Hansen Wendlandt's Reviews > Dead Souls

Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
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Sep 15, 2016

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Read in September, 2010 , read count: 2

Familiarity with Gogol’s short stories prepares one for something brilliant. The first chapter of Dead Souls approaches that degree, as do many moments of subtlety and charm. And the general scope of the narrative is clever. But for the most, the novel drags with, typically Russian, too many characters, unnecessary action and interruptions of philosophical and economic theory. This is not a complete work, so perhaps it needn’t be read completely.
A few gems: “Political economy… Just one fool sitting on another fool’s back, and flogging him along, even though the rider can see no further than his own nose.” (240) “No sooner does a man get a little education into his head than he becomes a Don Quixote.” (239) “It is never a very safe proceeding to peer deeply into the hearts of ladies.” (128) “Certain persons in the world exist, not as personalities in themselves, but as spots or specks on the personalities of others.” (88) “Her rule seemed to have been ‘Make a hot dish of some sort and some sort of taste will result’.” (68)
[re-read June 2016]
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09/15/2016 marked as: read

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