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About the Author: Nikolai Leskov

Nikolaj S. Leskow
Nikolai Leskov
Nikolaj Semënovič Leskov
Николай Лесков
NikolaÄ­ Semenovich Leskov
Nikolai Ljeskow
Н. С. Лѣсков-Стебницкий
Микола Лєсков

Nikolai Semyonovich Leskov (Russian: Николай Семёнович Лесков; 16 February 1831 — 5 March 1895) was a Russian novelist, short story writer, playwright, and journalist who also wrote under the pseudonym M. Stebnitsky. Praised for his unique writing style and innovative experiments in form, and held in high esteem by Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov and Maxim Gorky among others, Leskov is credited with creating a comprehensive picture of contemporary Russian society using mostly short literary forms. His major works include Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (1865) (which was later made into an opera by Shostakovich), The Cathedral Clergy (1872), The Enchanted Wanderer (1873), and "The Tale of Cross-eyed Lefty from Tula and the Steel Flea" (1881).

Leskov was born at his parent's estate in Oryol Gubernia in 1831. He received his formal education at the Oryol Lyceum. In 1847 Leskov joined the Oryol criminal court office, later transferring to Kiev where he worked as a clerk, attended university lectures, mixed with local people, and took part in various student circles. In 1857 Leskov quit his job as a clerk and went to work for the private trading company Scott & Wilkins owned by Alexander Scott, his aunt's English husband. He spent several years traveling throughout Russia on company business. It was in these early years that Leskov learned local dialects and became keenly interested in the customs and ways of the different ethnic and regional groups of Russian peoples. His experiences during these travels provided him with material and inspiration for his future as a writer of fiction.

Leskov's literary career began in the early 1860s with the publication of his short story "The Extinguished Flame" (1862), and his novellas Musk-Ox (May 1863) and The Life of a Peasant Woman (September, 1863). His first novel No Way Out was published under the pseudonym M. Stebnitsky in 1864. From the mid 1860s to the mid 1880s Leskov published a wide range of works, including journalism, sketches, short stories, and novels. Leskov's major works, many of which continue to be published in modern versions, were written during this time. A number of his later works were banned because of their satirical treatment of the Russian Orthodox Church and its functionaries. In his last years Leskov suffered from angina pectoris and asthma. He died on 5 March 1895. He was interred in the Volkovo Cemetery in Saint Petersburg, in the section reserved for literary figures.

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ISBN10: 1446097781 | ISBN13: 9781446097786

Escrita al modo de un cuento tradicional ruso, y dotada de una comicidad, de un descaro y de una frescura inigualables, esta nouvelle, cuyo título completo podría ser traducido como Relato sobre el zurdo bizco de Tula y la pulga de acero es todo un clásico de la literatura occidental.
Cuando el Zar Alejandro visita Inglaterra acompañado de su fiel general, el cosaco del Don Platov, los ingleses, para impresionarle, le regalan un minúsculo autómata, una máquina prodigiosa, que solo puede ser contemplada si se mira a través de un microscopio: una pulga de acero mecánica, que cuando se le da cuerda, efectúa un danse. Espoleados por el afán de competencia, los rusos se proponen encontrar al artesano que sea capaz de construir una pulga igual, para así demostrar a los ingleses de lo que los rusos son capaces. Hasta que, tras una búsqueda por toda Rusia, aparece «el Zurdo», el prodigiodo artesano bizco de Tula.

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