Nikolay Vasilyeviç Gogol (31 Mart 1809 – 4 Mart 1852) gerçekçi Rus roman ve oyun yazarı. Gogol orta halli toprak sahibi bir ailenin çocuğu olarak Ukrayna’da Soroçinski Köyü’nde dünyaya gelir. Gogol’un çocukluğu köy hayatı ile ve yoğun Kazak kültürü etkisi’nde geçer. Bu hayatın etkisi ileride yazacağı eserlere de yansıyacaktır. Gogol gençlik yıllarında şiire ve edebiyata ilgi duyar. 1828’de Petersburg’a gider. Orada memur olmayı ve bir şekilde geçinmeyi umar ancak işler umduğu gibi gitmez. Gogol Petersburg’dan Almanya’ya gider ancak orada da parası bitene kadar kalabilir. Tekrar Petersburg’a dönüp iş arayan Gogol bu sefer çok düşük bir maaşla da olsa devlet memuru olarak çalışmaya başlar. Bu görevden de bir sene sonra ayrılır.
Gogol, 1836’da Puşkin’in çıkardığı Sovremennik adlı dergide, yergili öykülerinin en neşelilerinden biri olan Araba’yı ve eğlenceli ve iğneleyici bir üslûpla yazılmış gerçeküstücü öyküsü Burun’u yayınlar. Yazar yazın sanatında büyük ölçüde Puşkin’in etkisi altındadır. Öyle ki onun eleştirileri ve telkinleri olmadan yazamayacağını düşünür. Yazarın Puşkin’le olan arkadaşlığı, onu aldığı acımasız eleştirilerden de koruyan en büyük güçtür.
Puşkin’in ölümünden sonra Gogol’un popülaritesi daha da artar. Bu ilgi Gogol?da bir öncülük hissi yaratır ve kendine toplumu değiştirmek, insanlara yol göstermek gibi misyonlar edinir. Bu dönemde eski yaratıcılığını kaybettiği söylenebilir. Dine karşı ilgisi artar ve daha önce eleştirdiği kiliseyi dahi övmeye başlar. Bu davranış hayranlarının tepkisini çeker ancak o bu tepkilere dinsel yorumlar katar ve Tanrı’nın gönlünü almak için ona daha da yakınlaşır. 1848’de kutsal toprakları ziyaret etmek için Filistin’e gider. Moskova’ya geri dönen Gogol orada Matvey Konstantinovski adlı gerici bir rahibin etkisi ile 1852 yılında Ölü Canlar romanının ikinci bölümünün el yazmalarını yakarak imha eder. Bu davranışından 10 gün sonra 43 yaşında Moskova’da ölür.
Gogol’ün tamamlayamadığı sadece taslaklarını kaleme aldığı Dördüncü Dereceden St.Vladimir Nişanı adlı oyunu ölümünden sonra Sasa Preis tamamlanmıştır. En iyi bilinen eseri Ölü Canlar’dır.
Bir Delinin Hatıra Defteri
Eski Zaman Beyleri
Nikolai Wassiljewitsch Gogol (Almanca)
Nikolai Wassiljewitsch Gogol wiss. Transliteration Nikolaj Vasil’evi? Gogol; * 20. Märzjul./ 1. April 1809greg. in Welyki Sorotschynzi, Oblast Poltawa, Ukraine; – 21. Februarjul./ 4. März 1852greg. in Moskau) war ein ukrainisch/russischer Schriftsteller.
Gogol wurde als Sohn eines ukrainischen Gutsbesitzers geboren. Nach dem Besuch des Gymnasiums in Nischyn und ersten literarischen Versuchen kam er 1828 in die Hauptstadt Sankt Petersburg und scheiterte beim Versuch, eine Anstellung an der dortigen Universität zu erhalten. Gogol unternahm eine Reise nach Deutschland und versuchte, ebenso erfolglos, Schauspieler zu werden. 1829 erhielt er eine Stelle im Staatsdienst. 1831 gab er seine Anstellung jedoch wieder auf und wurde Geschichtslehrer an einer Privatschule für Mädchen. Zu dieser Zeit lernte er den Dichter Alexander Puschkin kennen, der ihm den Weg in die russische Literatur wies. Er begann zu schreiben und feierte mit seinen volkstümlichen ukrainischen Erzählungen (Die Abende auf dem Vorwerke bei Dikanka) einen Überraschungserfolg. Schon in diesen Geschichten über ukrainische Bauern zeigt sich sein Hang zum Dämonischen. Es ist die einzigartige Kombination der derben Vertep-Komödiantik mit dem ukrainischen Lokalkolorit und märchenhafter, bisweilen unheimlicher Phantastik, die den Erzählband zum Erfolg machte. Noch überwiegt die Komik in der Darstellung der Teufel und Hexen, jedoch wird schon hier die Neigung zum alles durchdringenden Dämonischen deutlich, die sich in Gogols späteren Werken voll entwickeln sollte.
