"The Overcoat" (Russian: Шинель, Shinel; sometimes translated as "The Cloak") is the title of a short story by Russian author of Ukrainian descent Nikolai Gogol, published in 1842. Russian ( transliteration:,) is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia, the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages Russian ( transliteration:,) is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia, the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages Ukraine (Україна Ukrayina, /ukrɑˈjinɑ/ is a country in Eastern Europe. Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (Никола́й Васи́льевич Го́голь Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol;; Микола Васильович Гоголь Year 1842 ( MDCCCXLII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common The story and its author have had great influence on Russian literature, thus spawning Fyodor Dostoevsky's famous quote: "We all come out from Gogol's 'Overcoat'. This article is about literature from Russia For the song by Maxïmo Park, see Our Earthly Pleasures. Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский, sometimes transliterated Dostoyevsky, Dostoievsky, " The story has been adapted into a variety of stage and film interpretations.
The story centers on the life and death of Akakii Akakievich, an impoverished government clerk and copyist in the Russian capital of St. Petersburg. Saint Petersburg ( tr: Sankt-Peterburg,) is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River Akakii is dedicated to his job, taking special relish in the hand-copying of documents, though little recognized in his department for his hard work. Instead, the younger clerks tease him and attempt to distract him whenever they can. His threadbare overcoat is often the butt of their jokes. Akakii decides it is necessary to have the coat repaired, so he takes it to his tailor, Petrovich, who declares the coat irreparable, telling Akakii he must buy a new overcoat.
The cost of a new overcoat is beyond Akakii's meagre salary, so he forces himself to live within a strict budget to save sufficient money to buy the new overcoat. Meantime, he and Petrovich frequently meet to discuss the style of the new coat. During that time, Akakii's zeal for copying is replaced with excitement about his new overcoat, to the point that he thinks of little else. Finally, with the addition of an unexpectedly large holiday salary bonus, Akakii has saved enough money to buy a new overcoat.
Akakii and Petrovich go to the shops in St. Petersberg and pick the finest materials they can afford (beaver fur is unaffordable, but they buy the best cat fur available for the collar). Beavers are two primarily nocturnal semi-aquatic species of Rodent, one native to North America and one to Europe WikipediaManual of Style (spelling, articles should conform to one overall spelling style of English typically the one most linked to the article topic (if it is geographic The new coat is of impressively good quality and appearance, and is the talk of Akakii's office on the day he arrives wearing it. His clerk superior decides to host a party honoring the new overcoat, at which the habitually solitary Akakii is out of place; after the event, Akakii goes home from the party, far later than he normally would. Enroute home, two ruffians confront him, take his coat, kick him down, and leave him unconscious in the snow.
Akakii finds no help from the authorities in recovering his lost overcoat. Finally, on the advice of another clerk in his department, he asks for help from a "Very Important Person" (sometimes translated the prominent person, the person of consequence), a high-ranking general. The narrator notes that the general habitually belittles subordinates in attempting to appear more important than he truly is. After keeping Akakii waiting an unnecessarily long time, the general demands of him exactly why he has brought so trivial a matter to him, personally, and not presented it to his secretary (the procedure for separating the VIPerson from the lesser clerks).
Socially inept, Akakii makes an unflattering remark concerning departmental secretaries, provoking so powerful a scolding from the general that he nearly faints and must be led from the general's office. Soon afterwards, Akakii falls sick with fever, likely to die. In his last hours, he is delirious, imagining himself again sitting before the VIP, who is again scolding him. At first, Akakii pleads forgiveness, but as his death nears, he curses the general.
Soon, Akakii's ghost (Gogol uses "corpse" to describe the ghost of Akakii) is reportedly haunting areas of St. Petersburg, taking overcoats from people; the police refusing to approach and stop him. Finally, Akakii's ghost catches up with the VIP — who, since Akakii's death, had felt very guilty over having mistreated him — and takes his overcoat, scaring him severely; satisfied, Akakii is not seen again. The narrator ends his narration with the account of another ghost seen in another part of the city, but that one was taller and had a moustache, bearing a resemblance to the criminals who had robbed Akakii earlier.
Gogol makes much of Akakii's name in the opening passages, saying, "It may strike the reader as rather singular and far-fetched; but he may feel assured that it was by no means far-fetched, and that the circumstances were such that it would have been impossible to give him any other name. . . " In one way, the name Akakii Akakievich is similar to "John Johnson" and has similar comedic value; it also communicates Akakii's role as an everyman. Moreover, the name sounds strikingly similar to the word "obkakat'" in Russian, a word which means "to smear with excrement," or kaka, which means "poop. " In addition to the scatological pun, the literal meaning of the name, derived from the Greek, is "harmless" or "lacking evil", showcasing the humiliation it must have taken to drive his ghost to violence.
