Short story by Nikolay Gogol, published in 1835 as "Zapiski sumasshedshego." Diary of a Madman, a first-person narrative presented in the form of a diary, is the tale of Poprishchin, a government clerk who gradually descends into insanity. At the outset, the narrator records his frustrations and humiliations straightforwardly, rationalizing various affronts to his dignity. Over time, however, reason gives way to delusion. His intermittent encounters with Sophie, the radiant daughter of his official superior, provoke an obsession that leads to his "overhearing" two dogs discussing his hopelessness. As such hallucinations become more frequent, he finds solace--and his ultimate rationale--in a new identity as the rightful king of Spain, whose enemies have engineered his exile. Throughout the story, interludes of sanity provide striking counterpoint to the deepening psychosis. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Russian