Eine weitere Sammlung von Dorfgeschichten, Mirgorod ( 1835), knüpft an den Erfolg der Abende an und nimmt bereits entscheidende Momente von Gogols reiferen Werken vorweg.
1834 wurde Gogol Professor am Lehrstuhl für Allgemeine Geschichte an der Universität Sankt Petersburg. In seinen Werken Der Revisor ( 1836), Die toten Seelen ( 1842) und Der Mantel (1842) karikierte er treffend die teils großspurige wie korrupte Lebensart des russischen Landadels. Als Gutsbesitzer lebten viele Adlige ein zurückgezogenes Leben auf ihren Landgütern. Ihre Söhne gingen meist als Offiziere zur Armee, wo sie spielten und sich duellierten. Die Bauern waren Leibeigene. Mit diesem Thema beschäftigt sich zum Beispiel der Roman “Die toten Seelen”: Ein Betrüger kauft darin Besitzurkunden über Leibeigene, die bereits verstorben sind.
Gogol erhielt viele Anregungen für seine Werke von seinem Freund Alexander Puschkin. So z.B. soll Der Revisor auf eine Idee Puschkins zurückgehen.
Zwischen 1836 und 1848 unternahm Gogol Reisen durch Deutschland, die Schweiz, Österreich, Frankreich und Italien und durchlief eine schwere schöpferische Krise. Zudem begann Gogol an einer paranoid-halluzinatorischen Psychose zu leiden, einer Form der Schizophrenie. 1848 begab er sich auf eine Wallfahrt nach Palästina und geriet unter den Einfluss eines exaltierten Priesters, der seine Werke als verderbt ansah. In einem Anfall religiösen Wahns verbrannte er daraufhin das Manuskript des zweiten Teils der ?Toten Seelen?. Zehn Tage später verstarb Gogol an den Folgen strengen religiösen Fastens im Alter von 42 Jahren.
Viele Jahre nach Gogols Tod wurde sein Grab zwecks einer Umbettung geöffnet und man fand das Skelett des Dichters völlig verdreht im Sarg liegend vor. Eine naheliegende Erklärung dafür ist, dass Gogol lebendig begraben wurde.
– Petersburger Novellen
– Die Abende auf dem Vorwerk bei Dikanka (1831/1832)
– Die Heirat (1833)
– Mirgorod (1835)
– Aufzeichnungen eines Wahnsinnigen (1835)
– Der Newski Prospekt (1835)
– Der Revisor (1835)
– Die Spieler (1836)
– Die Nase (1836)
– Der Mantel (1842)
– Die toten Seelen (1842)
– Ausgewählte Stellen aus dem Briefwechsel mit Freunden (1847)
– Taras Bulba
– Der blutige Banduraspieler
– Das Porträt
Nikolay Gogol (İngilizce)
19 [March 31, New Style], 1809, Sorochintsy, near Poltava, Ukraine, Russian Empire [now in Ukraine]
died Feb. 21 [March 4], 1852, Moscow, RussiaUkrainian-born Russian humorist, dramatist, and novelist, whose novel Myortvye dushi (Dead Souls) and whose short story ?Shinel? (?The Overcoat?) are considered the foundations of the great 19th-century tradition of Russian realism.
Youth and early fame.
The Ukrainian countryside, with its colourful peasantry, its Cossack traditions, and its rich folklore, constituted the background of Gogol’s boyhood. A member of the petty Ukrainian gentry, Gogol was sent at the age of 12 to the high school at Nezhin. There he distinguished himself by his biting tongue, his contributions of prose and poetry to a magazine, and his portrayal of comic old men and women in school theatricals. In 1828 he went to St. Petersburg, hoping to enter the civil service, but soon discovered that without money and connections he would have to fight hard for a living. He even tried to become an actor, but his audition was unsuccessful. In this predicament he remembered a mediocre sentimental-idyllic poem he had written in the high school. Anxious to achieve fame as a poet, he published it at his own expense, but its failure was so disastrous that he burned all the copies and thought of emigrating to the United States. He embezzled the money his mother had sent him for payment of the mortgage on her farm and took a boat to the German port of Lübeck. He did not sail but briefly toured Germany. Whatever his reasons for undertaking such an irresponsible trip, he soon ran out of money and returned to St. Petersburg, where he got an ill-paid government post.
