Тарас Бульба



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Николай Васильевич ГогольNikolai Gogol born in Sorochyntsi, Poltava Governorate, Russian Empire, present day Ukraine Russian writer of Ukrainian descent Gogol's mother was a descendant of Polish nobility Gogol's father Vasyl Hohol Yanovsky, a Ukrainian writer best known for his plays, died when Gogol was years old In Gogol went to a school of higher art in Nizhyn and remained there until It was there that he began writing Very early he developed a dark and secretive disposition, marked by a painful self consciousness and boundless ambition Equally early he developed an extraordinary talent for mimicry which later on made him a matchless reader of his own worksIn , on leaving school, Gogol came to Petersburg He had hoped for literary fame and brought with him a Romantic poem of German idyllic life – Ganz Küchelgarten He had it published, at his own expense, under the name of V Alov The magazines he sent it to almost universally derided it He bought all the copies and destroyed them, swearing never to write poetry againGogol was one of the first masters of the short story, alongside Alexander Pushkin, Prosper Mérimée, E T A Hoffmann, and Nathaniel Hawthorne He was in touch with the literary aristocracy, and was taken up by Vasily Zhukovsky and Pyotr Pletnyov, and in was introduced to PushkinIn , he brought out the first volume of his Ukrainian stories Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, which met with immediate success He followed it in with a second volume, and in by two volumes of stories entitled Mirgorod, as well as by two volumes of miscellaneous prose entitled Arabesques At this time, Gogol developed a passion for Ukrainian history and tried to obtain an appointment to the history department at Kiev University His fictional story Taras Bulba, based on the history of Ukrainian cossacks, was the result of this phase in his interests Between and Gogol worked with great energy, though almost all his work has in one way or another its sources in his four years of contact with Pushkin Only after the presentation, on April , of his comedy The Government Inspector Revizor that he finally came to believe in his literary vocationFrom to he lived abroad, travelling throughout Germany and Switzerland, as well as spending the winter of – in ParisPushkin's death produced a strong impression on Gogol His principal work during years following Pushkin's death was the satirical epic Dead Souls Concurrently, he worked at other tasks – recast Taras Bulba and The Portrait, completed his second comedy, Marriage Zhenitba, wrote the fragment Rome and his most famous short story, The OvercoatAfter the triumph of Dead Souls, Gogol came to be regarded as a great satirist who lampooned the unseemly sides of Imperial Russia However, Dead Souls was but the first part of a counterpart to The Divine Comedy The first part represented the Inferno; the second part was to depict the gradual purification and transformation of the rogue Chichikov under the influence of virtuous publicans and governors – PurgatoryHis last years were spent in restless movement throughout the country He intensified his relationship with a church elder, Matvey Konstantinovsky He seems to have strengthened in Gogol the fear of perdition by insisting on the sinfulness of all his imaginative work His health was undermined by exaggerated ascetic practices and he fell into a state of deep depression On the night of February , he burned some of his manuscripts, which contained most of the second part of Dead Souls He explained this as a mistake, a practical joke played on him by the Devil Soon thereafter, he took to bed, refused all food, and died in great pain nine days later For goodread's profile in Russian, see.

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  • Hardcover
  • 223 pages
  • Тарас Бульба
  • Nikolai Gogol
  • Bulgarian
  • 24 October 2019

10 thoughts on “Тарас Бульба

  1. says:

    Тарас Бульба = Taras Bulba, Nikolai Gogol

    Taras Bulba is a romanticized historical novella by Nikolai Gogol.

    It describes the life of an old Zaporozhian Cossack, Taras Bulba, and his two sons, Andriy and Ostap. The sons study at the Kiev Academy and then return home, whereupon the three men set out on a journey to the Zaporizhian Sich (the Zaporizhian Cossack headquarters, located in southern Ukraine), where they join other Cossacks and go to war against Poland. ...

    تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1976 میلادی

    عنوان: تاراس بولبا؛ اثر: نیکلای گوگول؛ مترجم: قازار سیمونیان؛ تهران، گوتنبرگ، چاپ دوم 1338، در 221ص؛ چاپ دوم 1343، در 205ص، انتشارات علمی فرهنگی، 1394، در 231ص، شابک 9786001216992؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان روسی سده 19م

    مترجم: گیورگیس آقاسی؛ چاپ دوم: تهران، ممتاز، 1361، در 232ص، چاپ سوم: تهران، پیروز، 1368، در 262ص؛

    مترجم: فریدون شفائی؛ تهران، دادجو، 1365، در 207ص؛

    مترجم: امین نصیری؛ تهران، سپیده، 1369، در 140ص؛ شابک 9645773350؛ چاپ سوم 1375؛

    متن خلاصه شده، مترجم: فاطمه نوفر؛ تهران، دبیر، 1392، در 64ص؛ شابک 9786005955552؛

    داستانی در ستایش از قزاقهاست، رویدادها در سده ی شانزدهم میلادی رخ میدهند، تاراس بولبا قزاق پنجاه ساله ای ست، که دو پسرش «اوستاپ» و «آندری» به اردوگاه قزاقها میروند و ...؛ ا. شربیانی

  2. says:

    This book is a classic example of the great gorge between the western and eastern mentality. Most people from western countries have read this book for the sole purpose of elevating themselves culturally because it's considered one among'st many of Russia's classic works. So, when I see a review stating that they don't get it, or, the characters are barbaric, anti-Semitic etc, I say of course you don't get it, you've missed the point, you don't understand the context or historical significance. How could you?. The book was written for the Russian audience to stir a sense of brotherhood and romanticism due to the suffering of past generations. The characters portray antisemitism because this occurred hundreds of years before 'The Holocaust' and it wasn't politically incorrect to have such views back then. The human mind under those conditions didn't think about how the enlightened of the world would comment on his thought process. Did this book have any influence on the tragic events that would follow? I highly doubt it. Would a book be considered less sociably acceptable today if it contained a bunch of rednecks being racist to the African-american community in a historical setting? Xenophobia and racism exist to this very day let alone centuries ago.

    Taras Bulba is a story of a people known for their warrior tradition and the injustices they thought had been done onto them. Anyone reading more into it than that was reading with walls already built in his or her mind. The very opposite of what enlightened readers should be doing.

  3. says:

    I probably would have given it 4 stars instead of 3 if someone hadn't accidentally spoiled everything to me.

    Okay so this book is an overflow of patriotism and I get it considering when it was written. So yeah it wasn't my cup of tea but it was by Gogol so I had to read it.

    It was a tragic story and the contrast between the characters was so excellently put.. One son was sentimental and kind of romantic, unlike the other son. And Taras was the most patriotic character I have ever come across.

    Overall, it didn't excite me as much as other works of Gogol I've read and that makes me want to read Dead Souls even more...

  4. says:


    “The Wild Fields” was their name, the broad plains that stretched beyond the turbulent waters of the Dneiper River, those Central Ukrainian steppes that the Zaporozhian Cossacks once called home. Now, however, if you go looking for those plains, you will find nothing but water, water trapped by the dams of the Kahkhova Reservoir.

    But in the 17th century, “The Wild Fields” were flowing with Cosssacks, running as dangerous and free as the rapids of the Dneiper. Originally a people of the steppes, related to the Khazars, the Cossacks developed into a voluntary tribe—accepting into their ranks runaway serfs, escaped criminals, war refugees, even a Tartar or two—bound together by a bellicose nature, steadfast loyalty, and a fierce pride in their status as warriors and in the truth of their Greek Orthodox faith. They battled against (and occasionally for) the Catholic kings of Poland, the tsars of Russia, and the khans of Crimea, showing themselves to be formidable enemies, dangerous allies.

    The protagonist of Taras Bulba is one of these Zaporozhian Cossacks, and the novella tells the tale of a great campaign that the Cossacks once fought against the Poles. When Taras Bulba and his two young sons ride out to do battle, one son will become a hero and the other a traitor; how Taras Bulba faces the fates of his sons becomes central to this narrative of war.

    When Gogol was in his twenties, he developed a passion for Ukrainian history, and hoped to earn a position teaching the subject at the University of Kiev. He was rejected for the position as unqualified (despite the support of his friend Pushkin) but the research he did to prepare himself for the post led to the writing of Taras Bulba (1835), Gogol longest effort up to that time. It is a work of unabashed romance, unapologetic nationalism, a celebration of the strengths both of Russia and the Ukraine.

