St. Petersburg, Russia, in Nikolai Gogol’s “The Overcoat”

PHOTO CREDIT: Unknown. This photo is in the public domain.

“And so, in a certain bureau there served a certain clerk—a clerk whom one could hardly style very remarkable: quite low of stature, somewhat pockmarked, somewhat rusty-hued of hair, even somewhat purblind, at first glance; rather bald at the temples, with wrinkles along both cheeks, and his face of that complexion which is usually called hemorrhoidal. Well, what would you? It’s the Petersburg climate that’s to blame.”1

Recognized as one of the early figures of Russian literary realism, Nikolai Gogol’s “The Overcoat” came from his lesser explored interest in the surreal and bizarre. Many of his contemporaries regarded Gogol as the best satirist of his time. Much of his work would inspire many Russian authors for generations to come.

                            “We all come out from Gogol’s ‘Overcoat’.” –Fydor Dostoevsky

The main character, Akaki Akakievich (translating to “Poop Poopson”), is intentionally caricatured in a comical yet saddening manner. He lives to hand copy documents and act as a clerk; beyond such mundane duties, he remains both unaware of and unable to perform any additional tasks. It’s not until the St. Petersburg cold gets to him that Akaki realizes his life has to change: rather than suffer the cold and possibly contract an illness, he is forced to purchase the materials to create a completely new overcoat.

Once the capital of imperial Russia (1713-1728, 1732-1918), St. Petersburg now stands as an important center for art, literature and historic architecture. The city is home to The Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. Peter the Great constructed the city with the intent of modernization; at the time, baroque architecture dominated contemporary Europe. As a result, many of the prominent governmental buildings preserved over centuries call attention to themselves as unorthodoxly spectacular in the ever modernizing city.

Learn more about St. Petersburg and Nikolai Gogol. tadalafil how long does it take to work Find stories by Nikolai Gogol on Amazon or at viagra sans ordonnance a library.

1 Gogol, Nicolai

V. The Overcoat and Other Tales of Good and Evil. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1965.

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