In the meantime Gogol wrote occasionally for periodicals, finding an escape in childhood memories of the Ukraine. He committed to paper what he remembered of the sunny landscapes, peasants, and boisterous village lads, and he also related tales about devils, witches, and other demonic or fantastic agents that enliven Ukrainian folklore. Romantic stories of the past were thus intermingled with realistic incidents of the present. Such was the origin of his eight narratives, published in two volumes in 1831?32 under the title Vechera na khutore bliz Dikanki (Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka). Written in a lively and at times colloquial prose, these works contributed something fresh and new to Russian literature. In addition to the author’s whimsical inflection, they abounded in genuine folk flavour, including numerous Ukrainian words and phrases, all of which captivated the Russian literary world.
Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol; Russian pronunciation: ; Mykola Vasylovych Hohol) (March 31, 1809 – March 4, 1852) was a Russian writer of Ukrainian ethnicity. Although his early works were heavily influenced by his Ukrainian upbringing and identity, he wrote in Russian and his works belong to the tradition of Russian literature; often called the “father of modern Russian realism,” he was one of the first Russian authors to criticize his country’s way of life. The novels Taras Bul’ba (1835; 1842 [revised edition]), Dead Souls (1842), the play The Inspector-General (1836, 1842), and the short story The Overcoat (1842) are among his masterpieces.
Provenance and early life
Gogol was born in the Cossack village of Sorochyntsi, in the Poltava guberniya of the Russian Empire. (The village is now in Ukraine.) His father was Vasily Gogol-Yanovsky, a small squire and an amateur Ukrainian playwright who died when the boy was 15 years old. Some of his ancestors culturally associated themselves with Polish szlachta.
In 1820 Gogol went to a school of higher art in Nezhin (currently Nizhyn) and remained there until 1828. It was there that he began writing. He was not very popular among his school-fellows who called him their “mysterious dwarf”, but with two or three of them he formed lasting friendships. Very early he developed a dark and secretive disposition, mingled of painful self-consciousness and boundless ambition. Equally early he developed an extraordinary mimic talent which later on made him a matchless reader of his own works and induced him to toy with the idea of becoming an actor.
In 1828, on leaving school, Gogol came to Petersburg, full of vague but glowingly ambitious hopes. He had hoped for literary fame and brought with him a Romantic poem of German idyllic life ? Hanz Küchelgarten. He had it published, at his own expense, under the name of “V. Alov”. Unfortunately it was met by the magazines with deserved derision. He bought all the copies and destroyed them, swearing never to write poetry again.
Gogol was one of the first masters of short prose, alongside Pushkin, Mérimée, Hoffmann, and Hawthorne. He was in touch with the “literary aristocracy”, had a story published in Delvig’s Northern Flowers, was taken up by Vasily Zhukovsky and Pyotr Pletnyov, and (in 1831) was introduced to Pushkin.
In 1831, he brought out the first volume of his Ukrainian stories (Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka), which met immediate success. It was followed in 1832 by a second volume, and in 1835 by two volumes of stories entitled Mirgorod, as well as by two volumes of miscellaneous prose entitled Arabesques. At this time, Gogol developed a passion for Ukrainian history and tried to obtain an appointment to the history department at Kiev University. Despite the support of Alexander Pushkin and the Russian minister of education Sergey Uvarov, his appointment was blocked by a Kievan bureaucrat on the grounds that he was unqualified. His fictional story Taras Bulba, based on the history of Ukrainian cossacks, was the result of this phase in his interests. During this time he also developed a close and life-long friendship with another Ukrainian then living in Russia, the historian and naturalist Mykhaylo Maksymovych. Indeed, throughout his life Gogol maintained close contact with his fellow countrymen. According to the poet Nikolai Berg, in his interactions with fellow Ukrainians Gogol demonstrated a joyfullness and passion that contrasted with usual morose and quiet demeanor.
