May 12, 2021
This series features volumes designed to enrich the reading of key works in the history of Russian literature by providing essential commentary on the author’s biography, intellectual engagements and influences, as well as the historical and political context in which the work arose. ASP Companions are accessible guides for general readers without knowledge of Russian or extensive familiarity with Russian literature and history, while also providing an au courant introduction to advanced study. Each volume is written by an individual scholar with recognized expertise on the work, or by a group of scholars who examine the writer or work from a variety of perspective.
April 1, 2021
This is an excerpt from Ksana Blank’s forthcoming book, “The Nose”: A Stylistic and Critical Companion to Nikolai Gogol’s Story. This literary guide leads students with advanced knowledge of Russian as well as experienced scholars through the text of Nikolai Gogol’s absurdist masterpiece “The Nose.” Part I focuses on numerous instances of the writer’s wordplay, which is meant to surprise and delight the reader, but which often is lost in English translations. It traces Gogol’s descriptions of everyday life in St. Petersburg, familiar to the writer’s contemporaries and fellow citizens but hidden from the modern Western reader. Part II presents an overview of major critical interpretations of the story in Gogol scholarship from the time of its publication to the present, as well as its connections to the works of Shostakovich, Kafka, Dalí, and Kharms.
The companion is out April 20, 2021 and is now available for preorder wherever books are sold. The excerpt published here is from the chapter “Language Game as the Engine of the Plot.”