(1809 – 1852)
(1809-52), a Russian writer.
Literary fame to Gogol brought a collection of “Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka” (1831-32), full of Ukrainian ethnographic and folklore material, marked by romantic sentiments, lyricism and humor. The novels from the collections Mirgorod and Arabesques (both 1835) open a realistic period of Gogol’s work. The theme of humiliation of the “little man” most fully embodied in the story “Overcoat” (1842), which is associated with the formation of a natural school. The grotesque beginning of the Petersburg novels (The Nose, Portrait, etc.) was developed in the comedy The Inspector General (staged in 1836) as a phantasmagoria of the official bureaucratic world. In the poem-novel “Dead Souls”
Years of learning. Moving to St. Petersburg
First, Gogol studied at the Poltava Uyezd School (1818-19), then took private lessons from the Poltava teacher Gabriel Sorochinsky, living with him at the apartment, and in May 1821 entered the newly founded Nezhin High School. Gogol studied rather average, but he was different in the gymnasium theater as an actor and decorator. The first literary experiments in verse and in prose, primarily in “lyrical and serious” genre, refer to the gymnasium period, but also in the comic spirit, for example, the satire “Something about Nezhin, or Fools does not write the law” (not preserved). Most of all, however, Gogol occupies at this time the idea of public service in the field of justice; such a decision arose not without the influence of Professor NG Belousov, who taught natural law and was later dismissed from the gymnasium on charges of “
At the end of the gymnasium Gogol in December 1828, together with one of his closest friends, AS Danilevsky comes to Petersburg, where he is trapped by a series of strikes and disappointments: it is impossible to get the desired place; the poem “Ganz Küchelgarten”, written, apparently, still in the gymnasium and published in 1829 (under the pseudonym V. Alov) meets the detestable responses of reviewers (Gogol immediately buys almost the entire circulation of the book and betrays his fire); to this, perhaps, the love experiences, about which he spoke in a letter to his mother (from July 24, 1829), were added. All this makes Gogol suddenly leave Petersburg for Germany.
On his return to Russia (in September of the same year), Gogol finally manages to make his first appointment to the Department of State Economy and Public Buildings, and then to the Department of the Units. The official activity does not bring satisfaction to Gogol; but his new publications (the story “Bisavryuk, or Evening on the eve of Ivan Kupala,” articles and essays) are attracting increasing attention to him. The writer makes extensive literary acquaintances, in particular, with VA Zhukovsky, PA Pletnev, who at home in May 1831 (apparently, the 20th) introduced Gogol to AS Pushkin.
“Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka”
In the autumn of the same year, the first part of the collection of stories from Ukrainian life “Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka” (next year there was the second part), enthusiastically greeted by Pushkin: “This is real gay, sincere, easy, without affectation, without stiffness And in places what poetry! … “. At the same time, the “gaiety” of Gogol’s book revealed various shades from light-hearted banter to a somber comic, close to black humor. For all the fullness and sincerity of the feelings of Gogol’s characters, the world in which they live is tragically conflict: there is a dissolution of natural and kinship ties, mysterious surreal forces invade the natural order of things (the fantastic relies mainly on folk demonology). Already in the “Evening…”
After the publication of the first prosaic book by Gogol, the famous writer. In the summer of 1832 he was greeted with enthusiasm in Moscow, where he met MP Pogodin, ST Aksakov and his family, MS Shchepkin, and others. The next trip of Gogol to Moscow, as successful, took place in the summer of 1835. By the end of this year he leaves the field of pedagogy (since the summer of 1834 he was an associate professor of the general history of St. Petersburg University) and devotes himself entirely to literary work.
“Mirgorodsky” and “Petersburg” cycles. “Inspector”
1835 is unusual for the creative intensity and breadth of Gogol’s designs. This year, the following two collections of prose works “Arabesques” and “Mirgorod” (both in two parts); work on the poem “Dead Souls” was started, the comedy “The Inspector General” was finished, the first edition of the comedy “Grooms” (the future “Marriage”) was written. Reporting on the new creations of the writer, including the forthcoming premiere of the “Inspector General” at the Alexandrinsky Theater (April 19, 1836), Pushkin noted in his Contemporary: “Mr. Gogol goes even further.” We wish and hope to have often a chance to speak about him in our magazine. ” By the way, Gogol was actively published in Pushkin’s magazine, in particular, as a critic (article “
“Mirgorod” and “Arabesques” have designated new art worlds on the map of the Gogolian universe. Thematically close to the “Evenings…” (“Little Russian” life), the Mirgorod cycle, which unites the stories “Old-World Landowners”, “Taras Bulba”, “Viy”, “The Tale of Ivan Ivanovich’s Collapse with Ivan Nikiforovich”, discovers a sharp change in perspective and visual scale: instead of strong and sharp characteristics vulgarity and facelessness of the townsfolk; Instead of poetic and deep feelings, sluggish, almost reflex movements. The ordinaryity of modern life was shaded by the color and extravagance of the past, but the more dramatically it manifested itself in this past, in this past, deep internal conflict (for example, in “Taras Bulba” the collision of individualized love feelings with community interests). The world of the “Petersburg stories” from “Arabesque” (“Nevsky Prospekt”, “Notes of the Madman”, “Portrait”, adjoined to them later published, respectively, in 1836 and 1842, “Nose” and “Overcoat”) is the world of a modern city with his acute social and ethical collisions, fractures of characters, an alarming and illusory atmosphere. Gogol’s generalization reaches the highest degree in the “Inspector General”, in which the “prefabricated city” mimics the life activity of any larger social association, up to the state, the Russian Empire, or even humanity as a whole. Instead of the traditional active engine of the intrigue of the rogue or adventurer, an involuntary deceiver (an alleged inspector of Khlestakov) was placed in the epicenter of the collision, which gave the whole thing an extra, grotesque lighting, reinforced to the limit by the final “silent scene”. Freed from the specific details of the “punishment of vice”, which primarily conveys the effect of the general shock (which was emphasized by the symbolic duration of the moment of petrification), this scene opened the possibility of a wide variety of interpretations, including the eschatological as a reminder of the imminent Dread Judgment.