In 1834 Gogol was made Professor of Medieval History at the University of St. Petersburg, a job for which “he had no qualifications. He turned in a performance ludicrous enough to warrant satiric treatment in one of his own stories. After an introductory lecture made up of brilliant generalizations which the ‘historian’ had prudently prepared and memorized, he gave up all pretense at erudition and teaching, missed two lectures out of three, and when he did appear, muttered unintelligibly through his teeth and displayed small photographs of classic monuments. At the final examination, he sat in utter silence with a black handkerchief wrapped around his head, simulating a toothache, while another professor interrogated the students.” This academic venture proved a failure and he resigned his chair in 1835.
Between 1832 and 1836 Gogol worked at his imaginative creations with great energy, and though almost all his work has in one way or another its sources in these four years of contact with Pushkin, he had not yet decided that his ambitions were to be fulfilled by success in literature. It was only after the presentation, on April 19, 1836, of his comedy The Government Inspector (Revizor) that he finally came to believe in his literary vocation. The comedy, a violent satire of Russian provincial bureaucracy, was able to be staged thanks only to the personal intervention of Nicholas I.
From 1836 to 1848 he lived abroad, travelling throughout Germany and Switzerland. Gogol spent the winter of 1836-1837 in Paris, where he spent time among Russian expatriates and Polish exiles, frequently meeting with the Polish poets Adam Mickiewicz and Bohdan Zaleski. After having chosen Rome for his headquarters, he became enamoured with the Eternal City, which answered to his highly developed sense of the magnificent, and where even the visions that always obsessed him of vulgar and animal humanity assumed picturesque and poetical appearances that fitted harmoniously into the beautiful whole.
The death of Pushkin produced a strong impression on Gogol. His principal work during years following poet’s death was the great satirical epic (poema, or an epic poem, as the Russian subheading goes) ? Dead Souls. Concurrently, he worked at other tasks ? recast Taras Bulba and The Portrait, completed his second comedy, Marriage (Zhenitba), wrote the fragment Rome and his greatest short story, The Overcoat.
In 1841 the first part of Dead Souls was ready, and Gogol took it to Russia to supervise its printing. It appeared in Moscow in 1842, under the title, imposed by the censorship, of The Adventures of Chichikov. The book instantly established his reputation as the greatest prose writer in the language. Nobody could have expected that it would be the last work of fiction published during his lifetime.
Creative decline and death
After the triumph of Dead Souls, Gogol came to be regarded by his contemporaries as a great satirist who lampooned the unseemly sides of Imperial Russia. Little did they know that the 33-year-old author viewed himself primarily as a prophet and preacher, for whom Dead Souls was but the first part of a modern-day counterpart to The Divine Comedy. The first part represented the Inferno; the second part was to depict the gradual purification and transformation of the rogue Chichikov under the influence of virtuous publicans and governors ? Purgatory.
From Palestine he returned to Russia and passed his last years in restless movement throughout the country. While visiting the capitals, he stayed with various friends such as Mikhail Pogodin and Sergei Aksakov. During this period of his life he also spent much time with his old Ukrainian friends, Maksymovych and Osyp Bodiansky. More importantly, he intensified his relationship with a church elder, Matvey Konstantinovsky, whom he had known for several years. Konstantinovsky seems to have strengthened in Gogol the fear of perdition by insisting on the sinfulness of all his imaginative work. His health was undermined by exaggerated ascetic practices and he fell into a state of black melancholy. On the night of February 24, 1852, he burnt some of his manuscripts, which contained most of the second part of Dead Souls. He explained this as a mistake ? a practical joke played on him by the Devil. Soon thereafter he took to bed, refused all food, and died in great pain nine days later.
Gogol was buried at the Danilov Monastery, close to his fellow Slavophile Aleksey Khomyakov. In 1931, when Moscow authorities decided to demolish the monastery, his remains were transferred to the Novodevichy Cemetery.
His body was discovered lying face down, which gave rise to the story that Gogol had been buried alive. A Soviet critic even cut a part of his jacket to use as a binding for his copy of Dead Souls. A piece of rock which used to stand on his grave at the Danilov was reused for the tomb of Gogol’s admirer Mikhail Bulgakov.
The first Gogol monument in Moscow was a striking Symbolist statue on Arbat Square, which represented the sculptor Nikolai Andreyev’s idea of Gogol, rather than the real man (picture). Unveiled in 1909, the statue was praised by Ilya Repin and Leo Tolstoy as an outstanding projection of Gogol’s tortured personality. Stalin did not like it, however; and the statue was replaced by a more orthodox Socialist Realism monument in 1952. It took enormous efforts to save Andreyev’s original work from destruction; it now stands in front of the house where Gogol died.
