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Village Evenings Near Dikanka and Mirgorod

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Hailed universally as Russia's finest comic writer, and by many as its greatest writer of prose, Nikolai creates a unique Ukranian world, from the darkest Gothic to folkloric levity. Here, this extraordinary countryside is revealed in all its variety in his first two collections of short stories. The only translation available of this cycle of stories, this edition captures Hailed universally as Russia's finest comic writer, and by many as its greatest writer of prose, Nikolai creates a unique Ukranian world, from the darkest Gothic to folkloric levity. Here, this extraordinary countryside is revealed in all its variety in his first two collections of short stories. The only translation available of this cycle of stories, this edition captures fully the spirit and vigor of his important early work for the first time.


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Hailed universally as Russia's finest comic writer, and by many as its greatest writer of prose, Nikolai creates a unique Ukranian world, from the darkest Gothic to folkloric levity. Here, this extraordinary countryside is revealed in all its variety in his first two collections of short stories. The only translation available of this cycle of stories, this edition captures Hailed universally as Russia's finest comic writer, and by many as its greatest writer of prose, Nikolai creates a unique Ukranian world, from the darkest Gothic to folkloric levity. Here, this extraordinary countryside is revealed in all its variety in his first two collections of short stories. The only translation available of this cycle of stories, this edition captures fully the spirit and vigor of his important early work for the first time.

30 review for Village Evenings Near Dikanka and Mirgorod

  1. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    A good reminder not to walk through the woods alone at night on All Saints' Eve in the Ukrainian countryside. A good reminder not to walk through the woods alone at night on All Saints' Eve in the Ukrainian countryside.

  2. 5 out of 5

    WhatIReallyRead

    Village Evenings Near Dikanka and Mirgorod are two collections of novellas all set in what is now Ukraine, and the time setting ranges from early XVII to XIX century. Some of these are so vivid and unique they are well-known works of literature of their own accord, such as Taras Bulba and Viy. Gogol's writing is exquisite and atmospheric as always. The stories featured varying amounts of historical events, battles of Cossacks, mundane and humorous anecdotes of daily provincial life, phantasmagori Village Evenings Near Dikanka and Mirgorod are two collections of novellas all set in what is now Ukraine, and the time setting ranges from early XVII to XIX century. Some of these are so vivid and unique they are well-known works of literature of their own accord, such as Taras Bulba and Viy. Gogol's writing is exquisite and atmospheric as always. The stories featured varying amounts of historical events, battles of Cossacks, mundane and humorous anecdotes of daily provincial life, phantasmagorical tales with ghosts, whiches, demons, and folkloric beasts of all kinds. Each novella had its own mixture of action, triviality, and magic, changing the tone from lighthearted to chilling to enchanting to tragic. Through all of these, Gogol's love for his homeland and its people shone through. It's my culture, and my land, and so rarely is it featured in literature read about it provoked an unexpected and special pang in my heart. Thoroughly enjoyable read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Dunne

    Bucolic... Surreal... The supernatural grotesque. A unique read but a 21st century audience may struggle.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Indeed, the names in the book are a bit hard to pronounce for somebody who does not know Russian or Ukranian, but still it is an awesome read. This book is perfect for everyone who wants to get to know the Slavic culture better and to look into the past of it. Village Evenings Near Dikanka takes place during the winter celebrations. The blacksmith, a simple boy, falls in love with the most beautiful girl of the village. At the same the devil visits this village and offers several people his serv Indeed, the names in the book are a bit hard to pronounce for somebody who does not know Russian or Ukranian, but still it is an awesome read. This book is perfect for everyone who wants to get to know the Slavic culture better and to look into the past of it. Village Evenings Near Dikanka takes place during the winter celebrations. The blacksmith, a simple boy, falls in love with the most beautiful girl of the village. At the same the devil visits this village and offers several people his services if they are willed to give him their souls and the Oksana, the beautiful girl gives the poor blacksmith a hard challange. He is determined to succeed, but therefore the blacksmith need the help of the devil. Slavic celebrations, the nature of this people, everything is shown very realistic in this book. The dialogues are quick-witted, especially the devil and the book is full of humour. The plot is exciting, although this book is not an easy-read. This book is one that can wide horizons and show an old life-stlye, it belongs to the Russian classic. The characters are all round and funny, while reading I always feel like I am inside a fairy tale. I highly recommend this book to everyone!!! :)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    Loved every page of it. Definitely going to re-read it next year.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Fatimah

    Isn’t this joy as well? That beautiful transit guest flying, leaving us until we vainly hear from grief and emptiness. Is not this is the same case with our lively fellow humans and the loud stormy youth of theirs? And in the end, we lose them, one after another, leaving a friend of theirs lonely, left behind, feeling the longing and sadness? Plagued by heart, not being able to do anything to help him?

