Dead Souls, Drop-Cap Edition

I’m beyond thrilled to point your attention to a few new pages on the site! For those of you still missing out on the joy that is Gogol’s Dead Souls, you can now read the book for free here.

Laying it out has me thinking a lot about formatting, and what my literary forebear might have thought about seeing his work onscreen. Unless you’re sitting in a cubicle pretending to work – in which case, by all means scroll away! – you may want to skip down to the bottom of each section of the book and use the “Share/Save” button to email the text to yourself or create a printer-friendly version.

The best part, though, is that the text comes lavishly illustrated (I’ve always wanted to write that phrase) with beautiful drop-cap typography by designer-illustrator extraordinaire Jessica Hische. I’ve long been a fan of her amazing Daily Drop Cap project and am so excited to feature her work here.

In fact, she and I briefly worked together in the same office, Studiomates – the one I poke fun at in Excerpt 2 – which was when she was running her genius “The Internet Sends Me Cake” project. I’m more of a pie girl myself, but I wasn’t one to turn down free baked goods by mail.

When I emailed her recently to say thank you I sent along this picture of the view from my window where I write. I like to think of it as an analog analogue of her work, which you see in its multi-branched goodness right here.

Now go forth and Gogol it up! I have that half-jealous, half-wistful feeling that’s only produced by wishing you could read one of your favorite books for the first time again…

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