D.S. Mirsky characterized Gogol’s universe as “one of the most marvellous, unexpected ? in the strictest sense, original ? worlds ever created by an artist of words”. The enormous potency of his imagination stands at a strange contrast (or complement) to his physical sterility. He seems to have never had a sexual contact with a woman (or a man). Woman was to him a terrible, fascinating, but unapproachable obsession, and he is known never to have loved. This makes the women of his imagination either strange, inhuman visions of form and color that are redeemed from melodramatic banality only by the force of the rhetoric they are enshrined in, or entirely unsexed, even dehumanized, caricatures.
The main and most persistent characteristic of Gogol’s style is its verbal expressiveness. He wrote with a view not so much to the acoustic effect on the ears of the listener as to the sensuous effect on the vocal apparatus of the reciter. This makes his prose ornate and agitated. It is all alive with the vibration of actual speech. This makes it hopelessly untranslatable ? more untranslatable than any other Russian prose of the 19th century.
The other main characteristic of Gogol’s genius is the extraordinary intensity and vividness of impressionist vision, sometimes skirting expressionism. He saw the outer world romantically metamorphosed, a singular gift particularly evident from the fantastic spatial transformations in his Gothic stories, A Terrible Vengeance and A Bewitched Place. His pictures of nature are strange mounds of detail heaped on detail, resulting in an unconnected chaos of things. His people are caricatures, drawn with the method of the caricaturist ? which is to exaggerate salient features and to reduce them to geometrical pattern. But these cartoons have a convincingness, a truthfulness, and inevitability ? attained as a rule by slight but definitive strokes of unexpected reality ? that seems to beggar the visible world itself.
The aspect under which the mature Gogol sees reality is expressed by the untranslatable Russian word poshlost’, which is perhaps best rendered as “self-satisfied inferiority”, moral and spiritual. Like Sterne before him, Gogol was a great destroyer of prohibitions and romantic illusions. It was he who undermined Russian Romanticism by making vulgarity reign where only the sublime and the beautiful had reigned. “Characteristic of Gogol is a sense of boundless superfluity that is soon revealed as utter emptiness and a rich comedy that suddenly turns into metaphysical horror”. His stories often interweave pathos and mockery, while the most comic of them all begins as a merry farce and ends with the famous dictum: It is dull in this world, gentlemen!
Influence and interpretations
Even before the publication of Dead Souls, Belinsky recognized Gogol as the first realist writer in the language and the head of the Natural School, to which he also assigned such younger or lesser authors as Goncharov, Turgenev, Dmitry Grigorovich, Vladimir Dahl, and Vladimir Sollogub. Gogol himself seemed to be skeptical about the existence of such a literary movement. Although he recognized “several young writers” who “have shown a particular desire to observe real life”, he upbraided the deficient composition and style of their works. Nevertheless, subsequent generations of radical critics celebrated Gogol (the author in whose world a nose roams the streets of the Russian capital) as a great realist, a reputation decried by the Encyclopaedia Britannica as “the triumph of Gogolesque irony”.
The period of modernism saw a revival of interest in and a change of attitude towards Gogol’s work. One of the pioneering works of Russian formalism was Eichenbaum’s reappraisal of The Overcoat. In the 1920s, a group of Russian short story writers, known as the Serapion Brothers, placed Gogol among their precursors and consciously sought to imitate his techniques. The leading novelists of the period ? notably Yevgeny Zamyatin and Mikhail Bulgakov ? also admired Gogol and followed in his footsteps. In 1926, Vsevolod Meyerhold staged The Government Inspector as a “comedy of the absurd situation”, revealing to his fascinated spectators a corrupt world of endless self-deception. In 1934, Andrei Bely published the most meticulous study of Gogol’s literary techniques up to that date, in which he analyzed the colours prevalent in Gogol’s work depending on the period, his impressionistic use of verbs, expressive discontinuity of his syntax, complicated rhythmical patterns of his sentences, and many other secrets of his craft. Based on this work, Vladimir Nabokov published a summary account of Gogol’s masterpieces in 1944.
