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"Dead Souls is the great comic masterpiece of Russian literature - Nikolai Gogol's satirical epic of life, both real and fantastic, in the benighted provinces. Here are the isolated villages, the pot-holed highways, the country houses, and the hovels. Even more memorably, here is an amazing swarm of characters: rogues and scoundrels, landowners and serfs, officials and more officials - all of them, like Chaucer's pilgrims and Dickens's Londoners, both utterly lifelike and alarmingly larger than life. And setting everything in motion is the unstoppable, supremely acquisitive anti-hero, Chichikov, the trafficker in "souls" - those peasants who, even if dead, could still be bought, sold, and mortgaged for profit." "Of all the classic Russian writers, it is Gogol whose work has suffered the most at the hand of translators. Now - as they have done in their award-winning translations of Dostoevsky - Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have produced a text that is altogether faithful to the style and intent of the author's own language. For the first time, Chichikov and his world are brought to life in an English that captures the writer's vibrantly comic and lyrical style. English-speaking readers finally have the opportunity to appreciate fully Gogol's remarkable achievement: a novel, eighteen years in the writing, in which he hoped to show the world "the untold riches of the Russian soul.""--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved