by Nikolai Gogol
Read in Diary of a Madman and Other Stories, Penguin Classics Edition
This is another one where I had to actually break down and buy the book. The Nose is an early short story by Nikolai Gogol- mid 1830s, and it's probably the shortest entry on the entire 1001 Books To Read Before You Die list. I'm interested to see how the list handles the increased popularity of the short story in mid 20th century literature. Personally I am NOT a fan of the format: It's like getting a 7" of a band- great as far as it goes but how much time can it possibly occupy?
|A human nose.|
That being said it's clear why this short story, written in the 1830s, would be included because the surrealist tone is way ahead of comparable literature. This is probably the first entry on the entire list, chronologically speaking, that would pass as work of modernist fiction.