Gogol had a huge and enduring impact on Russian literature, but his works were appreciated differently depending on the background of the reader. Belinsky, for instance, berated his horror stories as “moribund, monstrous works”, while Andrei Bely counted them among his most stylistically daring creations. Nabokov singled out Dead Souls, The Government Inspector, and The Overcoat as the works of genius and dismissed the remainder as puerile essays. The latter story has been traditionally interpreted as a masterpiece of “humanitarian realism”, but Nabokov and some other attentive readers argued that “holes in the language” make the story susceptible to another interpretation, as a supernatural tale about a ghostly double of a “small man”. Of all Gogol’s stories, The Nose has stubbornly defied all abstruse interpretations: D.S. Mirsky declared it “a piece of sheer play, almost sheer nonsense”.
Gogol’s oeuvre has also had a large impact on Russia’s non-literary culture, and his stories have been adapted numerous times into opera and film. Russian Composer Alfred Schnittke wrote the eight part Gogol Suite as incidental music to the The Government Inspector performed as a play, and composer Dmitri Shostakovich set The Nose as his first opera in 1930, despite the peculiar choice of subject for what was meant to initiate the great tradition of Soviet opera. 
In Marathi, P. L. Deshpande adapted his play “The Government Inspector” as “Ammaldar” (literally ‘the Government Inspector’) in late 1950s, skillfully cladding it with all indigenous politico-cultural robe of Maharashtra, while maintaining the comic satire of the original.
Gogol in Pop Culture
? Gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello is named after Gogol. Lead singer Eugene Hütz is Ukrainian; he sees himself as another Ukrainian infiltrating western artistic culture.
? In the book The Namesake (also adapted into a film of the same name), the protagonist’s name is Gogol. Gogol’s ‘namesake’ is explained in the book.
? In the episode ‘Charlie’ from the 1st series of the comedy series The Mighty Boosh, Howard Moon uses Gogol’s Dead Souls to spy on his fellow zookeeper, Mrs Gideon, through eyeholes inside the two ‘O’s in the author’s name, on the book’s front cover.
? His satirical work The Nose inspired the song Detachable Penis by King Missile.
? In the anime movie Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, Batou quotes Gogol early on saying “It is no use to blame the looking glass if your face is awry.” (Note: this epigraph to Gogol’s The Government Inspector (Revizor) is actually a Russian folk saying.)
? Seattle based indie-noise rock band Ivan the Wheel derived their name from a character in Dead Souls.
Notes and references
1. ^ a b Nikolay Gogol. Encyclopædia Brittanica. Retrieved on 2007-12-25.
2. ^ a b Luckyj, G. (1998). The Anguish of Mykola Hohol, a.k.a. Nikolai Gogol. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press.
3. ^ http://student.britannica.com/comptons/article-9274587/Nikolai-Gogol
4. ^ http://www.wumag.kiev.ua/index2.php?param=pgs20033/52
5. ^ Lindstrom, T. (1966). A Concise History of Russian Literature Volume I from the Beginnings to Checkhov. New York: New York University Press, 131.
6. ^ Gogol declared that “the subject of Dead Souls has nothing to do with the description of Russian provincial life or of a few revolting landowners. It is for the time being a secret which must suddenly and to the amazement of everyone (for as yet none of my readers has guessed it) be revealed in the following volumes…”
7. ^ For a full story and illustrations, see artclassics.edu.ru and www.m-mos.ru.
8. ^ Gogol’s originality does not mean that numerous influences cannot be discerned in his work. The principle of these are: the tradition of the Ukrainian folk and puppet theatre, with which the plays of Gogol’s father were closely linked; the heroic poetry of the Cossack ballads (dumy), the Iliad in the Russian version by Gnedich; the numerous and mixed traditions of comic writing from Molière to the vaudevillians of the 1820s; the picaresque novel from Lesage to Narezhny; Sterne, chiefly through the medium of German romanticism; the German romanticists themselves (especially Tieck and E.T.A. Hoffmann); the French tradition of Gothic romance ? a long and yet incomplete list.
9. ^ D.S. Mirsky. A History of Russian Literature. Northwestern University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-8101-1679-0. Page 155.
10. ^ Gogol’s much-publicized obsession with all images and items even tenuously related to tobacco and noses, although prone to Freudian interpretations, may be attributed to the abnormal size of his own nose.
