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The Squabble

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  846 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
Nikolai Gogol’s short story is a sublime work of tragi-comedy. In it, he brilliantly ridicules the Ukrainian passion for litigation and reveals life as something really rather absurd. Ivan Ivanovich and Ivan Nikiforovich are the greatest of friends—until the day they begin a foolish quarrel that culminates in that very worst of insults: “And you, Ivan Ivanovich, are a goos ...more
Paperback, 119 pages
Published August 1st 2002 by Hesperus Press (first published 1835)
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Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"La grande affection qu’ils se portaient n’empêchait pourtant point nos deux amis de présenter entre eux certaines dissemblances."

"Et vous, Ivan Ivanovitch, vous êtes là à crier comme un jars..."

Sachez mesdames et messieurs, que cette phrase, a mis fin à l'une des plus belles amitiés, celle d' Ivan Ivanovich et d'Ivan Nikiforovich, dont la futile querelle a fini devant le tribunal.
Nikolai Gogol a su mélanger tristesse, nostalgie, humour et beaucoup de rire dans un des meilleurs contes que
Apr 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Woody Allen has a well-known predilection for Russian literature. When you read this book, you will notice the heavy influence that Gogol and the other big Russians had on Allen's films. This novella, along with Gogol's other short works, is far superior to his "masterpiece" Dead Souls. A carefully constructed work of absurdity and satire that involves 2 lifelong best friends who end up in an epic, almost slapstick courtroom battle over one man calling the other 'a goose'. Sounds like a ridiculo ...more
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An old friendship is spoiled over nothing, but Gogol mixes this sad, realistic tale with nostalgia and laughter, too. Gogol brings in the other citizens of the town, the courts, the law, and a brown sow who eats legal documents.
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
A real treat to read. The Squabble hits with charm and wit and likability almost at all times. It's tightly told and there's an impressive balancing act it does between keeping its premise and message simple and opening up complexity for it. it is a feat that it never lets the commonality of its premise slip into banality and cliche. It instead is driven further home by the relatability of the petty friend feud it depicts. The characters never teeter between cartoony and realistic; instead, baff ...more
Han Asra
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sastra Rusia dapat dikatakan memiliki lebih banyak penulis cerpen dibandingkan dengan negara yang lain yang biasanya didominasi oleh novelis. Cerpen mungkin sering dipandang lebih inferior dibandingkan dengan novel atau puisi karena panjangnya yang dapat ditawarkan. Namun ada hal yang perlu diingat bahwa cerpen merupakan satu tantangan tersendiri dalam dunia sastra karena sastrawan harus mampu memberikan penulisan terbaiknya hanya dengan beberapa belas halaman saja. Tentu hal itu sebenarnya suli ...more
May 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Not because it made me laugh my ass off (which it did), but because the ending caught me off guard and really hit me between the eyes. I was instantly sobered, after being intoxicated with his hilarious narrative, which is, of course, exactly the method and effect he was aiming at. I didn't stand a chance - I got "schooled'," happily and gratefully. It made me look at my own relationships, and the 'human condition'. Powerful stuff. In the story, the quarrel never 'comes to blows', but ...more
Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translated, 2014
Hilarious, especially the strange details used to describe characters. Here are the two main characters, for example: "Ivan Ivanovitch's head is like a radish, tail down; Ivan Nikiforovitch's like a radish with the tail up... Ivan Ivanovitch gets into a terrible rage if a fly falls into his beet soup. Then he is fairly beside himself; he flings away his plate and the housekeeper catches it. Ivan Nikiforovitch is very fond of bathing; and when he gets up to the neck in water, orders a table and a ...more
So apparently Seth Rogen did not invent comedy, as I had previously thought.

Gogol is funny as shit. I know you don't believe it, because he is from the 1800s, but believe it.

This book is all about how these two guys stop being friends because one calls the other a "goose" and then that one goes to court and says that he cannot be a goose for reasons including this one:

"But a goose, as is well known to every one who has any knowledge of science, cannot be inscribed in the baptismal register; for
Thing Two
This amusing little tale had me laughing out loud at the absurdity of man. Two life long friends call it quits over a momentary error when one Ivan calls the other Ivan a goose. From here everything falls apart.

