“The Undertaker” is a supernatural gothic tale by Pushkin, which features Adrian Prokhorov, an undertaker, who comes to a new place. He is a very straight-forward man, and does not tolerate deviation from the norm. He is then invited to a wedding by his neighbours, where a lot of drinking is spent. The supernatural is just round the corner when a mishandled toast is proposed. The picturesque depiction of the danse macabre/walking-dead midnight party is exceptional, and Pushkin succeeds in portraying the horrifying aspect completely. A chilling story with a surprise ending that is not to be read after dark.
Deservedly labelled “the best Russian poet”, Pushkin’s short life (1799–1837) did not prevent him from ushering Russian literature into its modern era. A master of the vernacular language and multifarious and vivid writing style, Pushkin’s oeuvre was of great influence to a whole legion of Russian writers and literary styles. Among his best-known works are the narrative poems “Ruslan and Ludmila” and “Eugene Onegin”, the drama “Boris Godunov”, several novels, short stories, and fairy tales.