11. ^ According to some critics, Gogol’s grotesque is a “means of estranging, a comic hyperbole that unmasks the banality and inhumanity of ambient reality”. See: Fusso, Susanne. Essays on Gogol: Logos and the Russian Word. Northwestern University Press, 1994. ISBN 0-8101-1191-8. Page 55.
12. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2005. Article “Russian literature”.
13. ^ “The structure of the stories themselves seemed especially unskilful and clumsy to me; in one story I noted excess and verbosity, and an absence of simplicity in the style”. Quoted by Vasily Gippius in his monograph Gogol (Duke University Press, 1989, page 166).
14. ^ The latest edition of the Britannica labels Gogol “one of the finest comic authors of world literature and perhaps its most accomplished nonsense writer”. See under “Russian literature”.
15. ^ At least this reading of the story seems to have been on Dostoevsky’s mind when he wrote The Double. The quote, often apocryphally attributed to him, that “we all [future generations of Russian novelists] emerged from Gogol’s Overcoat”, actually refers to those few who read The Overcoat as a double-bottom ghost story (as did Aleksey Remizov, judging by his story The Sacrifice).
16. ^ “Gogol Suite”. CDUniverse.com.
This article incorporates text from D.S. Mirsky’s “A History of Russian Literature” (1926-27), a publication now in the public domain.
Nicolas Gogol (Fransızca)
Nicolas Vassiliévitch Gogol (Nikolaï Vassilievitch Gogol et en Mykola Vassyliovytch Hohol) est un écrivain ukrainien d’expression russe, né à Sorotchintsy en Ukraine le 20 mars 1809, mort à Moscou le 21 février 1852.
Son père, ancien officier cosaque, développa son goût de la littérature ; sa mère lui transmit sa foi religieuse qui devait évoluer vers la fin de sa vie en un mysticisme maladif.
Après de médiocres études, ce frêle jouvenceau au visage austère quitte l’Ukraine et trouve un modeste emploi de bureau dans un ministère à Saint-Pétersbourg.
En 1829, il fait ses premiers pas littéraires en publiant sous un pseudonyme et à compte d’auteur le médiocre poème romantique Hanz Küchelgarten. Ereinté par la critique, il retirera les exemplaires des librairies pour les brûler. Suite à cet échec, il “s’échappe” alors une première fois de Russie et passe deux mois dans le nord de l’Allemagne, sous couvert de mensonges successifs. L’année suivante paraît sa première nouvelle ukrainienne, la Nuit de la Saint-Jean. En 1831, Gogol quitte l’administration et devient professeur d’histoire à l’Institut patriotique pour filles d’officiers nobles. Il est introduit dans les milieux littéraires et présenté à Pouchkine qui l’encouragera à écrire. Son éloignement de l’Ukraine et la nostalgie qui en résulte lui inspirent les Soirées du hameau (1831-1832). Ce recueil de nouvelles grotesques, drolatiques et fantastiques inspirées de la vie des paysans ukrainiens, lui assure la célébrité.
En 1833, Gogol traverse une des crises morales et mystiques qui lui seront coutumières. Il se découvre une vocation d’historien. Nommé professeur adjoint d’histoire à l’université de Saint-Pétersbourg en juillet 1834, ses premiers cours (auxquels assistera Tourgueniev) entraînent l’enthousiasme des étudiants mais son intérêt pour l’histoire comme sa popularité en tant que professeur s’éteignent rapidement.
Suite à cette période, il publie de nombreuses nouvelles, avec les recueils Arabesques (qui contient entre autres la Perspective Nevski, le Portrait et le Journal d’un Fou) et Mirgorod. En 1836, la pièce de théâtre Le Revizor (dont le sujet lui a été fourni par Pouchkine), applaudie par les libéraux, attaquée par les réactionnaires, connaît un succès de scandale à Saint-Pétersbourg ; une remarque attribuée au tsar Nicolas Ier calmera les esprits : « tout le monde en a pris pour son grade, moi en premier ». Gogol se sent incompris, tout autant irrité par ceux qui le soutiennent que par ceux qui le critiquent : tous simplifient et détournent sa pensée profonde, pensent qu’il s’agit d’une satire politique, qu’il milite contre les institutions, alors qu’il ne veut dénoncer que les vices et les abus qui se trouvent en l’homme. En plein désarroi, il fuit et commence ses pérégrinations à travers l’Europe.
