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The Double and the Gambler

by Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky

  • Paperback
    $24.36
PUBLISHED: 16th January 2007
ISBN: 9780375719011
ANNOTATION:
The award-winning translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have given us the definitive version of Fyodor Dostoevsky's strikingly original short novels, "The Double "and "The Gambler.The Double "is a surprisingly modern hallucinatory nightmare-foreshadowing Kafka and Sartre-in which a minor official named Goliadkin becomes aware of a mysterious doppelganger, a man who has his name and his face and who gradually and relentlessly begins to displace him with his friends and colleagues. "The Gambler "is a stunning psychological portrait of a young man's exhilarating and destructive addiction to gambling, a compulsion that Dostoevsky-who once gambled away his young wife's wedding ring-knew intimately from his own experience. In chronicling the disastrous love affairs and gambling adventures of Alexei Ivanovich, Dostoevsky explores the irresistible temptation to look into the abyss of ultimate risk that he believed was an essential part of the Russian national character.
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  • Paperback
    $24.36
PUBLISHED: 16th January 2007
ISBN: 9780375719011
ANNOTATION:
The award-winning translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have given us the definitive version of Fyodor Dostoevsky's strikingly original short novels, "The Double "and "The Gambler.The Double "is a surprisingly modern hallucinatory nightmare-foreshadowing Kafka and Sartre-in which a minor official named Goliadkin becomes aware of a mysterious doppelganger, a man who has his name and his face and who gradually and relentlessly begins to displace him with his friends and colleagues. "The Gambler "is a stunning psychological portrait of a young man's exhilarating and destructive addiction to gambling, a compulsion that Dostoevsky-who once gambled away his young wife's wedding ring-knew intimately from his own experience. In chronicling the disastrous love affairs and gambling adventures of Alexei Ivanovich, Dostoevsky explores the irresistible temptation to look into the abyss of ultimate risk that he believed was an essential part of the Russian national character.

Annotation

The award-winning translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have given us the definitive version of Fyodor Dostoevsky's strikingly original short novels, "The Double "and "The Gambler.The Double "is a surprisingly modern hallucinatory nightmare-foreshadowing Kafka and Sartre-in which a minor official named Goliadkin becomes aware of a mysterious doppelganger, a man who has his name and his face and who gradually and relentlessly begins to displace him with his friends and colleagues. "The Gambler "is a stunning psychological portrait of a young man's exhilarating and destructive addiction to gambling, a compulsion that Dostoevsky-who once gambled away his young wife's wedding ring-knew intimately from his own experience. In chronicling the disastrous love affairs and gambling adventures of Alexei Ivanovich, Dostoevsky explores the irresistible temptation to look into the abyss of ultimate risk that he believed was an essential part of the Russian national character.

Publisher Description

The award-winning translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have given us the definitive version of Fyodor Dostoevsky's strikingly original short novels, The Double and The Gambler.The Double is a surprisingly modern hallucinatory nightmare-foreshadowing Kafka and Sartre-in which a minor official named Goliadkin becomes aware of a mysterious doppelganger, a man who has his name and his face and who gradually and relentlessly begins to displace him with his friends and colleagues. The Gambler is a stunning psychological portrait of a young man's exhilarating and destructive addiction to gambling, a compulsion that Dostoevsky-who once gambled away his young wife's wedding ring-knew intimately from his own experience. In chronicling the disastrous love affairs and gambling adventures of Alexei Ivanovich, Dostoevsky explores the irresistible temptation to look into the abyss of ultimate risk that he believed was an essential part of the Russian national character.

Author Biography

Richard Peace is Emeritus Professor of Russian at Bristol University. He is the author of Dostoevsky: An Examination of his Major Novels.

Review

"Pevear and Volokhonsky may be the premier Russian-to-English translators of the era." -The New Yorker

Long Description

The award-winning translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have given us the definitive version of Fyodor Dostoevsky's strikingly original short novels, "The Double "and "The Gambler." "The Double "is a surprisingly modern hallucinatory nightmare-foreshadowing Kafka and Sartre-in which a minor official named Goliadkin becomes aware of a mysterious doppelganger, a man who has his name and his face and who gradually and relentlessly begins to displace him with his friends and colleagues. "The Gambler "is a stunning psychological portrait of a young man's exhilarating and destructive addiction to gambling, a compulsion that Dostoevsky-who once gambled away his young wife's wedding ring-knew intimately from his own experience. In chronicling the disastrous love affairs and gambling adventures of Alexei Ivanovich, Dostoevsky explores the irresistible temptation to look into the abyss of ultimate risk that he believed was an essential part of the Russian national character.

