George Gibian, in the Preface to Dead Souls, discusses Nikolai Gogol's influence on the literary world. This short biography creates a gateway to discussions on topics such as literary of Absurd and Existentialism; author's such as Franz Kafka and Kurt Vonnegut also come up in passing.
I have underlined a few words that could be used as vocabulary and added three questions to help move a conversation forward:
1. What is Gibian’s purpose for this brief biography of Gogol and Dead Souls?
2. Why does Gibian suggest readers of generation after generation are drawn to Dead Souls? What does this tell us about the novel?
3. Watch the video link in the text box and define the underlined words. Then answer the question, what do you expect from Gogol’s writing?
The text is extremely dense and the vocabulary is rather advanced. This resource is probably best to be used with older students as an introduction to short stories such as "The Overcoat."