Title Paternal Care: Emperor Nicolas I in Gogol’s Fate
Author(s) Igor A. Vinogradov.
Information about the author(s) Igor’ A. Vinogradov, DSc in Philology, Senior Researcher, А.M.Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia. E-mail: info@imli.ru
Received July 09, 2016
Published September 25, 2016
Issue Vol. 1, no 1–2
Department Russian literature
Pages 269-277
DOI DOI:10.22455/ 2500-4247-2016-1-1-2-269-277
UDK 821.161.1
BBK 83.3 (2Рос=Рус)
Abstract The essay for the first time highlights the history of a long-term attention and patronage that Еmperor Nicholas I as philanthropist, censor, and reader bestowed on Nikolay Gogol. It shows the increasing interest of the members of the tsar family to Gogol’s works starting with the Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka; following the established rule, Gogol presented his just published works including Mirgorod, The Government Inspector, Dead Souls, collected works in four volumes, and Selected Passages from Correspondence with Friends to the Emperor and his family. The essay enumerates and highlights numerous cases of awards and financial aid given to Gogol by the Emperor and his family members in the 1830–1840s; Gogol’s appeal to the Emperor concerning the censorship of The Government Inspector; his intention to turn to the help of Nicholas I on the occasion of the censorship of Dead Souls and republication of Selected Passages from Correspondence with Friends; a request to the tsar to issue him a passport for his pilgrimage to the Holy Land; Gogol’s plans to get a position of the educator of the heir’s son, Grand Duke Nicholas Alexandrovich, at the end of his life. Particular emphasis is made on the fact that the “fatherly” attitude of the sovereign towards Gogol’s writings was not always incentive; for example, alongside some other contemporaries, the Emperor disapproved of the premiere of Gogol’s “Marriage.” In conclusion, the essay draws parallels between the censorial history of The Government Inspector and posthumous fate of Gogol’s works which Nicholas I, against the censor’s verdict, approved for publication shortly before his death.
Keywords Gogol, biography, art creativity, public ideology, censorship, interpretation, hermeneutics, spiritual heritage.
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