  7. 4 out of 5

    J.

    Excellent two volumes of country short stories...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Coşkun Ökçü

    Scandinavians believed that the earthquake maker was Loki, Greeks believed it was Poseidon or Japanese people thought that earthquakes were Namazu's job. Each society had their own myths or explanations for some events occuring on the Earth. You will learn how Cossacks explained events like this. You will learn about their imagination. If you are curious about Eurasian culture and its literature this is the book that you should definitely have a look. This book consist of two main parts and e Scandinavians believed that the earthquake maker was Loki, Greeks believed it was Poseidon or Japanese people thought that earthquakes were Namazu's job. Each society had their own myths or explanations for some events occuring on the Earth. You will learn how Cossacks explained events like this. You will learn about their imagination. If you are curious about Eurasian culture and its literature this is the book that you should definitely have a look. This book consist of two main parts and each of them contains some tales that tell you how Cossacks react in some certain situtations, how a Cossack men or women should be like, what Cossacks afraid of or how they have fun, what they like to eat even. And the best thing is, the author, Gogol, tell these tales with a realistic, a visual perspective. He mix that perspective with his well known sense of humour. And the result is marvelous. This book is the really the type that invites you in its own artificial world.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kateryna

    What a beauty of Nikolai Gogol's writing! His stories are full of satiric dialogues, funny characters and beautiful pictures of Ukrainian countryside. I've lost track of how many times I read them before, and it seems like I know this book by heart, but still each time I re-read it with a great pleasure. What a beauty of Nikolai Gogol's writing! His stories are full of satiric dialogues, funny characters and beautiful pictures of Ukrainian countryside. I've lost track of how many times I read them before, and it seems like I know this book by heart, but still each time I re-read it with a great pleasure.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nargiz

    The folklore and reality are mixed in this book with some comedy elements. The stories show the life, beliefs and traditions of the Ukraine in the beginning of the XIX century.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Helen Bendix

    I never really know what to expect from the Russian classics as I work my way through them - I have a collected set of different authors in the same binding, and I try to not read up on authors before I've read the books or it can really ruin it for me. I was pleasantly surprised by these. I really liked the mesh of folktales and sort of urban normality; I liked the repetition of certain elements, like that the narration was always through three layers of hearsay, and that there was always one e I never really know what to expect from the Russian classics as I work my way through them - I have a collected set of different authors in the same binding, and I try to not read up on authors before I've read the books or it can really ruin it for me. I was pleasantly surprised by these. I really liked the mesh of folktales and sort of urban normality; I liked the repetition of certain elements, like that the narration was always through three layers of hearsay, and that there was always one element that was nothing like it used to be in the good old days, be it weddings, bars, food, alcohol, etc. I read that as pretty heavily sarcastic. There is a certain repetition to reading stories like this; there was a lot of devil, more or less seriously invoked, and a lot of defeating him via Christian symbols. There were also a lot of courtship stories, which were okay. You got a good sense of what was attractive in a woman (in men, not so much. money and availability I guess? All the men seemed kind of like dicks, to be honest, but that is probably the modern lens wherein asking a girl to come out nicely, and then, when she doesn't immediately comply within two seconds, yelling at her and calling her a whore, seems like kind of a red flag. but that's just me. Or something.) Brief content rundown: Sorotschinsker Jahrmarkt: Dude has shrew of a wife and hot daughter; hot daughter wants to marry Some Guy Who Threw Shit At Her Stepmom. Father agrees but then wife talks him out of it. There's shenanigans with a devil looking to put together a red apron that got ripped up years ago and now curses the fair. Ends in marriage and wife getting pissed about marriage. Die Johannisnacht - First of the Foma stories, which I found a little more difficult, because they are written heavily in oral vernacular. Features a guy who wants to marry some dude's hot daughter, but he's not rich enough. So he makes a deal with the devil via baba jaga and chops off the hot daughter's kid brother's head to get rich. Then he is haunted by his deeds even though he got the girl. everyone dies. Die Mainacht oder die Ertrunkene - dude wants to marry someone's hot daughter Hanna (sensing a theme?) but his dad, who runs the town, is also after her and is a terrible philandering dickbag. Dude tells hanna a horror story about a drowned girl. dude gets drunk and leads the town in singing dirty songs about his dad. Dad gets mad and wants him arrested. Dude meets drowned girl, helps her get revenge on her stepmother. In return he gets pardoned for the dirty songs and gets to marry the girl. Das verschwundene Schriftstück - foma's granddad wants to go somewhere with a writ of something, gets caught up in shenanigans involving the devil taking away a guy he just traded hats with even though that guy told him the devil was coming after him. he goes to hell to get his hat back because it had the writing in it. Die Weihnacht - smith wants to marry some guy's hot daughter. She is vain and tells him to get the tzarina's shoes for her. meanwhile, some guy's hot daughter's father, hereafter known as some guy, is after the smith's witchy mother, who is also having affairs with four other guys including the devil. In a comedy of errors she hides them all in coal sacks so they don't see each other. smith carries out the sacks, catches the devil and forces him to take him to the tzarina, get the shoes, happy ever after for everyone but the smith's mom. Schreckliche Rache - lots of gratuitous death. Some guy's daughter married in his absence but it turns out he's an evil warlock, and he kills the whole family slowly and terribly. It's because actually he was descended from an asshat and someone wanted revenge on the asshat's full family line. Iwan Fjodorowitsch - Some guy comes home from the military and his aunt wants him to get married. This scares him. Der verzauberte Ort - Foma's granddad (same one? different one?) can't jump over a particular spot in his garden. Then he is promised riches by the devil. Turns out the devil is a liar and a cheat. Whoda thunk it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marius

