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Book Information: Russian Comic Fiction

Russian Comic Fiction (1970) [Anthology]
by Anton Chekhov Fyodor Dostoevsky Nikolai Gogol Ivan Krylov Mikhail Saltykov Leo Tolstoy Rating: Weighted - 6.7 / Average - 6.0 of 10 (1 votes) (Rate!)
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Summary (From the publisher):

Of Nikolai Gogol’s achievement in his short comic masterpiece, How the Two Ivans Quareled, a nineteenth-century critic said, “To make us laugh to the point of tears at the stupidities, worthlessness and imbecility of these living lampoons of mankind is amazing, but then to make us pity those idiots with all our hearts--that is the divine art that is called creativity.” This exquisite collection of wildly funny tales, including Gogol’s, should once and for all dispel the too commonly held view that great Russian literature is relentlessly gloomy. On the contrary, among the works of Gogol, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Krylov, and Saltykov may be found examples of comic fiction that rank with the very greatest of that genre: Krylov’s hilarious account, for instance, of an absurdly vulgar landowner who values horses above humans; Dostoyevsky’s political satire in which “a gentleman of a certain age and a certain appearance” is swallowed alive by a crocodile; Tolstoy’s anarchic voyage into a world of crazy make-believe.

A dozen great pieces of comic fiction are presented here in brilliant, spirited translations by Guy Daniels, who has also provided an illuminating introduction dealing with this fascinating side of Russian literature.


  • Introduction by Guy Daniels
  • A Note on the Translations
  • Civil Service Grades and Corresponding Military Ranks in Nineteenth-century Russia
  • Ivan Krylov
    • A Panegyric in Memory of My Grandfather
  • Nikolai Gogol
    • The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich
  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    • The Crocodile
  • Mikhail Saltykov
    • How One Muzhik Looked After Two Generals
    • The Eagle as Patron of the Arts
  • Anton Chekhov
    • The Death of a Civil Servant
    • A Calculated Marriage
    • The Culprit
    • The Exclamation Mark
    • The Speechmaker
    • Who Is to Blame?
    • A Defenseless Creature
  • Leo Tolstoy
    • Ivan the Fool

Original title: Russian Comic Fiction
Original languages: Russian


Genre: FictionGeneral FictionHumor
FictionGeneral FictionHumorSatire
FictionGeneral FictionLiterary Fiction/classics

The following works are contained within this one:
     Eulogy to the Memory of My Grandfather (1792) [Short Story]
      Author: Ivan Krylov
     Story of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarrelled with Ivan Nikiforovich, the (1835) [Novella]
      Author: Nikolai Gogol
     Crocodile, the (1865) [Novella]
      Author: Fyodor Dostoevsky
     How a Muzhik Fed Two Officials (1869) [Short Story]
      Author: Mikhail Saltykov
     Death of a Government Clerk, the (1883) [Short Story]
      Author: Anton Chekhov
     Calculated Marriage, a (1884) [Short Story]
      Author: Anton Chekhov
     Exclamation Mark, the (1885) [Short Story]
      Author: Anton Chekhov
     Ivan the Fool (1885) [Novella]
      Author: Leo Tolstoy
     Culprit, the (1885) [Short Story]
      Author: Anton Chekhov
     Eagle-Patron of Arts, the (1886) [Short Story]
      Author: Mikhail Saltykov
     Speechmaker, the (1886) [Short Story]
      Author: Anton Chekhov
     Who Is to Blame? (1886) [Short Story]
      Author: Anton Chekhov
     Defenseless Creature, a (1887) [Short Story]
      Author: Anton Chekhov


  • Dedication: "To the memory of Phillip C. Flayderman"

Edition #1: Russian Comic Fiction

Russian Comic Fiction (1970)
Edition Details:

Language: English

Translated by: Guy Daniels
Edited by: Guy Daniels
Introduction by: Guy Daniels
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Manifested in:

Russian Comic Fiction (March 13, 1986)

Format: Paperback
Place of publication: New York
Publisher: Schocken Books
ISBN: 9780805208153
Pages: 204

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Russian Comic Fiction (August 1970)

Format: Paperback
Place of publication: New York
Publisher: Signet Classics
ISBN: 9780451004383
Pages: 204

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