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Gogol's Wife and Other Stories
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Gogol's Wife and Other Stories

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  122 ratings  ·  14 reviews
9 fantastic stories, sometimes farcical, sometimes tragically ironic.
Paperback, 183 pages
Published December 1st 1989 by New Directions Publishing Corporation (first published 1963)
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May 07, 2012 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: that's because sister I'm a poet
Recommended to Mariel by: I have no reason to talk about the books I read but still I do
Yet these two unfailingly agreed on each and every note, or whatever you might call them, and they sang entire pieces with each moving accord in their out-of-tuneness that I, amazed, consternated, dejected, let my shapely ears be lacerated almost willingly, meanwhile abandoning myself to philosophical reflections, half bitter, half comforting.

It might (finally! I have waited for this day for so long) be my turn to write one of those reviews about book soul mates. Maybe. If that soul is a horcrux
If you've ever thought that Nikolai Gogol might have had a blow-up doll for a wife and that the brilliant author inflated it through the anus and had a severe love-hate relationship with it; or conceived of a rural French village where the townsfolk hibernate throughout the winter in sacks hanging from the ceiling; or perhaps you've never read an depth description of a monkey saying Mass and the subsequent debate of whether or not he should be executed for blasphemy- if these scenarios sound str ...more
Aug 12, 2010 Alan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Alan by: Michael Peck
My brain hurts. Maybe it's my new glasses - I can now see everything in hallucinatory detail: the mould spots on leaves on trees, the blemishes on faces approaching twenty yards away, the numbers of buses down the road (quite useful) - or maybe it's this book. Great inventive stories full of wry humour, Kafka-esque, Borges-esque. Gogol's wife is a blow up doll that can change shape and catch diseases; in another story a man writes poems in a language that only he knows and argues that they are g ...more
Tommaso Landolfi, gambler and translator of Russian literature, weirdo, and forgotten master of 20th century literature. This, I believe his most famous collection (he was praised by Calvino, Barthelme, and Sontag) is terrific collection of stories. The title story is relentlessly unnerving story of Gogol and his “wife”, a doll that can change sizes and maybe alive (“real doll” anyone), then there is the epistolary horror story “Pastoral”(about an estate where people are hibernating in dirt sack ...more
Jul 06, 2007 Matthew rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: julio cortazar
If Cortazar learned how to write his formal-play-by-numbers short stories from Borges, who learned from Kafka, Landolfi came straight, again, from Kafka into something singular and strange.

Of course, it's not that literature's a sullen mathematics of division and remainders, some miserly portioning from civilization's distant fount, but whereas Cortazar's shorts (unlike his brilliantly loose-tethered novels) feel like second-degree imitations, Landolfi's feel anarchic and impossible and sometim
Rayan Brantdt
a very refreshing culmination of an author who clearly has the talent to fill a billion pages with adjective-laced crevices and detour-syntax, yet shows enough restraint and self awareness to really keep things concise and interesting. ~the sharpest scalpel yields the cleanest scar~~~~~ full of wit and irony and tongues piercing through cheeks, this is the best book i've ever stolen from goodwill, and i look forward to the frustrations that await in regards to obtaining more of his work.
Wow. Don't believe the descriptions that call him Italy's Kafka. He is nothing like Italy's Kafka. More Borges. But even that is far from the mark. His tone is far more playful and surreal. And, to some degree, tongue in cheek and self-aware. Which blunts its edge a bit ... not quite the timeless elegance of Borges. Nevertheless, worth investigating in greater depth.
This is a collection of short stories from author of the grotesque, Tommaso Landolfi. By far my favorite entry was the title story, but I also really liked the second story, "Pastoral" and "the Two Old Maids" about a monkey imitating certain Catholic rites.
Christopher Walborn
1. Gogol’s WifeTommaso Landolfi’s story is written as a chapter of a biography on the famous Russian writer, Nikolai Gogol. In this chapter, the author explores the delicate matter of Gogol’s “wife.” It turns out that she is not a woman, but a balloon. A titilling conceit for horny teen-age boys of all ages, Landolfi develops the story into a humorous, but ultimately sad and disturbing fictionalization of Gogol’s self-destruction. The humorous satire is vibrant from beginning to end, while the s ...more
Maryam Sabbaghi
Very lovely book! Highly recommend.
J.M. Hushour
Landolfi is considered the "Italian Kafka" and a Surrealist, so you'd think he'd be more prominent in 20th century avant-garde literature circles, but apparently not. I find him more of an Italian Flann O'Brien. The stories: a French society matron moves to the provinces where locals hibernate for the winter in giant furry meat-sacs; an owl's final moments at the hands of a hunter coincide with its first glimpse of the sun; a hardy pirate/adventurer sits on the toilet; a monkey desecrates a loca ...more
I found this book challenging in the same way I find Borges challenging. after a few pages your head begins to spin and you have to stop. If you can get used to Landolfi's style, you will find a very satisfying read in these pages. It's not a light summer beach read, but it is a rewarding one.
Derick Dupre
"it's funny, really funny. that's not all: binoculars: i don't know where it comes from, but binoculars! it's not beautiful, just funny. laughing laughing! bottles, champagne, women, the lawyer's son..."
Jan 14, 2009 Nell marked it as to-read
Shelves: owned-and-unread
I found this in Lame Duck Books; it looks like it's worth a shot.
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(Pico, Frosinone, 1908 - Roma, 1979)
Trascorre tra Pico, Roma e la Toscana gli anni dell’infanzia e dell’adolescenza. Compie gli studi universitari prima a Roma, poi a Firenze. Nel 1932 si laurea in lingua e letteratura russa, discutendo una tesi sulla poetessa Anna Achmatova. Successivamente, inizia a collaborare a testate romane (“Occidente”, “L’Europa Orientale”, “L’Italia letteraria”, “Oggi”) e
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