    Really disappointed. After reading Dead Souls, The Overcoat, The Nose, The portrait, Nevsky Prospect, I have to say this is close to garbage. Didn't excepted such contrast between his good work ant the other. Really disappointed. After reading Dead Souls, The Overcoat, The Nose, The portrait, Nevsky Prospect, I have to say this is close to garbage. Didn't excepted such contrast between his good work ant the other.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Great book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gene Ishchuk

    Gogol was a part of my childhood - all the stories and movies have a special place in my heart

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lorenzo Berardi

    This is a very early work by Gogol'. He was just 22 and already very brilliant when wrote these two books of Ukrainian tales now recollected in a single edition. Apparently these "Village Evenings Near Dikanka and Mirgorod" don't have that much to share with most of the following production by this author, but still they show several characteristics of his talent and genius. Gogol' sense of humour here was more direct and popularesque, tied to the tradition of oral tales while later became bitter This is a very early work by Gogol'. He was just 22 and already very brilliant when wrote these two books of Ukrainian tales now recollected in a single edition. Apparently these "Village Evenings Near Dikanka and Mirgorod" don't have that much to share with most of the following production by this author, but still they show several characteristics of his talent and genius. Gogol' sense of humour here was more direct and popularesque, tied to the tradition of oral tales while later became bitter and melancholic with the combination of daily life and sophisticated influences. The sense of fantastic, supernatural, the counterposition (and the intersections) between evil and faith make these tales extremely enjoyable and worth of being re-read many times. The interesting process behind this collection of short stories is not only its very clever frame and structure, but the way Gogol' had of searching, exploring, discovering old Ukrainian traditions and tales, asking many details even to his mum via post. The whole description of a traditional Ukrainian marriage you can find in one of these short stories looks like taken from one of those mother-son letters. A few of these short stories are a bit hard too follow, because of their absurdity, but most of them are great. I guess how you have to be very curious about Ukrainian past and traditions to appreciate more what Gogol' did. Who loved "Master and Margarita" will be surprised of finding here a fantastic flight from Ukraine to Saint Petersburg that looks like an anticipation of what Bulgakov later wrote flying over Moscow by night. This is tagged as a "Russian book" but is definitely about Ukraine. There is a big sense of distance and suspect towards all the Russian people and particularly Moscovites seen by the Dikanka folks as evil creatures closer to demons than to human beings. The same may be said for the way Poles and "Germans" (actually meaning people coming from the rest of Europe) are referred to. It's clear how Gogol' had a lot of fun in putting on paper these popular prejudices giving an authentic voice to his Ukraininan microcosm. "Village Evenings Near Dikanka and Mirgorod" is a very good book to read especially during wintertime and in the Christmas days. Just make sure to have some traditional honeymade Ukrainian sweets around. Panko the beekeeper would appreciate your kindness so much.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ivan Damjanović

    Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, volume I (Sorochintsï Fair 1.3/5, St. John's Eve 1.8/5, May Night or The Drowned Maiden 1.2/5, The Lost Letter 2.6/5 stars), Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, volume II (Christmas Eve 3.8/5, A Terrible Vengance 1.3/5, Ivan Fyodorovich Shponka and His Aunt 1.3/5, A Bewitched Place 2/5 stars), Mirgorod (The Old World Landowners 1.9/5, Taras Bulba 1.5/5, Viy 1.8/5, The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich 4/5) Iz svih triju zbiraka sadržajno poz Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, volume I (Sorochintsï Fair 1.3/5, St. John's Eve 1.8/5, May Night or The Drowned Maiden 1.2/5, The Lost Letter 2.6/5 stars), Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, volume II (Christmas Eve 3.8/5, A Terrible Vengance 1.3/5, Ivan Fyodorovich Shponka and His Aunt 1.3/5, A Bewitched Place 2/5 stars), Mirgorod (The Old World Landowners 1.9/5, Taras Bulba 1.5/5, Viy 1.8/5, The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich 4/5) Iz svih triju zbiraka sadržajno pozitivan dojam ostavili su mi samo pripovijetke Christmas Eve i The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich. Potonju smatram Gogoljevim humorom "at its best". Gogoljev specifičan izraz je na visokoj razini kroz sve pripovijetke ali često mi je djelovalo nevjerojatno kakav sadržaj se obrađuje u istima. Ne zadirem u književnu vrijednost djela ali, subjektivno rečeno, nisu mi baš "sjele" ove pripovijetke jer se nisam nadao bajkama. U zadnjoj pripovijetci izostalo je bajkovitih, fantastičnih elemenata, radi se o klasičnoj Gogoljevoj komediji i kao što se vidi iz ocjene, daleko mi je najjači dojam ostavila od svih sadržanih "pripovjedaka".

