The Black Mass 8: Diary of a Madman by Nikolai Gogol

Join us on Fri­day 9th April at a lit­tle after 12 noon or 4pm Pacif­ic time for anoth­er episode in the land­mark radio dra­ma series The Black Mass, cre­at­ed by the late Erik Bauers­feld and his col­leagues at the Paci­fi­ca radio sta­tion KPFA in Berke­ley, Cal­i­for­nia, over fifty years ago. In 30 chill­ing tales of mys­tery, imag­i­na­tion and the human mind, The Black Mass brings you some of literature’s most haunt­ing sto­ries, by mas­ters of the craft — many of whom are best-known in oth­er fields.

Note that the episode will not start until the track play­ing at the top of the hour has fin­ished, so the actu­al start time of the episode will be a few min­utes after the hour.

Today: Diary of a Mad­man by Niko­lai Gogol

“Diary of a Mad­man” (1835) is a far­ci­cal short sto­ry by Niko­lai Gogol. Along with “The Over­coat” and “The Nose”, “Diary of a Mad­man” is con­sid­ered to be one of Gogol’s great­est short sto­ries. It’s also one of the most impres­sive in the Black Mass series. The tale cen­ters on the life of a minor civ­il ser­vant dur­ing the repres­sive era of Nicholas I. Fol­low­ing the for­mat of a diary, the sto­ry shows the descent of the pro­tag­o­nist, Popr­ishchin, into insan­i­ty. “Diary of a Mad­man”, the only one of Gogol’s works writ­ten in first per­son, fol­lows diary-entry format.

The Black Mass art­work was cre­at­ed by Ter­ry Lightfoot.