1. Gogol’s Wife
Tommaso Landolfi’s story is written as a chapter of a biography on the famous Russian writer, Nikolai Gogol. In this chapter, the author explores the delicate matter of Gogol’s “wife.” It turns out that she is not a woman, but a balloon. A titilling conceit for horny teen-age boys of all ages, Landolfi develops the story into a humorous, but ultimately sad and disturbing fictionalization of Gogol’s self-destruction. The humorous satire is vibrant from beginning to end, while the sense of tragedy subtly builds beneath the surface. The ultimate effect is a potent sense of the pointlessness of Golgol’s demise.
“Gogol’s Wife” is reminiscent of Gogol stories such as “The Overcoat” and, far more, “The Nose.” The story is humorously absurd, tragic, and strangely touching. It is both a tribute to Gogol the writer and a scathing satire of Gogol the man.
3. Dialogue on the Greater Harmonies
4. The Two Old Maids
5. Wedding Night
6. The Death of the King of France
7. Giovanni and His Wife
9. A Romantic’s Letter on Gambling