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The Nose

The Nose

by Nikolai Gogol

The Nose Part 1 Summary

  • Barber Ivan Yakovlevitch chowing down on some brekkie with his grumpy wife, when he finds a nose in his freshly baked roll.
  • (That makes us feel a little better about all the dog hair in our baked goods.)
  • He immediately recognizes the nose—it belongs to Collegiate Assessor Kovalev, one of the barber's regular shaving clients.
  • His wife starts yelling at him for being a no-good drunk—you know, like you do when you find a nose on the breakfast table. She demands he get rid of this nose.
  • The barber is all timid and brow-beaten and has no idea where to ditch the thing. He decides to just throw it into a gutter somewhere.
  • But of course, as he's walking around, he keeps bumping into people he knows. And he can't just throw the nose away in full view of everyone, right?
  • Instead, he decides to chuck it into the river Neva, remembering that Kovalev is always complaining about the barber's hands smelling bad.
  • He throws the nose into the water and feels a ton better immediately.
  • Just then, a cop shows up and starts asking the barber questions about what he's been doing on the bridge over the river.
  • Suddenly the story cuts out with the narrator saying something weird about how no one knows what happened next.

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