Cyprus Mail

Going slowly mad

The Diary of a Madman by Nikolai Gogol is considered to be one of Gogol’s greatest short stories. This great story will be the subject matter at the Anti-Logos Reading Club on Tuesday.

The story revolves around Arksenty Ivanovich Poprishchin, a low ranking civil servant during the repressive era of Nicholas I – the Emperor or Russian from 1825 to 1855.

Poprishchin is constantly criticised for not being able to achieve much. But he has a secret yearning, the love of the beautiful Sophie, who just happens to also be the daughter of his boss. This desire for her is reflected in the first times he sees her, to which he comments “a footman opened the carriage door and out she fluttered, just like a little bird.”

The story, which is in the format of a diary, records the writer’s gradual slide into insanity. As his madness deepens, he says he begins to “understand” the conversations of two dogs and believes he has discovered letters sent between them.

On April 43rd in the year 2000, it is clear that Poprishchin has gone completely mad. On this date that he has made-up, he starts to no longer have the ability to distinguish when things actually happen and is no longer able to grasp the true sense of time.

His slow descent into madness, Gogol’s writing technique and more will be discussed within the group.

Diary of a Madman
Discussion of the book by Nikolai Gogol. January 10. House of Arts and Literature, 7 16th June 1943 Street, Limassol. 8pm. In Greek. Tel: 25-749179

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