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"It is good to have a complete collection of Gogol's tales in ...
"It is good to have a complete collection of Gogol's tales in paperback. . . . Professor Kent has thoroughly revised Mrs. Garnett's conscientious and skillful translation, eliminating the Victorianisms of her style, correcting mistakes and pruderies of diction, and making the whole translation sound much more contemporary and alive. But he has avoided the whimsicality and 'curliness' in which some recent translators indulged, and he has not changed or suppressed anything material. He has also supplied helpful notes which are often the first annotation in English, and he has written an introduction which steers the correct middle course between making Gogol an irresponsible artist of the grotesque and proving him a documentary historian of backward Russia."—René Wellek, Yale University
Posted October 17, 2001
the language of the stories is a little stilted, but it is tough to tell if that is gogol's fault or that of his translator (it is definitely time for a new translation). the stories range in all types and quality, though gogol is at his best when leaning towards the fantastique (kafkaesque comes mind). there are some good stories in the collection: diary of a madman (the only story that is genious), the portrait (gogol ruins what would have been his greatest story with a poorly written, unneccesary second half), the nose, the overcoat, and taras bulba (though a bit wordy and does carry on a little too long). vol 2 is by superior volume (if the editor's introduction and diary of a madman had been in it, there would be no point to volume one).Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 26, 2000
vol 1 of the complete tales isn't quite what i expected. but i've heard vol 2 is the better of the volumes. it is worth the price of the book simply for diary of a madman and ivan shponka and his aunt. gogol sort of reminds me of kafka, but without kafka's excellence. still, it is a worthy purchase.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 22, 2010
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