Trifling kopecks groaning on abacus» N. V. Shebalin’s textual criticism on Nikolai Gogol’s «Dead Souls»

The article is a tribute to the memory of late Nikita V. Shebalin and examines one of his remarks on the text of Gogol’s “Dead Souls”. Shebalin believed that the description of negotiations between Chichikov and Plyushkin contains an arithmetic error. The author shows that the mistake is indeed present in the draft version, but there is no reason to suppose the error in the final text. The total sum given in the later is correct, and Chichikov’s suppression of part of his reckoning (“at thirty kopecks each” instead of “at thirty-two kopecks each”) appears to be a fine psychological touch rather than a mistake.