Gogol was a Ukrainian writer from the early 19th century. Dead Souls was first published in 1842 as the first part of a projected trilogy. Censorship forces the work to be titled The Adventures of Chichikov. Gogol refers to this work as an epic poem in prose and a novel in verse. Shortly before his death the author destroyed the second part of the trilogy on the urging of a religious fanatic. Even though the novel ends in midsentence it is considered to be complete. Chichikov is a young man trying to impress minor officials in a small Russian town. He spends more money than he wisely can trying to impress the people of the town. His bizarre plan is to obtain dead souls. He travels the countryside collecting his dead souls. When he returns to town his plan almost works.
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