Review Quote

"Pevear and Volokhonsky may be the premier Russian-to-English translators of the era." The New Yorker

Excerpt from Book

CHAPTER IIt was nearly eight o''clock in the morning when the titular councillor1 Yakov Petrovich Goliadkin came to after a long sleep, yawned, stretched, and finally opened his eyes all the way. For some two minutes, however, he lay motionless on his bed, like a man who is not fully certain whether he is awake or still asleep, whether what is happening around him now is a reality or a continuation of the disordered reveries of his sleep. Soon, though, Mr. Goliadkin''s senses began to receive their usual everyday impressions more clearly and distinctly. The dirtyish green, sooty, and dusty walls of his little room, his mahogany chest of drawers, the imitation mahogany chairs, the red-painted table, the oilcloth Turkish sofa of a reddish color with little green flowers, and finally his clothes, hastily taken off the night before and thrown in a heap on the sofa, all gazed at him familiarly. Finally, the gray autumn day, dull and dirty, peeked into his room through the dim window so crossly and with such a sour grimace that Mr. Goliadkin could in no way doubt any longer that he was not in some far-off kingdom but in the city of Petersburg, in the capital, on Shestilavochnaya Street, on the fourth floor of a quite large tenement house, in his own apartment. Having made this important discovery, Mr. Goliadkin convulsively closed his eyes, as if regretting his recent dream and wishing to bring it back for a brief moment. But after a moment he leaped out of bed at a single bound, probably hitting finally upon the idea around which his scattered, not yet properly ordered thoughts had been turning. Having leaped out of bed, he ran at once to the small round mirror that stood on the chest of drawers. Though the sleepy, myopic, and rather bald-pated figure reflected in the mirror was precisely of such insignificant quality as to arrest decidedly no one''s exclusive attention at first sight, its owner evidently remained perfectly pleased with all he saw in the mirror. ''''What a thing it would be,'''' Mr. Goliadkin said half-aloud, ''''what a thing it would be if something was amiss with me today, if, for instance, something went wrong--a stray pimple popped out somehow or some other sort of unpleasantness occurred; however, so far it''s not bad; so far everything''s going well.'''' Very glad that everything was going well, Mr. Goliadkin put the mirror back in its former place, and, despite the fact that he was barefoot and still wearing the costume in which he was accustomed to go to bed, he rushed to the window and, with great concern, began searching with his eyes for something in the courtyard on which the windows of his apartment gave. Apparently whatever he was searching for in the yard also satisfied him completely; his face lit up with a self-satisfied smile. Then--though not without having first peeked behind the partition into the closet of his valet Petrushka and made sure that Petrushka was not in it-- he tiptoed to the desk, unlocked one of the drawers, rummaged about in the hindmost corner of that drawer, finally took out a shabby green wallet from under some old yellow papers and trash, opened it warily, and peeked carefully and with delight into its remotest secret pocket. Probably a wad of green, gray, blue, red, and multicolored bits of paper looked back quite affably and approvingly at Mr. Goliadkin: with a beaming face he placed the opened wallet on the table before him and rubbed his hands energetically as a sign of the greatest pleasure. Finally he took it out, his comforting wad of banknotes, and for the hundredth time--that is, counting only from yesterday--began to re-count them, painstakingly rubbing each leaf between his thumb and index finger. ''''Seven hundred and fifty roubles in banknotes!'''' he finished finally in a half-whisper. ''''Seven hundred and fifty roubles...a significant sum! An agreeable sum,'''' he went on in a voice trembling and slightly faint with pleasure, squeezing the wad in his hands and smiling significantly, ''''quite an agreeable sum! An agreeable sum for anyone! I''d like to see the man now for whom this sum would be negligible! A man can go far on such a sum...''''''''What is this, though?'''' thought Mr. Goliadkin. ''''Where is Petrushka?'''' Still wearing the same costume, he peeked once more behind the partition. Again Petrushka was not to be found behind the partition; there was only a samovar left on the floor there, angry, excited, and beside itself, constantly threatening to run away, and babbling to Mr. Goliadkin heatedly, quickly, in its abstruse language, lisping and swallowing its R''s--probably saying something like, ''''Take me, good people, I''m perfectly ripe and ready.''''''''Devil take it!'''' thought Mr. Goliadkin. ''''The lazy brute may finally drive one beyond the last limits; where''s he lolling about?'''' In righteous indignation he went to the front hall, which consisted of a small corridor at the end of which was the door to the vestibule, opened that door a crack, and saw his servitor surrounded by a decent-sized crowd of sundry lackeyish, domestic, and