Dead Souls is one of the most unusual works of nineteenth-century fiction and a devastating satire on social hypocrisy. Chichikov, a mysterious stranger, arrives in a provincial town and visits a succession of landowners to make each a strange offer. He proposes to buy the names of dead serfs... read more
“"the very man in whose hands the fate of so many now lies, the very man whom no prayer for mercy could ever have influenced, himself desires to make a request of you. Should you grant that request, all will be forgotten and blotted out and pardoned, for I myself will intercede with the Throne on your behalf."”
““Thanks to the efforts of our Civil Governor, the town has become enriched with a pleasaunce full of umbrageous, spaciously-branching trees. Even on the most sultry day they afford agreeable shade, and indeed gratifying was it to see the hearts of our citizens panting with an impulse of gratitude as their eyes shed tears in recognition of all that their Governor has done for them!””
“Thus at the end of this little story we have these two denizens of a peaceful corner of Russia looking thence, as from a window, in less terror of doing what was scandalous that of having it said of them that they were acting scandalously.”
“If you made up your mind to grow rich, sooner or later you would find yourself a wealthy man….You would merely need to be fond of work: otherwise you would effect nothing.”
“The inner state of his soul might be compared to a demolished building, which has been demolished so that from it a new one could be built; but the new one has not been started yet, because the definitive plan has not yet come from the architect and the workers are left in perplexity.”
“So I am to go and run off to the market to sell him!”
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