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.”