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Gogol, Nikolai

The Diary of a Madman

Ahh, so you’ve noticed that I still hadn’t read any Gogol, despite a-hundred-some readings including enough of a Russian contingency to keep a stronghold on the world weight-lifting championships for the next few centuries, and despite a story by an Italian all about Gogol, in its own peculiar way.

Ahh, so you’ve noticed that I still hadn’t read any Gogol, despite a-hundred-some readings including enough of a Russian contingency to keep a stronghold on the world weight-lifting championships for the next few centuries, and despite a story by an Italian all about Gogol, in its own peculiar way.

The truth is, I haven’t yet read Gogol for only one reason, though it’s a valid one: I fear if I started, I wouldn’t be able to stop. Gogol is that close to the cuffs. And much as I love him, this is not Gogol’s Bedtime Story Podcast. It’s Miette’s. And she’s evidently a little protective.

But you’re right. Gogol should be here, so here it will be. And it’s long, long enough that my throat hurts, long in the hope that thirst for Gogolic podcasting might be quenchable. I suppose we’ll find out soon enough. After all, I’m the King of Spain.

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By miette

Miette has been podcasting the best of world literature's short fiction since March 2005, when she was just a pup.

8 replies on “The Diary of a Madman”

One of the greatest endings of any story. But! As much as I like Pevear + Volokhonsky, I think they erred with “bump.” MacAndrew goes:

“And, by the way, have you heard that the Dey of Algiers has a wart right under his nose?”

(He also translates that last header as “da 34 te Mnth. Yr. yraurbeF 349.”)

Okay, on that header, P & V translate it this way:

“The of 34 February th, yrea 349”

with “February” printed upside-down, which is perfect on page, but difficult to read aloud without breaking flow. And yes, “wart” is much better (in the Russian, “wart” (or “bump,” who can say) is the very last word of the text, giving it a much stronger cymbal-crash of punctuation. I’ve found P & V more useful for oral storytelling… the cadence is tighter, and I can skip to it.

Then again, anything written in ‘diary’ form probably isn’t designed for this site’s bastardly purpose.

Does McAndrew’s print upside-down? What’s the original look like? (An image just came to mind, Tristram Shandy printed in Cyrillic — Typesetter’s Hell). But I might be toeing the line of my ken of geekery.

Dog scared me too!
Wonderful reading, really. I live in Shanghai and been trying to get Gogol’s Diary for months now, the only Diary they know is Lu Xun’s, this was a great find!

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