With his sense of humor and ability to observe, Nikolai Gogol presents the world with stories of little people: the weak and fragile people who try to hold on to life in the gloomy cities of Russia. ”The Mantle", which is listed among his masterpieces, describes how Russian bureaucracy turns everyone into a ghost of each other. It tells the tragicomic story of a poor low-ranking official named Akakiy Akakiyevich Bashmachkin, a faint character living on the margins of society who spends all his time diligently copying documents. Drawn into bureaucratic mechanisms of modern life, humiliated, and despised, hе finds solace in his fondest dream: a mantle that will protect him from the cold in the winter. This humble dream, however, will cost him way too much and will turn his life upside down...
Adapted into a variety of stage and film interpretations, the story is a major milestone in Russian literature, as expressed by in a quote often attributed to Fyodor Dostoyevsky: "We have all come out from under Gogol's Mantle". Nikolai Gogol (1809-1852) was a Ukrainian-born Russian humorist, novelist, and dramatist whose work played a crucial role in the direction of Russian literature. He was considered to be one of the leading figures of Russian realism. His novel "Dead Souls", a satire of the political corruption in the Russian Empire, is viewed by many literary historians as the first great Russian novel. Among his contributions to Russian and world literature are the surrealistic and grotesque "The Nose" and "The Mantle", the satirical "The Inspector General", the historical novel "Taras Bulba", the comedy "Marriage", the humorous short stories "Diary of a Madman" and "The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich". His works have influenced generations of readers and still continue to impress with their subtle psychologism and matchless style.
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