Sur une autre idée de son ami Alexandre Pouchkine, il avait commencé à écrire en 1836, juste avant de s’attaquer au Revizor, son grand roman Les Âmes mortes que, dans sa foi de plus en plus exaltée en sa « mission », il envisage comme une ?uvre « immensément grande », un « Léviathan », « quelque chose qui n’est pas l’?uvre d’un homme ordinaire ». Il essaie de faire publier la première partie à Moscou en 1841 mais elle est interdite par le comité de censure. Ce n’est qu’après l’intervention de ses amis et en particulier de Madame Smirnoff, la présentation au comité de censure de Saint-Pétersbourg et plusieurs remaniements qu’elle paraît en 1842. Au-delà de l’amusante escroquerie1 projetée par le héros Tchitchikov, ce roman est une description sans concession de la Russie profonde, une satire parfois impitoyable, mais où demeure sous-jacent, de manière permanente, le profond amour de Gogol pour ce pays. Le succès et le scandale sont à nouveau au rendez-vous.
En 1843, son expérience passée de médiocre employé de ministère lui inspire une magnifique nouvelle, Le manteau, dont le héros Akaki Akakiévitch est devenu l’archétype du petit fonctionnaire russe.
Les tribulations reprennent : Italie, France, Allemagne, etc. En 1848, il fait un pèlerinage à Jérusalem. Au fur et à mesure sa santé se dégrade et plus encore la perception qu’il a de sa santé – car il se croit toujours beaucoup plus malade qu’il n’est – et son sentiment religieux s’exalte : il devient de plus en plus mystique et conservateur.
Rentré à Moscou, il est toujours occupé à la rédaction d’une seconde partie des Âmes mortes, dans laquelle, à l’instar de Dante, il espérait décrire la rédemption de la Russie, sortant de l’Enfer qu’il avait dépeint dans la première partie de cette ?uvre (il en avait brûlé une première version en 1845). Mais son état psychique et physique se dégrade sans cesse. Au début de février 1852, il brûle dans le poêle de sa chambre tous ses manuscrits inédits dont la seconde partie des Âmes mortes. On ne connaît de cette seconde partie que quatre chapitres retrouvés dans les papiers de l’écrivain, issus de la première rédaction.
Nicolas Gogol meurt le 21 février 1852, épuisé par les jeûnes qu’il s’était imposés pour défier le diable, entre les mains de médecins ineptes qui le couvrent de sangsues et lui infligent des traitements d’une violence inouie: bains froids, saignées, cataplasmes. Il est enterré au cimetière de Novodevitchi à Moscou, non loin de Boulgakov, qu’il inspirera grandement pour son chef d’?uvre, le Maître et Marguerite.
Si Pouchkine est considéré comme le plus grand poète russe, Gogol est reconnu comme son premier grand prosateur. Selon le mot de Vogüé, inexactement attribué à Dostoievski: “Nous sommes tous sortis du Manteau de Gogol”.
? Hanz Küchelgarten (1829) (idylle romantique)
? Soirées du hameau (aussi connu sous le titre des Veillées du village de Dikanka) (1831-1832) : La Foire de Sorotchintsy – La Nuit de la Saint-Jean – La Dépêche disparue – Une terrible vengeance – Ivan Fiodorovitch Chponka et sa tante – Le Terrain ensorcelé.
? Mirgorod (Nouvelles servant de suite aux Soirées du hameau) : Ménage d?autrefois ? Tarass Boulba ? Vij ? La Brouille des deux Ivan (1835)
? Le Portrait (1842), deuxième rédaction
? Nouvelles de Pétersbourg : 1. Arabesques : La Perspective Nevski – Journal d’un fou – Le Nez – La Calèche – Le Manteau. 2. L’Apport de Rome: Le Portrait (première version) – Rome – Les Nuits de la villa.
– Tarass Boulba, version définitive et augmentée, 1839
– Les Aventures de Tchitchikov ou les Âmes mortes (1842), première partie
– Les Âmes mortes, 2e partie inachevée, édition posthume.
– La Matinée d’un homme d’action
– Le Procès
– Les Joueurs
– Les Épousailles ou Hyménée(1835)
– Le Revizor (1836)
– Extraits choisis de ma correspondance avec des amis (1846)
– Lettres de Gogol présentées par V. Chenrok (1901)
Notes et références
1. ? Les âmes sont un terme administratif pour désigner les serfs. La possession d’âmes mortes, c’est-à-dire de serfs décédés mais non encore recensés comme tels, lui permettrait d’obtenir un emprunt garanti.