The Nose

( 1 )


A masterpiece of satire and a key work of the Russian "fantastic" movement. One of the most celebrated tales in Russian literature.

Collegiate Assessor Kovalyov awakens to discover that his nose is missing, leaving a smooth, flat patch of skin in its place. He finds and confronts his nose in the Kazan Cathedral, but from its clothing it is apparent that the nose has acquired a higher rank in the civil service ...

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The Nose (Annotated with Biography)

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A masterpiece of satire and a key work of the Russian "fantastic" movement. One of the most celebrated tales in Russian literature.

Collegiate Assessor Kovalyov awakens to discover that his nose is missing, leaving a smooth, flat patch of skin in its place. He finds and confronts his nose in the Kazan Cathedral, but from its clothing it is apparent that the nose has acquired a higher rank in the civil service than he and refuses to return to his face.

Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers but beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. The Art of the Novella Series celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners. The series has been recognized for its "excellence in design" by AIGA.

When a barber finds the nose of one of his clients in a loaf of bread baked by his wife, strange events ensue as the client tries to get his nose back.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Spirin's ( Snow White and Rose Red ; Boots and the Glass Mountain ) painstakingly detailed, gilt-flecked artwork has earned him a reputation for elegance, a quality that permeates his sumptuous rendering of the absurdist classic by his compatriot Gogol. This time, however, Spirin's offering seems best suited to adults who can appreciate the rich and subtle irony of the story; even in this adapted form, Gogol's deadpan tone and devilishly deliberate pacing may not be to children's tastes. The nuances of the text are enhanced by a lavish visual presentation: the eponymous proboscis cuts a debonair figure, bedecked in a stylish cutaway jacket, hip boots, powdered wig and tricornered hat, and it exudes a haughtiness to match. In contrast, the ``very punctilious and slightly pompous'' civil servant who has been robbed of his snout appears crude, almost pig-like, his ungainly figure looming awkwardly on the page. Intricate borders featuring the stately classical architecture of 19th-century St. Petersburg wrap around the boxed text, so that buildings crawl up one side of the page and down the other, overlapping at the corners. In several, the massive nose can be seen squired about town in a tiny, ornate carriage. Collectors may bury their own noses in this one. All ages. (May)
Children's Literature - Judy Katsh
A nose, unintentionally separated from the face of the Deputy Inspector of Reindeer, assumes a life of its own in this retelling of an original story by Russian author Nikolal Gogol. Originally written in the l800's as a satire, this modern retelling can be enjoyed as an increasingly outlandish adventure in the absurd. The satire, however, may not be obvious to young, modern readers. The ending is abrupt and therefore, unsatisfying. The full-page paintings that accompany the text do much to make the presentation attractive, but do little to illuminate the text.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-A barber breaks open a loaf of bread and finds a nose baked into it. It's not just any nose, either. It belongs to the Deputy Inspector of Reindeer. When the Deputy Inspector awakens to find his nose missing, he searches everywhere until he finds it masquerading as a General and Glorious Governor of Games. When he requests that it resume its proper place, it refuses and hurries away. The man is in despair until a policeman returns the nose. It will not stick to his face at first, but after a few days it is properly restored. Cowan has made a brave attempt at paring Gogol's short story into a form accessible to children, but she is not entirely successful. While her writing captures the cadence of Russian literature, the transitions are abrupt and often confusing. There is a sense of something missing. Furthermore, Gogol's story is satire, which may be entirely lost on the young children. Hawkes's acrylic paintings are slightly skewed in perspective, as if seen through a glass, and reflect an off-beat humor. The artist has a good eye for detail: the Deputy Inspector's wallpaper is patterned with reindeer and most of the pages containing text are bordered with a frame decorated with appropriate motifs. The vivid illustrations carry the story where the text falters. A well-intentioned attempt that falls a little short of its goal.-Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606645208
  • Publisher: Alan Rodgers Books
  • Publication date: 5/1/2011
  • Pages: 42
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

NIKOLAI GOGOL was born in 1809 in the Ukrainian Cossack village of Sorochintsy. Seeking literary fame, he went to St. Petersburg at 18 to self-publish an epic poem, which was so ridiculed that he fled the city. He eventually returned and began writing stories influenced by Ukrainian folklore. Collected asEvenings on a Farm Near Dilanka, they were an enormous success. New friends including Pushkin encouraged him, and in stories such as "The Overcoat" and "The Nose," and novels such as Dead Souls, Gogol developed a bitter realism mixed with ironic humor and surprisingly prescient surrealism. In 1836, fearing he'd offended the tsar with his satirical play "The Inspector General," Gogol left Russia for a twelve-year European hiatus. Upon returning he published an essay collection supporting the government he'd always criticized, and was so mercilessly attacked by former admirers that he became despondent. Falling into a state of questionable sanity, he renounced writing as an immoral activity, and in 1852 burned his last manuscript, a sequel to Dead Souls, just days before dying of self-imposed starvation.

IAN DREIBLATT has translated Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilych and Nikolai Leskov's The Enchanted Wanderer for The Art of the Novella series.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012


    A must read for anyone that enjoys something different. Great Russian literature!

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