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Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works

Science-fiction & fantasy literature: a critical list with discussions.

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Nikolai Gogol

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Standard Disclaimer:

This is a brief discussion of Nikolai Gogol and, of course, of some speculative-fiction books by Gogol.

This discussion and list does not necessarily include every book by Gogol: it includes only those books that I both know and like. Just as with the author list itself, omission of a particular item may mean I didn’t think highly enough of the omitted item, or it may simply mean that I have not yet sufficient familiarity with it. (In a very few cases, I have listed some books merely on the strength of my opinion of the author: all such books are clearly marked below, as throughout these lists, with a hash mark (#) before the title so you know what’s what.)

I don’t pretend that this discussion is a deep analysis. My intent is no more than to give you a rough idea of what kinds of tales Gogol tells, how those tales are usually told, and what makes them and Gogol worthy; in sum, to help you rank Nikolai Gogol (and the works by Gogol listed here) on your personal literary “to do” list.

Secondary Disclaimer:
This page has not been updated in a long while; consequently, external links (if any) may lead to dead or moribund pages. I am now cleaning up these pages as fast as I can, but I am one man and it may take me a while to get to every page needing link checking (or even the “Other Resources” section added). Sorry. Please be patient.

A Few Words About Nikolai Gogol

Regrettably, I have not yet had an opportunity to write an essay on this author, but the "Other Resources" section below will lead you to some information about the "Notable Books" listed farther down this page.

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Other Nikolai Gogol Resources

Nikolai Gogol Resources on the Web

Considering the status of Gogol in the classical literary pantheon, there is surprisingly little critical material about him on the web: not none, but not a lot. What seemed the particularly useful pages are cited below.

The ever-useful Author's Calendar has a good Nikolai Gogol page. The essay "Magical Realism in the Tales of Nikolai Gogol" by James D. Hardy, Jr. and Leonard Stanton of Louisiana State University offers a particularly relevant (for us) analysis. eNotes has critical essays on two of Gogol's important (and fantastic) short stories, "The Nose" and "The Overcoat". The posting "Nikolai Gogol, the Lunatic Messiah" at the Literary Kicks blog is a succinct and handy appreciation. A. S. Byatt did a review of Gogol's novel Dead Souls in The Guardian, and along the way generated useful general insights into Gogol's work. Time magazine's review of Gogol, a book by David Magarshack (listed farther below here) is itself useful. There is a decent summary introduction in The Rise of Prose: Nikolai Gogol, a study lesson from the University of Minnesota. Alan Gullette (whom I seem to cite often in these pages) has a page on Fiction of the Absurd with a quite succinct but paragraph on Gogol. Another brief overview, little but a convenient summary, is Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol at The Literature Network. And there is a Yahoo Gogol discussion group.

(The 1902 Brittanica entry contains little not found elsewhere, save perhaps this curiously awkward but insightful remark: "But no one seems to be able fully to appreciate Gogol's merits as a humorist, who is not intimate with the language in which he wrote as well as with the society which he depicted."

Nikolai Gogol Resources in Print

Just of books dealing wholly with Gogol (there are numerous more general references with sections on him), there are--among many others--these; the Nabokov book is probably the leading item

Notable Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books by Nikolai Gogol **

(There is a preferred edition of this work, available in both paperback and hardcover; both versions are listed below.)

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This page was last modified on Tuesday, 13 October 2020, at 5:43 pm Pacific Time.