The Overcoat by Nikolai Gogol

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"The Overcoat by Nikolai Gogol. I go back to it because I can't figure out the source of its magic. But I also can't deny that magic—it's present in every paragraph. The story has a great heart. It's saying something deep about what we need to do (be kind) and why it's so hard (people are strange and off-putting). It's crazy and self-contradictory and naughty and reckless. It refused to be reduced. It has this God's-eye feeling—this feeling of a Creator looking down on the flawed world He's created, with pity but also ferocity."
George Saunders, author of Tenth of December