“Pevear and Volokhonsky are at once scrupulous translators and vivid stylists of English.” James Wood, New Yorker
Called “the greatest play written in Russian” by Vladimir Nabokov, Nikolai Gogol’s immortal comedy is a pitch-perfect satire of social corruption. Now, renowned American playwright Richard Nelson and the foremost contemporary translators of classic Russian literature Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, collaborate on a revelatory new translation of Gogol’s biting masterpiece. With an introduction and text notes by Richard Pevear, this essential edition marks the first in a series of translations of major works of Russian drama for TCG.
Forthcoming titles include:
A Month in the Country by Ivan Turgenev
The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov
Richard Nelson ’s many plays include The Apple Family: Scenes from Life in the Country ( That Hopey Changey Thing , Sweet and Sad , Sorry and Regular Singing ); Nikolai and the Others ; Goodnight Children Everywhere (Olivier Award for Best Play); Franny’s Way ; Some Americans Abroad ; Frank’s Home ; Two Shakespearean Actors and J ames Joyce’s The Dead (with Shaun Davey; Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical).
Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have translated the works of Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Nikolai Gogol, Anton Chekhov, Boris Pasternak and Mikhail Bulgakov. Their translations of The Brothers Karamazov and Anna Karenina won the PEN Translation Prize in 1991 and 2002, respectively. Pevear, a native of Boston, and Volokhonsky, of St. Petersburg, are married and live in France.
About the Author
Nikolai Gogol was born in 1809, in the Ukrainian town of Sorochintsy. His father, who belonged to the minor nobility, wrote plays in Ukrainian for production in their “house theater.” The young Gogol acted in them and even thought of becoming a professional actor. Instead, he moved to St. Petersburg in 1828 and began to write, producing several collections of stories, a number of plays, and his famous novel-poem Dead Souls , the first part of which was published in 1842. From 1836 to 1848 he lived abroad, mainly in Rome, but eventually returned to Russia, where he died in 1852.
Richard Nelson ’s plays include the four-play series The Apple Family: Scenes from Life in the Country ( That Hopey Changey Thing , Sweet and Sad , Sorry and Regular Singing ), Farewell to the Theatre , Nikolai and the Others , Conversations in Tusculum , How Shakespeare Won the West , Frank’s Home , Rodney’s Wife , Franny’s Way , Madame Melville , Goodnight Children Everywhere , The General from America , Two Shakespearean Actors and Some Americans Abroad . He wrote the musicals James Joyce’s The Dead (with Shaun Davey) and My Life with Albertine (with Ricky Ian Gordon) and the screenplays for the films Hyde Park-on-Hudson and Ethan Frome . He has received numerous awards, including a Tony (Best Book of a Musical for James Joyce’s The Dead ) and an Olivier (Best Play for Goodnight Children Everywhere ). He is the recipient of the PEN/Laura Pels Master Playwright Award, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; he is an Honorary Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He lives in upstate New York.
Richard Pevear was born in Boston, grew up on Long Island, attended Allegheny College (BA 1964) and the University of Virginia (MA 1965). After a stint as a college teacher, he moved to the Maine coast and eventually to New York City, where he worked as a freelance writer, editor and translator, and also as a cabinetmaker. He has published two collections of poetry, many essays and reviews, and some thirty books translated from French, Italian, and Russian.
Larissa Volokhonsky was born in Leningrad, attended Leningrad State University and, on graduating, joined a scientific team whose work took her to the far east of Russia, to Kamchatka and Sakhalin Island. She emigrated to Israel in 1973, and to the United States in 1975, where she attended Yale Divinity School and St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary. Soon after settling in New York City, she married Richard Pevear, and a few years later they moved to France with their two children.
Together, Pevear and Volokhonsky have translated twenty books from the Russian, including works by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy, Mikhail Bulgakov, Anton Chekhov, Boris Pasternak and Nikolai Leskov. Their translation of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov received the PEN Translation Prize for 1991; their translation of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina was awarded the same prize in 2002; and in 2006 they were awarded the first Efim Etkind International Translation Prize by the European University of St. Petersburg.