Talk:The Overcoat

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The final paragraph of this article (visible only when editing) requires both citation and copy-editing to conform to the standard set by the rest of the article. Thank you in advance for your help. Grammar nazi 04:27, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Changed the trivia about Lahiri's book "The Namesake" to say the name of the protagonist is Gogol (previously it listed the name of the protagonist as Nikolai Gogol, which is incorrect -- it is Gogol Ganguly). -- 9 July 2006

Personal interpretations[edit]

I think that these sentences are out of place in this article. "The overcoat is a philosophical tale in the tradition of a stoic philosopher or Schopenhauer. It is a powerful tale of vanity, expectation and illusion. Perhaps Bob Dylan said it best, "If you ain't got nothin, you got nothin to lose."" 02:32, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

You're right - a user added that section recently. According to WP:NOT, personal interpretations are not allowed on wikipedia, so that section should only mention the interpretations of notable critics, and should give references. I'm kinda loath to remove too much of it (I'm not an expert on Gogol) so I'm just removing the last sentence, which sounds far too much like an essay. Esn 04:43, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Why is it necessary to insist that Akaky's corpse is actually a ghost? Gogol describes physical atributes of the corpse including, "a terrible odor of the grave" coming from, "the dead man's mouth." Sounds like a corpse to me.

Daniel —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:38, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Some English translations call it a ghost. The copy I read for school called it a ghost, but unfortunately I cannot give any additional information (publisher, translator, etc.) because the teacher gave us photocopied handouts without that information. --Icarus (Hi!) 04:22, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
The English translation published by Penguin Classics in the collection "Diary of a Madman and Other Short Stories" (1972) uses the word ghost. I don't get into lit crit arguments (I just lose), but I don't know that the article should insist either way that Akaky's posthumous appearance in the story is a ghost or a corpse. For the sake of preserving NPOV, I think it's best to just use the word most commonly translated in English. The version I read does use ghost, but if corpse is a more common translation, let's go with that. Dpetley (talk) 01:48, 17 January 2010 (UTC)


I think that the declaration that Gogol was a Ukrainian writer is erroneous, because it gives the impression that he was an actual Ukrainian author, though he never produced a single work in the Ukranian language. I think is more appropriate to lable him a Russian writer of Ukranian origin. I have removed the description in favor of Russian, which is how Gogol is described in his dedicated page.

MEvL —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 07:49, 16 January 2007 (UTC).

Stylistic Concerns[edit]

Why are there two spellings for the main character's name, namely Akakii and Akaky? Also, why are links to other Wiki articles used for such common words as "cat" and "beaver", which are not central to this article? Might as well add one for "overcoat" while you're at it. --Raaronson 17:05, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

The name Akaky is spelled three or four different ways in the summary. Which one is standard? IGeek (talk) 00:21, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Quote misattribution[edit]

The phrase "We all come out from Gogol's 'Overcoat'." was originally coined by Melchior de Vogüé. It was first used in an his article about Fyodor Dostoyevsky in "Revue ties deux Mondes" (1885. № 1), and subsequently misattributed to the article's subject. This is explained in Russian Dictionary of Quotations at, with references to the original research by Soviet literary critic S.A.Reiser in "Voprosy Literatury" 1968. № 2. Since this information is too unwieldy to be in the opening paragraph, the quote should probably be removed from there, and a separate paragraph explaining quote's origins inserted into the article.

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