For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“Diary of a Madman”

Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

Excerpt

October 11h. — To-day is Wednesday, and I was as usual in the office. I came early on purpose, sat down, and mended all the pens.

Our director must be a very clever man. The whole room is full of bookcases. I read the titles of some of the books; they were very learned, beyond the comprehension of people of my class, and all in French and German. I look at his face; see! how much dignity there is in his eyes. I never hear a single superfluous word from his mouth, except that when he hands over the documents, he asks “What sort of weather is it?”

No, he is not a man of our class; he is a real statesman. I have already noticed that I am a special favourite of his. If now his daughter also — ah! what folly — let me say no more about it!

I have read the Northern Bee. What foolish people the French are! By heavens! I should like to tackle them all, and give them a thrashing. I have also read a fine description of a ball given by a landowner of Kursk. The land-owners of Kursk write a fine style.

Then I noticed that it was already half-past twelve, and the director had not yet left his bedroom. But about half-past one something happened which no pen can describe.

We read it in Memoirs of a Madman.