What do you think?
Rate this book
464 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1842
In the britzka sat a gentleman, not handsome, but also not bad-looking, neither too fat nor too thin; you could not have said he was old, yet neither was he all that young.
The governor opined of him that he was a right-minded man; the prosecutor that he was a sensible man; the colonel of the gendarmes said he was a learned man; the head magistrate that he was a knowledgeable and estimable man; the police chief that he was an estimable and amiable man; the police chief’s wife that he was a most amiable and mannerly man.
“You ask, for what reasons? These are the reasons: I would like to buy peasants…” Chichikov said, faltered, and did not finish his speech.
“But allow me to ask you,” said Manilov, “how do you wish to buy them: with land, or simply to have them resettled – that is, without land?”
“No, it’s not quite peasants,” said Chichikov, “I would like to have dead…”
“How’s that, sir? Excuse me… I’m somewhat hard of hearing, I thought I heard a most strange word…”
“I propose to acquire dead ones, who would, however, be counted in the census as living,” said Chichikov.
„Era o femeie aspră în purtări, deși se dădea în vînt după stafide”.
„[Petrușka] era mai curînd taciturn decît vorbăreţ din fire; avea chiar o nobilă pornire spre cultură, adică spre cititul cărţilor, dar nu se ostenea să aleagă: îi era cu totul indiferent dacă citea aventurile unui erou îndrăgostit, un abecedar sau o carte de rugăciuni – tuturora le acorda aceeaşi atenţie; dacă i s ar fi băgat sub nas o carte de chimie, ar fi citit-o negreşit. Nu-i plăcea ceea ce citea, ci însuşi cititul sau, mai bine zis, însuşi procesul lecturii”.
Some wondrous power has doomed me for a long time to walk hand in hand with my strange heroes, to survey in its entirety life that rushes along so massively, to survey it through laughter that is visible to the world and through tears which the world cannot see and does not know.Unfinished books are always frustrating, and I didn't enjoy the fragments after Book One. But that first bit is one of my favorite reading experiences this year. This is the great epic of Russian douchebaggery. Unbutton the top four buttons of your silk shirt and get psyched.
“You can't imagine how stupid the whole world has grown nowadays. The things these scribblers write!"
“However stupid a fool's words may be, they are sometimes enough to confound an intelligent man.”
“But wise is the man who disdains no character, but with searching glance explores him to the root and cause of all.”
“The current generation now sees everything clearly, it marvels at the errors, it laughs at the folly of its ancestors, not seeing that this chronicle is all overscored by divine fire, that every letter of it cries out, that from everywhere the piercing finger is pointed at it, at this current generation; but the current generation laughs and presumptuously, proudly begins a series of new errors, at which their descendants will also laugh afterwards.”