Gogol in Context


Course Description

From nonsense to pathos, activism to apathy, the sense of Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol’s writings has moved and swayed with time. This course explores Gogol’s published works with an emphasis on the historical, political, linguistic, literary, and broadly cultural contexts in which those works have been read. There will be major stops in the 1830s-40s and the 1860-70s (when Gogol was a satirist and a realist) before turning to the Modernist Gogol (who dabbled in Satanism), the enlightener Soviet Gogol, and the multiple Gogols of the latter half of the twentieth century. We shall be interested in how Gogol made his artistic way from Ukrainian village life to the world stage, with the help of critics, fellow authors, translators, theater directors, composers, animators, and filmmakers.