Akakii progresses from an introverted, hopeless but functioning non-entity with no expectations of social or material success to one whose self-esteem and thereby expectations are raised by the overcoat. Co-workers start noticing him and complimenting him on his coat and he ventures out into the social world. His hopes are quickly dashed by the theft of the coat. He attempts to enlist the police in recovery of the coat and employs some inept rank jumping by going to a very important and high ranking individual but his lack of status (perhaps lack of the coat) is obvious and he is treated with disdain. He is plunged into illness (depression?) and cannot function. He dies quickly and without putting up much of a fight. The overcoat is a philosophical tale in the tradition of a stoic philosopher or Schopenhauer.
The story's ending has sparked great debate amongst literary scholars, who disagree about the existence, purpose, and disappearance of Akakii's ghost. Edward Proffitt theorized that the ghost did not, in fact, exist at all and that Gogol used the ghost as a means of parodying literary convention. Proponents of the view that the story is a form of social protest prefer to see the ghost's attack on the Very Important Person as a reversal of power from the oppressor to the oppressed. Yet another view states that Akakii's return from the grave is symbolic of society's collective remorse, experienced as a result of failing to treat Akakii with compassion.
The appearance of the second ghost is similarly unexplained. Was it the mustachioed robbers who stole Akakii's coat originally? Does this mean that Akakii was, himself, robbed by ghosts? Was he, perhaps, not robbed at all, or possibly never had the new overcoat at all? Akakii's deteriorating mental state, brought about by fever and malnourishment, may have been responsible for many of his sufferings, including the existence of an overcoat far superior to his own.
Another interpretation is that the story is a parable. Akakii's job, as a copier, can be compared to that of a monk, whose main job is to copy the Word, as Akakii does. He is taunted much by his fellow worker, much as Jesus was, and also like Jesus tempted by the devil, or the drunk, smoky, and harsh coat maker, marked as the devil by his habit of drinking on the sabbath. However, unlike Jesus, Akakii accepts the coat and becomes popular, until he has the coat stolen. One scene that shows what the coat has done to Akakii can be seen as he leaves the party, returning to his plain district before he has his coat stolen. As he returns to this area, he looks around and very much dislikes his living area. Before he had the coat, he was completely fine with his living area and completely fine with his life. With the overcoat, he finds he wants more. And after he loses his overcoat, he cannot function and simply dies.
A number of films have used the story, both in the Soviet Union and in other countries:
One film is currently in the process of being made: animation director Yuriy Norshteyn has been slowly and laboriously working on a (presumably) full-length animated film version of 'The Overcoat' since 1981. An animation director is the director in charge of all aspects of the animation process during the production of an animated film or animated segment for a live-action film Yuriy Borisovich Norshteyn (Ю́рий Бори́сович Норште́йн or Yuri Norstein or Yuri Norshtein (born Year 1981 ( MCMLXXXI) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link displays the 1981 A couple of short, low-resolution clips from the project have been made available: .
The Russian composer German Okunev was working on a ballet version of 'The Overcoat' at the time of his death in 1973: it was completed and orchestrated by V. German Grigoryevich Okunev (b Leningrad 12 June 1931, d Leningrad 12 June 1973) was a Soviet Russian Ballet is a formalized form of Dance with its origins in the French court further developed in France and Russia as a Concert dance Sapozhnikov.
A recent adaptation by Morris Panych and Wendy Gorling, set to various music by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, was performed by actors using dance and mime. Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich ( Russian: ru Дмитрий Дмитриевич Шостакович ( &ndash 9 August 1975 was a Russian Composer  A film version was produced by the CBC.
The Danish choreographer Flemming Flindt created a version for Dennis Nahat and the Clevelend-San Jose Ballet. The principal role was performed by Rudolph Nureyev at the world premiere at the Edinburgh Festival in the summer of 1990.
In Jhumpa Lahiri's novel The Namesake, "The Overcoat" is central to the plot, and the namesake of the protagonist is Gogol. Jhumpa Lahiri ( IPA: /ˈdʒuːmpʌ lʌˈhɪəriː/ (born Nilanjana Sudeshna on 11 July 1967) ( Bengali: ঝুম্পা লাহিড়ী The Namesake (2003 is the second book by author Jhumpa Lahiri.
A short film by Jason Steele is called "The Cloak", and stars an anti-communism Cloak and the disembodied head of Noir Film legend Robert Mitchum. Robert Charles Durman Mitchum ( August 6, 1917 &ndash July 1, 1997) was an Academy Award nominated American film