The Nose


One of the strangest, perhaps, of the Russian classical writers was Nikolai Gogol (image above [borrowed from Wikipedia]). For my Russian study this week, I read a short story of his called The Nose. The story is as nonsensical as it gets. At the same time, The Nose is a curiously interesting read. The main character, Major Kovalyov, somehow looses his nose (yes, the real one on his face), and meanwhile the nose takes on a life of its own, and even masquerades as a civil servant. But why give away the rest of the plot here? You can order it (or find the text online) in English and read the story for yourself. It is better in Russian, though, complete with obsolete words and archaic spellings (e.g., середа for среда). For the Russian-language enthusiast, I recommend this excellent dual-language book found here, which has this story and many others, and lots of language helps to boot.


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