Ivan Goncharov’s masterpiece—a magnificent farce about a gentleman who spends the better part of his life in bed—brilliantly employs humor to explore the absurdities and injustices of an outmoded social order.
The book was considered a satire of Russian nobility whose social and economic function was increasingly questioned in mid-nineteenth century Russia. The novel was popular when it came out, and some of its characters and devices have imprinted on Russian culture and language.
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