In June 1836 Gogol (again with Danilevsky) went abroad, where he spent a total of more than 12 years, except for two visits to Russia in 1839-40 and in 1841-42. The writer lived in Germany, Switzerland, France, Austria, the Czech Republic, but the longest in Italy, continuing work on the “Dead Souls”, whose plot (as well as the “Inspector”) was suggested to him by Pushkin. Gogol’s inherent generalization of scale now received a spatial expression: as Chichikov’s scam developed (the purchase of “revision souls” for deceased people), Russian life was to unfold in a variety of ways, not only from the “low ranks of it”, but also in higher, more significant manifestations. At the same time, the whole depth of the key motif of the poem was revealed: the concept of a “dead soul” and the resulting antithesis of the “living” dead “from the realm of concrete usage (the deceased peasant, the” revision soul “) moved into the sphere of portable and symbolic semantics. The problem arose of the necrosis and the revival of the human soul, and in this connection of society as a whole, the Russian world above all, but through him and the whole Modernity of the modern humanity. “The genre specificity of Dead Souls is connected with the complexity of the idea (the designation” poem “indicated the symbolic meaning of the work, the special role of the narrator and the positive author’s ideal.) The second volume of” Dead Souls. ” nye Passages from Correspondence with Friends ” and in connection with this society as a whole, the Russian world above all, but through him and all of modern mankind. The genre specificity of the Dead Souls is associated with the complexity of the idea (the designation “poem” indicated the symbolic meaning of the work, the special role of the narrator and the positive author’s ideal). The second volume of Dead Souls. “Selected places from correspondence with friends” and in connection with this society as a whole, the Russian world above all, but through him and all of modern mankind. The genre specificity of the Dead Souls is associated with the complexity of the idea (the designation “poem” indicated the symbolic meaning of the work, the special role of the narrator and the positive author’s ideal). The second volume of Dead Souls. “Selected places from correspondence with friends”
After the publication of the first volume (1842), the work on the second volume (begun as far back as 1840) proceeded particularly strenuously and painfully. In the summer of 1845, Gogol burns the manuscript of this volume in a serious state of mind, explaining his decision later precisely because the “ways and roads” to the ideal, the revival of the human spirit, did not receive a sufficiently truthful and convincing expression. As if to compensate for the long-promised second volume and anticipating the general movement of the meaning of the poem, Gogol addressed himself to a more direct, publicistic explanation of his ideas in “Selected Places from Correspondence with Friends” (1847). With particular force, the need for internal Christian upbringing and re-education of everyone was stressed in this book, without which no public improvements are possible. At the same time Gogol also works on theological works,
In April 1848, after a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to the grave of the Lord, Gogol finally returns to his homeland. He spent many months of 1848 and 1850-51on in Odessa and Little Russia, in the autumn of 1848 he went to Petersburg, in 1850 and 1851 he visited Optina desert, but most of the time he lives in Moscow.
By the beginning of 1852 the second volume was re-created, the chapter from which Gogol read to the closest friends AO Smirnova-Rosset, SP Shevyrev, MP Pogodin, ST Aksakov and his family members and others. The father of Matvei (Konstantinovsky), whose preaching of rigorism and relentless moral self-perfection largely determined the mood of Gogol in the last period of his life, disapproved of the work of the Rzhev archpriest. On the night of 11 to 12 February, in a house on Nikitsky Boulevard, where Gogol lived at the Count AP Tolstoy, in a state of profound spiritual crisis, the writer burned a new edition of the second volume. A few days later, on the morning of February 21, he dies. The funeral of the writer took place at a huge gathering of people in the cemetery of the St. Daniel Monastery (in 1931 Gogol’s remains were reburied at the Novodevichy Cemetery).
In the historical perspective, Gogol’s creativity was revealed gradually, exposing with deeper time its deeper levels. For its immediate successors, representatives of the so-called natural school, social motives, the lifting of all prohibitions on the topic and material, domestic concreteness, as well as humanistic pathos in the depiction of the “little man” were of paramount importance. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries the Christian philosophical and moral problems of Gogol’s works were revealed with special force, later the perception of Gogol’s creativity was supplemented by the feeling of the special complexity and irrationality of his artistic world and the prophetic boldness and unconventionality of his pictorial manner. “Gogol’s prose is at least four-dimensional, comparable to his contemporary mathematician Lobachevsky,