by Nikolai Gogol
Collegiate Assessor Kovalev Timeline and Summary
- Collegiate Assessor Kovalev wakes up without his nose.
- He keeps checking in the mirror, but no, definitely totally gone.
- When he heads out into the street, he can't catch a cab and has to walk.
- Kovalev pops into a restaurant to check a mirror again, and when he comes out he sees his nose—which is now a State Councilor (much higher rank).
- After following the nose, Kovalev confronts it in a fancy pants shopping center—but the nose denies being his nose. The nerve!
- Not sure what to do, Kovalev goes to a newspaper office to put an ad in the paper.
- The clerk there listens to his story, checks out his face, but refuses to run the ad because it'll affect the paper's credibility.
- He offers Kovalev snuff—which Kovalev of course can't use because he has no nose. Not very sensitive, Mr. Clerk.
- Kovalev goes to the police, but the inspector there just reams him out for interrupting dinner.
- At home, Kovalev is about to give up when a cop shows up with the nose in a handkerchief.
- Kovalev is psyched, but the nose won't stick back on his face.
- He calls for a doctor, who shows up and tells him there's nothing to be done, and offers to buy the nose. Hijinks!
- The doctor is actually his nose in disguise.
- Kovalev writes an angry letter to Madame Podtochina, the mother of his latest crush, accusing her of doing the nose thing.
- Her return letter is all confused and apologetic, and she obviously has no idea what he's talking about.
- So he decides to marry her daughter.
- Until, that is, he wakes up two weeks later, and his nose is back.
- Thrilled, he immediately goes out to see some friends.
- On the way, he is contemptuous of any dude with a smaller nose than his.
- He runs into Madame Podtochina and her daughter, flirts a little, and decides not to marry the girl after all.
- He's perfectly happy to spend the rest of his life as social climber, and his nose stays put from then on.