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Dead Souls

Ratings:
272 pages5 hours

Summary

In Imperial Russia, Chichikov, a middle-class man, arrives in a small town and approaches landowners to collect their “dead souls”—serfs who have passed away but who are still registered as the landowner’s property. Although Chichikov initially reveals little about his purpose except to say that he does have a use for the souls, when his motive is exposed, the novel takes a dramatic turn, revealing the absurdity of the middle class.

Dead Souls was first published by Nikolai Gogol in 1842, and is widely regarded as one of the best known Russian political satires. Written in the style of Dante’s Inferno, Dead Souls was meant to be the first of a trilogy that introduced a solution to this ailing system, although Gogol did not complete the following two novels.

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