Like I said, I actually had moments when I laughed out loud at this one. If you are a fan of Russian literature, you'll probably enjoy this short novella.
Avyay Kuchibotla
Aug 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nikolai Gogol's "How the Two Ivans Quarrelled" reminded me in many ways of "The Zax" by Dr. Seuss, in which the North-going Zax and the South-going Zax bump into each other and both refuse to move. In this story two Ivans, the tall and handsome Ivan Ivanovich and the short and stout Ivan Nikiforovich, former friends, quarrel when the first Ivan becomes envious of his neighbor Ivan Nikiforovich's gun. But it isn't so much that the first Ivan wants the other's gun that leads to their quarrel. In b ...more
John McDonald
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Two neighbors, both named Ivan and both Russian peasants who were the best of friends for their entire lives, are unable to resolve a personal feud about a hypothetical trade of a pig for a gun, hypothetical because the value of the pig only arose because of a question by one of the Ivans whether he really used his gun. One had the temerity to call the other a "goose". The dispute stirred imaginings by both Ivans and, of course, wives and neighbors weighed in with their opinions. In no time, com ...more
César Augusto
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
É um livro curtíssimo, em menos de uma hora pode ser lido, Gogol demonstrar a letargia do poder judiciário, a teimosia do ser humano em recusar acordos pacíficos preferindo levar a justiça e gastar mais do que o valor da própria causa para buscar uma possível decisão favorável.

Gogol foi simples, direito e preciso. Pode se falar em atemporalidade em relação a essa obra. Mesmo possuindo 200 anos, vem a calhar bem nestes tempos atuais.
Julia Buckley
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up at a junk shop and it has provided a happy evening's reading. Gogol's satire is biting and often depressing, but his genius is evident in the fact that he made me laugh out loud at the same time. His targets, predictably, are wealthy and self-satisfied men who admit, early in the novella, that they want for nothing. And yet they find something over which to fight, and this become the basis of Gogol's examination of human beings, both self-destructive and posturing.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Short story about two inseparable best friends, living in a small town. The friendship subject of admiration and example from everyone ends up abruptly becoming then enemies. The book is written in a satirical manner, making fun of appearances, manners, while describing the mentality of small villages mentality.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another story by Gogol that I've read these days. It was funnier and more absurd then Vij and I think that is why this one got a better review from me :)
Javier Muñoz albornoz
Es el cuento mas chistoso que he leído de Gogol, me ha sacado verdaderas risas en la calle. Enganchas con el nombre del cuento, sabiendo que Gogol marca de forma especial el camino con su estilo "Gogolesco". La primera carta de demanda es increíble! Alucinante e hilarante de principio a fin!

La fórmula de Gogol: personajes grotescos, situaciones ridículas, descripciones altisonantes de lugares y la irrupción del autor para dar su opinión. Todo se maneja entre lo serio y lo ridiculo.
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
entertainend tussendoortje
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-russia
I really enjoyed this novella detailing the petty and ridiculous squabbles between former friends, both named Ivan. The Ivan's were once great buds until Ivan #1 gets it into his head that he wants Ivan #2 to give him this gun he never uses. He offers him a cow for it (seems about right) but Ivan #2 isn't having it. Maybe he'll want to go hunting someday!(although being rather portly and unwilling to leave his house this seems unlikely). Ivan #1 freaks out that he can't have the gun causing Iva ...more
Nicola Mansfield
Jul 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was first introduced to Gogol in an unusual way, by my grade 10 French teacher of all people. M. Berard told us his love for this Russian author of short stories and spent some time reading aloud to the class "The Nose" from a French translation, of course taking time out to make sure we were getting it. It's something I'll always remember. Flash back to now and when I received this book, I thought Gogol? Gogol? isn't that the "Nose" guy so I looked him up and indeed it is the same author. So ...more
Ariel Seraphino
Pertama kali membaca karya Gogol dimulai dengan ekspektasi yang tinggi akan sebuah karya klasik. Mengarungi kisah-kisah dalam buku ini seperti diajak hidup dan bergaul dengan detail kehidupan jaman itu. Kisah dua Ivan yang bertengkar dan dua cerpen lainnya yang ada dalam buku ini cukup menyiratkan gaya bahasa penulis yang seolah ingin serius meski tidak bisa selalu konsisten dalam hal itu. Entah jarak saya sebagai pembaca atau gaya kepenulisan penulisnya yang begitu, Gogol berkisah dengan cara m ...more
Kungkang Kangkung
Sebenarnya 3,5 bintang, tapi saya bulatkan ke bawah karena kurangnya twist yang membuat saya bisa menebak ending dari dua cerita dalam buku ini. Saya sangat suka cara Gogol bercerita, meski terkesan bertele-tele dengan penyebutan bermacam-macam benda untuk melengkapi setting, tapi Gogol memberi kesegaran melalui kalimat-kalimatnya yang jenaka. Tema cerita yang diangkat juga sederhana dan cukup unik, menambahkan nilai tersendiri.

