglio tardi che mai.
“Le Anime Morte” staziona nella mia libreria dal 2006 quando, mi decisi a comprarlo dietro ispirazione di un personaggio televisivo della serie ‘Gilmore Girls’.
Durante la lettura di “Delitto e Castigo” più di una volta si è fatto riferimento a Gogol’, cosi che non ho potuto far altro che pensare fosse un segno, un indizio, per la mia pr
Не книга, а просто прелесть!

Искусство автора - редчайший шедевр! Прочитав его стало понятно почему Гоголь определил своё произведение не романом, а поэмой.

Сам сюжет настолько интересен и загадочный и забавен, что невозможно не оценить его по достоинству (кстати это благодаря Пушкину, который преподнёс идею данного сюжета Гоголю).

А неповторимое мастерство автора вдохновило этот сюжет жизнью, весельем, яркими эмоциями, задором и целым радом искусных приёмов. Не книга, а упоение. Жаль, что автору н
Può un romanzo che sogni di leggere da molto, troppo tempo non corrispondere alle tue aspettative? Sì, se si sta parlando de "Le anime morte" di Gogol'.
Non facile, ostico, di difficile comprensione, non solo per lo stile, ma anche per la storia narrata.
Bellissime le descrizioni della Russia, una Russia diversa da quella che si è soliti immaginare, una Russia di desolazione, di solitudine, di scompiglio, una Russia abitata da personaggi di cui Gogol' dipinge virtù e difetti in un caleidoscopio
للأدب الروسي عبقه الخاص، ففيه من الوصف الدقيق لتفاصيل التفاصيل، والإفراط في العاطفة، والغموض، والفلسلفة ما ينقل القارئ لروح روسيا.

تستفرد الرواية بفكرتها، فالبطل الغير مثالي الذي يدعى تشيتشيكوف يسعى لشراء أنفس ميتة. تتابع الأحداث والحكايات إلى أن يكشف المؤلف في أواخر الصفحات عن شخصيه تشيتشيكوف و نظرته حول الطبيعة البشرية. اتفق مع الكاتب وبإعجاب حين يرى ويصور النفس البشرية دون الفضيلة والكمال. فلا فائدة ترجى من تجميل حقائق البشر.

مما جاء في أسطر الرواية " فلم يكن بوسعي أن اختار شخصية فاضلة لبطلي. و
Gogol è stato definito da Tolstoj “il Balzac russo”: “Anime morte” può essere definito un viaggio allegorico nell’umanità, una commedia umana ambientata in Russia, un viaggio realistico e visionario insieme, umoristico e divertente con un retrogusto amaro. Purtroppo ci sono rimasti solo il primo libro, un capolavoro, e il secondo libro mancante di diverse parti, anch’esso molto bello, specie nel finale.
Mi sono divertita molto lungo la strada, ho viaggiato a fianco di Pavel Ivanovic Cicikov , un
An absurd and brilliant satire. To think I avoided reading this novel for years because I thought it was going to be depressing. Ha! Dead Souls reminded me in many ways of the Odyssey + Don Quixote written by Mark Twain in a Russian prose poem. Gogol captures the absurdity of the mid-19th century Russia. Included in Gogol's satire/farce is an absurd and brilliant look at the corruption of the government, the stratification of society, the pretentiousness of the Russian middle-class, etc. Anyway, ...more
Gogol’s masterpiece was never finished. Volume 1 is complete but Volume 2 has missing pages and incomplete sentences and then doesn’t so much finish as just stops. (Gogol announced it as a trilogy, completed the second volume but destroyed the manuscript, and scholars rescued the existing second volume from his papers. Some insist it was never really meant to be more than one volume, though the existence of much of a second volume draft—over 130 printed pages—suggests a rather elaborate red herr ...more
Ksenia Anske
Read this translation and no other. You’ll laugh your pants off. Wish Gogol didn't lose heart and didn't destroy part of the manuscript before his death. But even incomplete, this is a masterpiece and complete in its incompleteness.
Alp Turgut
Rus romantik akımının öncüsü “Ölü Canlar”, Gogol’un en olgun eseri olmakla beraber; bitirememesi sebebiyle okuyucuyla tam olarak buluşamamış bir yarım başyapıt niteliğinde. Okudukça Gogol’un tamamlayamamış olmasına üzüldüğünüz eserde sadece zamanının Rus insanına değil günümüz insanına dair muhteşem akıcı bir dille yazılmış keskin eleştirileri okuma şansı buluyoruz. Zaman zaman okuyucuyla iletişime geçmekten çekinmeyerek eserin felsefi alt yapısını öne çıkararak eleştirilere cevap veren Gogol’un ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Dead Souls=Mertvye dushi, Nikolai Gogol (1809 - 1852)
عنوان: مردگان زرخرید - رعایای مرده (بردگان مرده)؛ اثر: نیکولای گوگول (نیکولای واسیلیویچ)؛ مترجم: فریدون مجلسی، مشخصات نشر: تهران، نیلوفر، چاپ دوم 1387، در 352 ص، شابک: 9789644483844؛ کتاب از متن انگلیسی برگردانده شده، ، چاپ نخست انتشارات رسانه در سال 1379؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان روسی قرن 19 م
عنوان: نفوس مرده؛ اثر: نیکولای گوگول (نیکولای واسیلیویچ)؛ مترجم: کاظم انصاری، مشخصات نشر: ویرایش 2، تهران، نشر اندیشه، چاپ دوم 1369، در 348 ص، موضوع:
Oh Nikolai, you had some clever characters developing. You made me laugh out loud like no Russian literature has done before. I told my wife that I loved Gogol.

But you made me a liar. What happened? All of the sudden, you waxed loquacious about the Russian countryside and the main character's psyche. Suddenly you were offering up major details about some minor characters troubled youth, and you went on and on and on and on.

I'm told that you burned the sequel to this book because the devil appea
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Russian profile/Русский профиль Николай Васильевич Гоголь

Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (Николай Васильевич Гоголь) was born in the Ukrainian Cossack village of Sorochyntsi, in Poltava Governorate of the Russian Empire, present-day Ukraine. His mother was a descendant of Polish nobility. His father Vasily Gogol-Yanovsky, a descendant of Ukrainian Cossacks, belonged to the petty gentry, wrote poetry in
More about Nikolai Gogol...

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“However stupid a fools words may be, they are sometimes enough to confound an intelligent man.” 137 likes
“There are occasions when a woman, no matter how weak and impotent in character she may be in comparison with a man, will yet suddenly become not only harder than any man, but even harder than anything and everything in the world.” 90 likes
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