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ben Doeh

    Gogol is a thrilling storyteller. The folk-tales alternate between comedy and tragedy, farce and mini-epic fairy tale. I found them a superb bedside read - his smoothly ironic, conversational and homely style is perfect for relaxing and drifting off to dreams of devils or devilish pranks, alluring witches, river-nymphs and the general silliness of men and women. He has the comic timing of a master, but also the ability to conjure nightmarish destinies. Ukraine is obviously branded deeply in his Gogol is a thrilling storyteller. The folk-tales alternate between comedy and tragedy, farce and mini-epic fairy tale. I found them a superb bedside read - his smoothly ironic, conversational and homely style is perfect for relaxing and drifting off to dreams of devils or devilish pranks, alluring witches, river-nymphs and the general silliness of men and women. He has the comic timing of a master, but also the ability to conjure nightmarish destinies. Ukraine is obviously branded deeply in his heart, romanticised and yet rendered in a ridiculous way. In this volume, his core theme is what people will do to be married, or to break a marriage. He invites a surreal look at our desires and faith in being partnered.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rimma

    This is a story that takes place in the 18 century in a small village in Ukraine. This is not an easy and fun read , it is more for serious reader who is looking to expend their horizon, it is excellent writing and I would give 4 start for that, but not a book that I would say I could not put down. I don’t think many readers will even understand book when unless they little familiar with Russian history.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ekaterina

    The best fairy tale evere!!! It is impossible to describe it. It looks like a fairy tale but it actually it is not. The book is still very modern and one can say to an author "Hey dude what stuff did you smoke?". It is bold, it is crazy, it is facinating and it gives you the sense of freedom and of fly ... Even if the fly is the one of witch on a broom ))) The best fairy tale evere!!! It is impossible to describe it. It looks like a fairy tale but it actually it is not. The book is still very modern and one can say to an author "Hey dude what stuff did you smoke?". It is bold, it is crazy, it is facinating and it gives you the sense of freedom and of fly ... Even if the fly is the one of witch on a broom )))

  20. 4 out of 5

    Manoochehr

    The best collection of short stories i ever read. I read this book in Persian (Translated) and wonder how delightful the English would be. For sure, each stories of these book worth reading many times. Gogol was the best storyteller ever. In short, I enjoyed "Village Evenings Near Dikanka" the most and made my last (2015) winter bearable and warm :) The best collection of short stories i ever read. I read this book in Persian (Translated) and wonder how delightful the English would be. For sure, each stories of these book worth reading many times. Gogol was the best storyteller ever. In short, I enjoyed "Village Evenings Near Dikanka" the most and made my last (2015) winter bearable and warm :)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amit Kurien

    Humour - yes, descriptive bucolic scenes - yes, but mostly it is the prose of this man's work one should pay attention to. Rhythmic, lyrical prose - superb! Humour - yes, descriptive bucolic scenes - yes, but mostly it is the prose of this man's work one should pay attention to. Rhythmic, lyrical prose - superb!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Fia Eamónn Wåhlin

    A real great christmas story. I love russian myths and stories and this was really just that.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Boring! I bought it in Romania and it's the only book I own at the moment, so I am kind of obliged to read it. It is very poetic and he uses all this fancy fluffy words. Not my thing. Boring! I bought it in Romania and it's the only book I own at the moment, so I am kind of obliged to read it. It is very poetic and he uses all this fancy fluffy words. Not my thing.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    Excellent ... Incredible stories!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Darina Andersen

    This is my absolute favorite by Gogol!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Josine van Heek

    One of the best books I ever got as a birthday present (1987).

  27. 5 out of 5

    Suki

    Rated for the first half (French edition), which is the only one I have.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    Magical childhood images

  29. 5 out of 5

    Vazcoab1

    The serie is definitely awesome.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mayaluna

    The Night before Christmas - I didn't care for it. The Night before Christmas - I didn't care for it.

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