Download nikolai gogol. between ukrainian and russian nationalism. by Edyta M. Bojanowska PDF

By Edyta M. Bojanowska

The nineteenth-century writer Nikolai Gogol occupies a key position within the Russian cultural pantheon as an ardent champion of Russian nationalism. certainly, he created the nation’s most renowned literary icon: Russia as a speeding carriage, jam-packed with elemental strength and unlimited potential.In a pathbreaking e-book, Edyta M. Bojanowska topples the principles of this russocentric fantasy of the Ukrainian-born author, a fable that has additionally ruled his Western photo. She unearths Gogol’s inventive engagement with Ukrainian nationalism and calls consciousness to the subversive irony and ambiguity in his writings on Russian topics. whereas in early writings Gogol endowed Ukraine with cultural wholeness and a heroic earlier, his Russia appears to be like bleak and fractured. Russian readers resented this unflattering distinction and referred to as upon him to supply a brighter imaginative and prescient of Russia. Gogol struggled to fulfill their calls for yet eventually failed.In exploring Gogol’s fluctuating nationalist commitments, this ebook strains the connections and tensions among the Russian and Ukrainian nationalist paradigms in his paintings, and situates either within the better imperial context. as well as appreciably new interpretations of Gogol’s texts, Bojanowska deals a entire research of his reception via contemporaries.Brilliantly conceived and masterfully argued, Edyta Bojanowska essentially alterations our figuring out of this cherished writer and his position in Russian literature.

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The internal divisions within Ukraine and its Polonization prove more fatal than any outside military force. This reverberates with the tension in the cycle's prefaces between those who oppose foreign contamination and those who succumb to it. Gogol's story warns against the deracination of Ukrainian identity, which constitutes a danger graver than any foreign power. 32 Although Gogol's historical writing is the focus of the next chapter, it is important to appreciate here the historical dimensions of Evenings, in addition to the cultural and ethnographic ones, since only together do they provide a comprehensive vision of a Ukrainian nation.

Profanity is tied to foreignness in the cycle. The Poles and their language are also called profane (PSS 1, 267). The notion of Russian-Ukrainian kinship promulgated by the imperial ideologues is absent in Evenings. Instead, the work presents the relation between the two realms as that of fundamental difference. The costume of a moskal functions as a disguise in carnivalesque rituals of reversal and estrangement among costumes of Gypsies, Jews, and devils, all of whom were stock figures in the Ukrainian puppet theater, the vertep.

As an example to others, this devil in a turned-over sheepscoat [one of the pranksters—E. ] should be put in chains and punished. Let everyone know what authority means. " (PSS 1, 170-171). Thus the representative of imperial power clashes with the grassroots forces in the community. To demonstrate their opposition, the village Cossacks stage what appears a fairly good-natured and nonviolent rebellion. The notion of externally imposed political authority clashes not only with unofficial distinction and prestige, such as Foma's, that organically emerge from within the community but also with the democratic principles represented by the Cossacks that Gogol was soon to portray in Taras Bulba and in his writings on Ukrainian history.

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