Notes of a Madman
Titular Adviser Aksenti Ivanovich Poprishchin, forty-two years old, keeps his diary entries for over four months.
On a rainy day on Tuesday, October 3, 1933, Poprishchin, in his old-fashioned greatcoat, leaves, after a while, for an unloved service in one of the departments of the St. Petersburg department, hoping to get a little money from the treasurer ahead of him. On the way, he sees a carriage approaching to the store, from which the charming daughter of the director of the department, where he serves, flutters. The hero accidentally overhears the conversation between the daughter dog Meji and the dog Fidelka, owned by two passing by the ladies. Surprised at this fact, Poprishchin instead of the service goes to the ladies and learns that
The next day, Poprishchin, cleaning the feathers in the director’s office, accidentally meets his daughter, who is becoming more and more fascinated. He even gives her a handkerchief that fell to the floor. Within a month, his immodest behavior and dreams about this young person are becoming noticeable to others. The head of the department even reprimands him. Nevertheless Poprishchin secretly enters the house of His Excellency and, wishing to find out something about the young lady, enters into a conversation with the doggy Megy. The last one evades the conversation. Then Poprishchin goes to Zverkov’s house, rises to the sixth floor (Gogol’s mistake!), Where the dog Fidelka lives with his mistresses, and steals from his corner a heap of small papers. It turns out, as Poprishchin suggested, the correspondence of two girlfriends, from which he learns for himself a lot of important things: about awarding the director of the department with the next order, about courting his daughter, who, it turns out, is called Sophie, a certain camera-junker Teplov, and even about himself, a perfect monster like “turtle in a sack,” at the sight of which Sophie can not help laughing. These notes of doggies, like all the prose of Gogol, are
Unhappy love, coupled with the alarming reports of newspapers, completely damage the mind of Poprishchina. He is worried by the attempt to abolish the Spanish throne in connection with the death of the king. And how is he, Poprishchin, and there is a secret heir, that is, a person of nobility, from those who are loved and respected by others? The Moor’s chubby, who serves Poprishtina, is the first to learn this amazing news. After more than three weeks, the spill of “Spanish King” Poprischin comes to his service, does not stand before the director, signs “Ferdinand VIII” on paper, then makes his way into the director’s apartment, tries to explain himself to Sophie, while making the discovery that women fall in love with one feature. The tense expectation of the Poproschin of the Spanish deputies is finally allowed at their arrival. But the “Spain”, in which it is taken, is a very strange land. There are many grands with shaved heads, they are beaten with sticks, they drip cold water on the top. It is obvious that the great Inquisition rules here, which prevents Podreshchyna from making great discoveries worthy of his post. He writes a tearful letter to his mother with a plea for help, but the lump under the nose of the Algerian bei again distracts his poor attention.