The Diary of a Madman, The Government Inspector, and Selected Stories

The Diary of a Madman, The Government Inspector, and Selected Stories

Written by:
Introduction by: Robert A. Maguire
Translated by:

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140449075
  • 368 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


Author, dramatist and satirist, Nikolay Gogol deeply influenced later Russian literature with his powerful depictions of a society dominated by petty beaurocracy and base corruption. This volume includes both his most admired short fiction and his most famous drama. A biting and frequently hilarious political satire, “The Government Inspector” has been popular since its first performance and was regarded by Nabokov as the greatest Russian play every written. The stories gathered here, meanwhile, range from comic to tragic and describe the isolated lives of low-ranking clerks, lunatics and swindlers. They include “Diary of a Madman,” an amusing but disturbing exploration of insanity; Nevsky Prospect, a depiction of an artist besotted with a prostitute; and “The Overcoat,” a moving consideration of poverty that powerfully influenced Dostoevsky and later Russian literature.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Table of Contents

The Diary of a Madman, The Government Inspector, and Selected StoriesChronology
Further Reading
Table of Ranks
Ivan Fyodorovich Shponka and His Aunt
How Ivan Ivanovich Quarrelled with Ivan Nikiforovich
Nevsky Prospekt
The Nose
The Overcoat
Diary of a Madman
The Carriage
The Government Inspector

Publishing History and Notes