accidental riffraff. Petrushka was telling some story, the others were listening. Apparently Mr. Goliadkin liked neither the subject of the conversation nor the conversation itself. He immediately called Petrushka and went back to his room thoroughly displeased, even upset. ''''This brute is ready to sell a man for a groat, all the more so his master,'''' he thought to himself, ''''and he did, he surely did, I''m ready to bet he sold me for a penny. Well, so'...''''''''They''ve brought the livery, sir.''''''''Put it on and come here.''''Having put on the livery, Petrushka, smiling stupidly, went to his master''s room. He could not have been more oddly costumed. He was wearing extremely shabby green lackey''s livery with frazzled gold braid, apparently made for someone a whole two feet taller than Petrushka. In his hands he was holding a hat, also with braid and with green feathers, and at his hip he had a lackey''s sword in a leather scabbard.Finally, to complete the picture, Petrushka, following his favorite habit of always going about casually, in home-style, was barefoot now as well. Mr. Goliadkin inspected Petrushka all around and apparently remained pleased. The livery had obviously been rented for some solemn occasion. It was also noticeable that during the inspection Petrushka looked at his master with some strange expectation, and followed his every movement with extraordinary curiosity, which greatly embarrassed Mr. Goliadkin.''''Well, and the carriage?''''''''The carriage has come, too.''''''''For the whole day?''''''''For the whole day. Twenty-five, in banknotes.''''2''''And they''ve brought the boots?''''''''And they''ve brought the boots.''''''''Blockhead! Can''t you say they''ve brought them, sir? Bring them here.''''Having expressed his satisfaction that the boots fit well, Mr. Goliadkin asked for tea, a wash and a shave. He shaved rather painstakingly and washed in the same way, hastily sipped some tea, and proceeded to his main, definitive dressing: he put on almost perfectly new trousers; then a shirt front with little bronze buttons, a waistcoat with rather bright and agreeable little flowers; tied a multicolored silk cravat around his neck, and finally pulled on a uniform jacket, also spanking new and painstakingly brushed. While dressing, he glanced lovingly at his boots several times, lifted now one foot, now the other, admired the style, and kept whispering something under his nose, occasionally winking at his thoughts with an expressive little grimace. However, Mr. Goliadkin was extremely distracted that morning, because he let Petrushka''s little smiles and grimaces on his account as he helped him dress go almost unnoticed. Finally, having adjusted everything properly, the fully dressed Mr. Goliadkin put his wallet in his pocket, definitively admired Petrushka, who had put on his boots and was thus in full readiness, and, noticing that everything had been done and there was nothing more to wait for, hastily, bustlingly, with little trepidations of the heart, ran down his stairs. A light blue hackney carriage with some coat-of-arms on it rolled up thunderingly to the porch. Petrushka, exchanging winks with the coachman and various idlers, seated his master in the carriage; in an unaccustomed voice and barely holding back his foolish laughter, he shouted: ''''Gee-up!'''' and jumped onto the tailboard, and the whole thing, with noise and thunder, jingling and clattering, rolled off towards Nevsky Prospect.3 The blue carriage had no sooner driven through the gate than Mr. Goliadkin rubbed his hands convulsively and dissolved into quiet, inaudible laughter, like a man of merry character who has managed to play a nice trick and is as glad of it as glad can be. However, immediately following this fit of merriment, the laughter on Mr. Goliadkin''s face changed to a strangely preoccupied expression. Though the weather was damp and gray, he lowered both windows of the carriage and began looking concernedly to right and left at passersby, immediately assuming a decent and decorous air as soon as he noticed someone looking at him. At the turn from Liteinaya onto Nevsky, he gave a start from a most unpleasant sensation and, wincing like some poor fellow whose corn has accidentally been stepped on, hastily and even fearfully pressed himself into the darkest corner of the carriage. The thing was that he had met two of his colleagues, two young clerks from the department where he himself worked. The clerks, as it seemed to Mr. Goliadkin, were for their own part also extremely perplexed at meeting their colleague in this fashion; one of them even pointed his finger at Mr. Goliadkin. It even seemed to Mr. Goliadkin that the other called him loudly by name, which, naturally, was quite an improper thing to do in the street. Our hero stayed hidden and did not respond. ''''Little brats!

Product Details

Short Title
DOUBLE & GAMBLER
Pages
336
Publisher
Vintage Books USA
Series
Vintage Classics
Language
English
Translator
Richard Pevear
ISBN-10
0375719016
ISBN-13
9780375719011
Media
Book
Format
Paperback
Year
2007
Publication Date
2007-01-31
Country of Publication
United States
Author
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky
Audience
General/Trade