Buku ini merupakan sastra Rusia pertama yang saya baca, jadi saya se
Apr 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novella about two long time friends in early 19th century Russia was written in 1835 and recently re-released by Melville House Publishing as part of its "Art of the Novella" series. Ivan Ivanovich and Ivan Nikiforovitch are next door neighbors, long time friends and respected citizens in the town of Mirgorod. During one of their daily meetings a simple conversation turns ugly, as Ivan Nikiforovitch calls his neighbor a name that deeply offends him. The situtation escalates to a war of word ...more
The two Ivans were next door neighbors and friends. They are opposites. One is very organized and proper, one is glutenous and a little more free spirited. The problem arises when the first Ivan (Ivanovich) sees his neighbor’s belongings being aired out in the yard. Most things really don’t interest him very much until he spots a pistol. He covets it. The second Ivan (Nikiforovich) doesn’t have much use for the pistol, but he doesn’t want to give it to him. They argue and Ivan Nikiforovich ends ...more
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: breves-del-atico
Por qué se pelearon los dos Ivanes, de Nikolai Gogol, explora con gran sentido del humor algo tan universal como es la amistad. La historia empieza con una pelea entre dos viejos amigos después de que uno llame ganso al otro. A partir de ahí, el enfrentamiento se complica y la situación resulta cada vez más absurda. Gogol hace uso de toda su ironía y humor negro para trazar este retrato de las relaciones humanas y sus contradicciones.

La publicación de Por qué se pelearon los dos Ivanes se enmarc
This story maybe wasn't as entertaining as I had expected it to be... to be honest I had a lot of concentration difficulties with it. I don't know why exactly. Possibly there just weren't any hooks of the sort that I'm used to.

Even if Gogol's writing is quite funny, it always has this serious undertone. So had this story. Essentially the point is that people should just learn to forgive. Even very close in my family circle I've got to witness this kind of enmity for a decade already, and it's qu
Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heerlijk om te lezen. Misschien wel leuker dan Dostojevski die ik onlangs las.
Gogol is een meester in het schetsen van een normale vriendschapsrelatie die om een onbenulligheid totaal ontspoort.

Het korte verhaal houd er op een prettige manier de vaart in, alhowel het aan het einde wat abrupt afkapt.

De personages die Gogol aanvoert in het verhaal zijn stuk voor stuk van dien aard dat ze stuk voor stuk veel verder uitgediept kunnen worden. Een uitgebreider verhaal zou Gogol hier dan ook zonder pro
Dec 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Gogol fans,
The short story set, The Squabble is also known as "How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikidorovich". I prefer the Penguin Classics Edition translation by Ronald Wilks in Diary of a Madman and Other Stories over this one. This version by Hesperus Classics contains two other 'tragicomedy' short stories: Old Worlde Landowners and The Carriage, in addition to The Squabble. The foreward by Patrick McCabe and the Intro by translator Hugh Aplin are a plus.
This novella has everything that I loved about Gogol's Dead Souls--the witty tone, humor, and absurdity--all bundled up in a small, but still fulfilling, morsel of a story. I am really enjoying Melville House's "Art of the Novella" series--a perfect way to get a taste of a variety of well-known classic works without having to worry about the time commitment demanded by longer masterpieces.
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
There were three stories in this collection. I preferred "Olde-Worlde Landowners" of the three. The stories were fine, but nothing special. I was kind of irked that they just ended in the middle of everything. I know that not every story needs a nice 'everything gets wrapped up' conclusion, but the way these stories ended was rather abrupt.
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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 Russian and Ukrainian, and was an amateur Ukrainian-langu ...more
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