    Although Gogol is clearly influenced by the novels of Sir Walter Scott, he seemed to sense that his Cossacks, both in their savagery and generosity, were more primitive—and more monumental—than the medieval knights and Highland chieftains that the Scotch novelist took for his subjects. So Gogol sought a more elemental literary model, and found it in the Iliad of Homer.

    I’ll end with with one epic digression, one battle encounter, and one epic simile. We begin with the digression, an anecdote of the early life of the Cossack Mosiy Schilo:

    He was a muscular Cossack, who had often commanded at sea, and undergone many vicissitudes. The Turks had once seized him and his men at Trebizond, and borne them captives to the galleys, where they bound them hand and foot with iron chains, gave them no food for a week at a time, and made them drink sea-water. The poor prisoners endured and suffered all, but would not renounce their orthodox faith. Their hetman, Mosiy Schilo, could not bear it: he trampled the Holy Scriptures under foot, wound the vile turban about his sinful head, and became the favourite of a pasha, steward of a ship, and ruler over all the galley slaves. The poor slaves sorrowed greatly thereat, for they knew that if he had renounced his faith he would be a tyrant, and his hand would be the more heavy and severe upon them. So it turned out. Mosiy Schilo had them put in new chains, three to an oar. The cruel fetters cut to the very bone; and he beat them upon the back. But when the Turks, rejoicing at having obtained such a servant, began to carouse, and, forgetful of their law, got all drunk, he distributed all the sixty-four keys among the prisoners, in order that they might free themselves, fling their chains and manacles into the sea, and, seizing their swords, in turn kill the Turks. Then the Cossacks collected great booty, and returned with glory to their country; and the guitar-players celebrated Mosiy Schilo’s exploits for a long time.
    Here is a battle encounter containing an epic simile:
    “He has left untouched rich plunder,” said Borodaty, hetman of the Oumansky kuren, leaving his men and going to the place where the nobleman killed by Kukubenko lay. “I have killed seven nobles with my own hand, but such spoil I never beheld on any one.” Prompted by greed, Borodaty bent down to strip off the rich armour, and had already secured the Turkish knife set with precious stones, and taken from the foe’s belt a purse of ducats, and from his breast a silver case containing a maiden’s curl, cherished tenderly as a love-token. But he heeded not how the red-faced cornet, whom he had already once hurled from the saddle and given a good blow as a remembrance, flew upon him from behind. The cornet swung his arm with all his might, and brought his sword down upon Borodaty’s bent neck. Greed led to no good: the head rolled off, and the body fell headless, sprinkling the earth with blood far and wide; whilst the Cossack soul ascended, indignant and surprised at having so soon quitted so stout a frame.

    The cornet had not succeeded in seizing the hetman’s head by its scalp-lock, and fastening it to his saddle, before an avenger had arrived. As a hawk floating in the sky, sweeping in great circles with his mighty wings, suddenly remains poised in air, in one spot, and thence darts down like an arrow upon the shrieking quail, so Taras’s son Ostap darted suddenly upon the cornet and flung a rope about his neck with one cast. The cornet’s red face became a still deeper purple as the cruel noose compressed his throat, and he tried to use his pistol; but his convulsively quivering hand could not aim straight, and the bullet flew wild across the plain. Ostap immediately unfastened a silken cord which the cornet carried at his saddle bow to bind prisoners, and having with it bound him hand and foot, attached the cord to his saddle and dragged him across the field . . .

  5. says:

    It is fascinating to observe the response of Western readers to Gogol's epic Taras Bulba. Therefore, I would like to emphasize the importance of cultural and historical perspectives when analyzing this particular work. First, if you want to see what Gogol's Cossacks really looked like (the Hollywood version is bs)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClGKza... (it's a Russian movie)

    Being of both Russian and Ukrainian heritage, and having read the work in its original, I feel that some American readers wrongly dismiss it as an absurd, extremist tale about a bunch of barbarians. It is easy to imagine an American reader's shock due to the frequent anti-semitism and cold-blooded violence, but you have to keep in mind HISTORICAL CONTEXT and PERSPECTIVE.

