Gogol’s Farm Tales

“How luxuriously warm the hours when midday glitters in stillness and sultry heat and the blue fathomless ocean covering the plain like a dome seems to be slumbering, bathed in languor, clasping the fair earth and holding it close in its ethereal embrace!”

I was smitten by the first paragraph. Nikolai Gogol was born in the Ukraine in 1809 and lived to 1852. When he published his first volume of Evenings on a Farm in Dikanka (here as edited by Leonard J. Kent), it was met with success. In this sentence, I see the hot blue dome and feel the heat of a summer afternoon. The word choices contribute to the heat. Of course, with any foreign writer the translator matters so much to understanding the true intent of the author.

I read that this author mingles humor with horror… we shall see. I don’t know much about Russian literature. Have you read Gogol?

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