Spring 1945 • Vol. VII No. 2 Book Reviews |

Brief Comment: Nikolai Gogol

Nikolai Gogol by Vladimir Nabokov. New Directions. $1.50. Mr. Nabokov argues, jauntily but convincingly, that Gogol is one of the least understood major figures in literature. In English-speaking countries the misunderstanding has been due in part to the uncommon badness of the translations of his major works, though Nabokov believes that the recent English versions by Guerney remedy this lack. Russian critics themselves have fostered the misconceptions that Gogol was a writer of farce, or a political and social reformer, or a realist. Gogol's own interpretations of his works after the fact have not helped. In repudiating those who saw The Government Inspector as a satire on bureaucracy, he attributed to it a prophetic message which the play itself does not convey. After he had published the first part of Dead Souls, his growing religious fanaticism twisted the story into a super-Toistoyan apocalypse of moral and agrarian redemption; a death-bed revival of artistic conscience ca

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Faulkner’s Crucifixion

By Philip Blair Rice

Nikolai Gogol by Vladimir Nabokov. New Directions. $1.50. Mr. Nabokov argues, jauntily but convincingly, that Gogol is one of the least understood major figures in literature. In English-speaking countries the […]

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