    Gogol by profession was a historian who was fascinated by his Ukrainian heritage. He had written Taras Bulba based on his historical studies. His work portrays the realities of life on the south Russian (Ukrainian) steppes and the intricate, antagonistic relationships between Cossacks, Tartars, Poles, and the Jews. The actions and behavior of the Cossacks are inherent to the harsh realities of that historical period. The Cossacks do not simply decide to ravage the Poles for fun (although that was part of it) - they retaliate to their transgression on their religion, their land, their way of life.

    There is never any question of Cossack identity, and what they represent. At the beginning Gogol poetically describes the Cossacks as a unique manifestation of Russian nature and strength forged by the cruel,rugged conditions of the 16th century. Towards the end, Gogol through Taras speaks of the Russian brotherhood (russkoye tovarischestvo) that is unlike any other. Thus the work is also hugely relevant to contemporary times, when Ukraine has been separated from Russia and is being led toward the West. Essentially, this is one of the driving themes of Gogol's work; nationalism and loyalty to your native culture, way of life (Andriy).

    This leads us to having to consider the perspective from which Gogol had written Taras Bulba. Obviously he wrote it from the Russian perspective for the Russian public, without the foresight that someday it would be read in the West. The issue of anti-Semitism in the story in 19th century Russia would be a nonissue, and indeed, would be judged as another historical occurrence. Gogol's Taras loathes the Jewish merchants for their scheming and cunning (traits the Cossacks are devoid of), through which they've indebted many a Cossack and their churches. These details are used by Gogol to contrast and emphasize the virtuousness of the Cossacks' bravado and honor, as well as to show the grievances they've had to suffer at the hands of foreigners.

    The true value of Gogol's work is in his portrayal of the Cossacks nature and their lifestlye. The imagery of life on the beautiful expanse of the steppe is particularly memorable. It is true that the beauty of the language is lost in translation from Russian to English, for Gogol' characters (particularly Taras) speak in a powerful, old-fashioned manner that did much to characterize them.

    In order to understand Taras Bulba while reading it you have to have some general understanding of what kind of people the Cossacks were and the land that they came from.

  6. says:

    Gogol is primarily known as the father of Russian realism and for his grotesquely evocative descriptions, but 'Taras Bulba' represents a completely different mode for the author. Taking inspiration from the Greek epics and the nationalistic poems of French knights, Gogol creates his own story of national identity.

    Though elements of realism and satire creep into the book, its tone is largely that of an action film: exciting, gritty, and passionate. Like almost any such national work, this fervor often overwhelms the story, romanticizing the Cossack life and ridiculing its enemies.

    This one-sided hyperbole is most infamously represented by Gogol's Jews, who aren't painted in a particularly flattering light. The antisemitism isn't any worse than Shylock or The Jew of Malta, but Gogol's evocative characterization did inspire racist depictions by later authors; though anyone would seem like a schlub when compared to the epically handsome and strong-willed Cossacks.

    Most of the work is simple and unadorned, sometimes to the point of repetition and inelegance. There are some stylized descriptions here and there, and these stand out as some of the most lovely and thoughtful passages. The philosophy tends to be as simple as the prose, though again, there are some subtler shades here and there.

    The plot itself is straightforward, but not oversimplified. It resembles in many ways the stories of love, war, and honor that Shakespeare adapted for his plays.

    As an adventurous romance, the story is amusing, fast-paced, and uncomplicated. There are promising hints of Gogol's strengths as a characterist and satirist, but the unsophisticated nationalism leaves much to be desired; even if such romantic sentiments never really die.

    There are still those to whom warlike manliness and jingoistic pride in both country and faith are worthy ideals. Violent propaganda rarely goes out of style, and the manly warmongers still pull out Taras Bulba now and again as a reliably uncomplicated vision of righteous war.

    But war and politics are the subjects of art, not its masters; simple patriotism cannot elevate this work to the level of Gogol's more thoughtful and layered works. Like 'The Song of Roland', such short-sighted epics may be of historical interest, but not social or literary interest.

  7. says:

    The story of Taras Bulba and his sons is patriotic and nationalistic,just the sort that Hollywood used to love as a big budget historical epic.

    It was duly made into one,with Yul Bryner and Tony Curtis.While most of it was a typical film of its type,the ending was memorable.

