The Squabble

Overview

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 goose.” From that moment on, not another word is spoken between them as they choose instead to fight out their differences in the courts. But it ...

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Overview

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 goose.” From that moment on, not another word is spoken between them as they choose instead to fight out their differences in the courts. But it seems theirs is a lawsuit that is set to run for years and years.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
The great gifts for farcical detail and satiric characterization that distinguish such later masterpieces as Dead Souls and "The Government Inspector" are amply displayed in these three earlier stories, set in Gogol’s native Ukraine (a.k.a. "Little Russia"). "The Carriage" (1836), about a disgraced cavalry officer’s failed attempt to impress his social and military superiors, is a crisp narrative suffused with Chekhovian pathos—as is the more ambitious "Olde Worlde Landowners" (1835), which is simultaneously lament and lampoon, portraying the ingenuous overindulgence of a subsequently vanished leisured class. The hilarious 1834 title story, a naïve narrator’s effusive account of a trivial neighbors’ feud that produces years of litigation and tragicomically wasted lives, is a classic demonstration of the mastery of both hyperbole and understatement that made Gogol (1809-52) a unique and irreplaceable writer.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781843910138
  • Publisher: Hesperus Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2003
  • Series: Hesperus Classics Series
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 4.70 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword vii
Introduction xv
The Squabble 1
Olde-Worlde Landowners 67
The Carriage 99
Notes 117
Biographical note 119
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