July 01, 2009

Gogol 101

Gogol 101

Our youth spends hours on the internet and reads nothing, not even newspapers. Still, sometimes you have to force yourself. So I recently made my son read Nikolai Gogol’s Мертвые души (Dead Souls). For, unless you have read Gogol, you might miss the countless idioms and expressions that Nikolai Vassiliyevich bequeathed us.

The proof is all around us.

In a recent article about municipal elections in Leningrad region, the headline read: Выборы в Ломоносове (Ленинградская область): опять голосовали «мёртвые души». In the elections, numerous dead voters were used as dead souls, registered as if they were alive and then someone signed the electoral list in their stead.

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