Publication Date: August 2002
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Nikolai Gogol’s short story is a sublime work of tragi-comedy. In it, he brilliantly ridicules the Ukrainian passion for litigation and reveals life as something really rather absurd. Ivan Ivanovich and Ivan Nikiforovich are the greatest of friendsuntil the day they begin a foolish quarrel that culminates in that very worst of insults: And you, Ivan Ivanovich, are a goose.” From that moment on, not another word is spoken between them as they choose instead to fight out their differences in the courts. But it seems theirs is a lawsuit that is set to run for years and years.
Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940) was a Russian author and playwright - one of the few writers allowed to publish during the Stalin era. His works include The Master and Margarita, Heart of a Dog, and the biography, Life of Mr. de Moliere.
Patrick McCabe was born in Ireland in 1955. His novels include "The Butcher Boy," winner of the Irish Times/Aer Lingus Literature Prize, which was shortlisted for the 1992 Booker Prize and made into a highly acclaimed film directed by Neil Jordan, and "Breakfast On Pluto," published in 1998, also on the Booker Prize shortlist. He lives in Sligo with his wife and two daughters.