  8. says:

    As a literary work? Short, fast, and very entertaining. But that's not what makes it great. Its greatness rests in its inspiring the greatest literature of Russia and the world. Almost as an aside, it also provides more detail about Cossack life than I could find online or in Ukraine. In providing accurate details of Cossack life, with its mindless violence and racism, it exposes the roots of mindless violence and racism in the area's recent history.

    I've recently spent several months in Western Ukraine. No one there wanted to talk about the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, which may or may not involve Russia on a grand scale. No one tried to answer my questions about Cossacks either. Sometimes I saw men with the sides of their heads shaved, but Gogol tells me they have to have a kind of tail to be deemed fighters. A mix of Wikipedia and local history books suggests that Cossacks were just whatever men chose to fight Lithuanian rulers, making their base in a 15th century wild area in some part of Ukraine. That isn't quite Gogol's description. By the time of this book their enemy had become Poland.

    As far as I know, Western Ukraine wasn't a Cossack stronghold, but rather, one of Ukraine's only mountainous areas, where Ukrainian militias in WWII killed between 40,000 and 60,000 Polish women and children. Several villages in western Ukraine also killed large number of Jewish residents in the 1940s.

    That would be entirely in keeping with Gogol's descriptions. And yet the people I met in Western Ukraine seemed to lack the mad lust for life in Gogol's work. There was indeed a beautiful, baffling joy and naivete in some of the historically most racist areas, but I'd be curious to see more Cossack areas in better circumstances.

    A study of Russian literature from the 1800s which has just appeared in my updates suggests that Taras Bulba is unique in Russian literature, a romantic novel copying Homer's epic form. Yet I still contend that the impulsive characters are quite similar to, and even inspiration for, the crazed religious zealots in Dostoevsky, although not many characters in Taras Bulba, aside possibly from one son and his mother, spend time in psychological agony.

    I know that spending too much time in Western Ukraine, especially after learning about their recent genocides, caused me a certain amount of psychological agony.

    I recently wrote more thoughts about Gogol's cultural influence:
    https://www.goodreads.com/story/show/...

  9. says:

    Yikes, this warrior's got some low-hangin' bulbas. This gogolian tale is about a 16th century Cossack and his two sons who drink vodka, slaughter their enemies and yell stuff. It's often shockingly anti-semitic and misogynistic. I know that this book was inspired by Ukranian folklore, but it seems to me that those folks were just a bunch of irredeemable a-holes. Hemingway called it one of the 10 best books of all time, but I only enjoyed the last 30 pages. I did, however, learn the difference between a cossack and a cassock. (One's a slavic horseman and the other's a priest's garment.)

    I wish I'd kept a tally of how many exclamation points are in this book. Here are some of my favorite quotes from Taras Bulba:

    Stuff warriors yelled just before dying in battle:

    Before the Cossacks knew what was happening, they saw him impaled by four spears. May all our enemies perish and our Russian lands triumph for all eternity! he managed to gasp, and gave up his soul.

    May Russia flourish forever!

    Our Cossack vigor has not flagged, nor have the Cossacks been brought to their knees!

    More stuff that was yelled:

    You are lying, you devil's spawn! It is you who are a dog!

    You're wrong, you dog!

    And you didn't kill that devil's cur then and there?

    You are lying, you devilish Judas! You are lying, you dog! It was you who nailed Jesus to the Cross, you fiend cursed by God. I shall kill you, Satan!

    Stop dragging your feet, you devil! You should accept the honor we gave you, you dog!

    Other super-Russian quotes:

    I want my vodka so clear and frothing that it hisses and whirls like it's possessed!

    Don't you know that God put vodka on this earth for everyone to taste?

    But is there fire, torture or force powerful enough in all the world to subjugate the Russian spirit?

  10. says:

    Who would dare to give Gogol fewer than 5 stars? I can just imagine his cringe at a 3 or 4 star rating -- and of course you'd be risking his throwing the whole manuscript into the fire. I'm ashamed to say that after years of reading Slavic lit, this is the first time I've read TARAS. I didn't expect TB to be fun, like DEAD SOULS, and I knew it wouldn't be spooky like Portrait or even Overcoat, but I was taken aback by how painful it was. I don't think I've ever had such mixed feelings about a protagonist. I was also surprised by the Christ-like imagery in the last couple of chapters. Brilliant. One more reason to love Gogol.

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