Rus Articles Journal

Why Gogol addressed a “Little Russian“ subject? To birthday of the writer of

I do not know whether it is correct to carry “Evenings on the farm near Dykanka“ to fantastic literature, but in the childhood I perceived this book quite so. Here to you and the devil stealing from the sky month, both a round dance of illusive mermaids, and the blossoming fern, and Kozak playing with witches cards and the sorcerer causing souls...

It is unconditional, in “Little Russian stories“ of Gogol a fantastic fantastic plot - only one of paints of a rich palette, but paint - important. Therefore it is worth sorting - from what and as one of the best books, both the Russian, and Ukrainian literature was born.

Of course to write books according to which many still represent the poetic image of Ukraine only the Ukrainian could.

As if suspecting about the comic talent, Nikolay Vasilyevich Gogol, to be exact - Gogol - Yanovsky - as if on purpose, was born in future “April Fools` Day“ - on April 1. There was it in 1809 in Sorochintsakh, belonging to the Poltava province. He spent the childhood in the father`s manor - Vasilyevke - near that Myrgorod which will give the name to one of its collections.

Gogol`s father died early when Nikolay was 15 years old, but it is difficult to overestimate its value. Vasily Afanasyevich not only liked suit house theatrical performances, but also wrote for them plays - everything, as on selection, comedy and besides in Little Russian mova.

Subsequently Nikolay will borrow from comedies of the father not only epigraphs for the “Sorochynsk fair“ (the truth, for some reason without having specified the author), but also separate subject lines. So, in “A Sorochynsk fair“ the three Slopy - Hivr - Popovic almost specularly corresponds to the three Roman - Parask - the clerk from the comedy B. A. Gogol “Gawk“.


“D y I to
of Az esm, ty - that... yes where your loved cohabitant?

P and r and with to and
P_shov on zayts_.

D I to
(about itself) This opportunity for me is sweet
, a yak honey the diviy“.

But not young Gogol`s soul dreamed of literary career first. He passionately wanted to serve the Russian state, to become “truly useful to mankind“.

Therefore, having ended the Nezhinsky gymnasium, in December, 1828 Gogol moves to St. Petersburg. But the sad official service resembled “service to the Fatherland“ a little and money gave a little. Then - that Gogol also sent the aspirations to the literary course. After the publication of several articles he gets friendship in literary circles of the capital - meets A. Delwig, Century. Zhukovsky, P. Pletnyov.

Pletnyov will play the deciding destiny in career of the young writer. First it will find to it the place of the teacher of history in Institution for young ladies. The lecturer, on memoirs, left any Gogol. And here presented on Pletnyov`s court “Little Russian stories“ seemed very perspective.

P. Pletnyov - to A. Pushkin about Gogol, February, 1831:
“Needs to acquaint you with the young writer who promises something very good.... At first it went was on civil service, but the passion to pedagogics gave it under my banners: it passed also in the teacher. Zhukovsky from it delighted. I impatiently wish to bring it to you under blessing“.
Should be told

, “Evenings on the farm... “ were not the first work of art of Nikolay Vasilyevich. In 1829 he published the poem “Gants Kyukhelgarten“ - something romantic, anti-petty-bourgeois, about high aspirations, etc. However, he published it under the pseudonym “V. Alov“ and as it became clear, not for nothing. Crushed the poem of the critic therefore Gogol destroyed all circulation and did not address a poetic genre any more.

The new literary plan, probably, ripened at Gogol for a long time. In 1826, during study in gymnasiums, he gets the so-called “Book of stuff“ - a notebook where makes entries about Little Russian folklore and extracts from the historical documents concerning history of the homeland.
Finally idea of “Evenings on the farm near to Dykanka“ ripened by 1829. Then Gogol appeals in letters to mother to send material about the Ukrainian legends and customs.

From the letter of N. Gogol to mother, 1829:
“You have subtle, observation intellect, you know much customs and customs of our low-Russians and therefore, I know, you will not refuse to tell me them in our correspondence. It to me very much, is very necessary. In the following letter I expect from you the description of a full dress of the rural sexton, from an overcoat to the sapog with a poimenovaniye as all this was called at the most inveterate, the most ancient, most least changed low-Russians; similarly names of a dress, wearable our country maids, to the last tape, also present, married and men.
Still the detailed description of a wedding, without missing naimaleyshy details... Some more words about Christmas carols, about Ivan Kupale, about mermaids. If there are, besides, any spirits, or brownies, then about them is more detailed, with their names and affairs; the set rushes between the simple people of beliefs, scary legends, legends, different jokes and so forth and so forth. and so forth“

I it is valid, the Russian literature of that time began to depart from imitation the western samples, even more often addressing “nationality“. Gogol noted in the letter to mother special fashion in literary circles on “all Little Russian“. A. Pushkin writes “Poltava“, A. Podolinsky “Gaydamakov“, A. Pogorelsky “The double, or my evenings in Malorossiya“, A. Delwig “A Little Russian melody“. Even works of the Ukrainian writers in their native language had popularity. For example, a remarkable mockery of I. Kotlyarevsky of “Eneid“ (as it was written on a cover, “Virgil turned on the low-Russian mova“) or P. Gulak`s fables - Artemovsky.

It is not surprising that also Gogol, which decided to bring the contribution and so grieved for the solar homeland in gloomy stone St. Petersburg.
Here - that were also useful letters of mother and entry in “The book of stuff“.

Legends about mermaids, the motive of the address of the witch to a black cat and the description of game in “crow“ was used in “May night, or the Drowned woman“, and data on gamblings - in “The gone diploma“ (by the way, the motive of a card play with evil spirits can be met in tales of the soldier and the devil).

Texts of Christmas carols entered in “Night before Christmas“, as well as idea that this night the evil spirits especially commit excesses, knowing that next day it should return to a scorching heat. And the scene where Solokh hides the unlucky lovers in turn in bags, in general is very popular in national jokes (usually, there are persons of a ministry - the sexton, the clerk and the priest).

Folklore beliefs about unconscious (from the word “fool“) places, about the “dirty“ wealth turning into ashes and the fern flower helping to find a treasure, became a basis for plots of stories “The Bewitched Place“ and “Evening on the eve of Ivan Kupala“.

Folklore images and plots were strongly processed by Gogol, and, sometimes, for them it is difficult to find the concrete primary source. To take, at least, history of the devil who is looking for “red to a roll“, all plot of travel on the devil behind cherevichka to the queen, an image of the sorcerer Big-bellied Patsyuk to which vareniki jump in a mouth or a figure of the Viy which we will concern in more detail later.

Researchers do not find analog and to a plot of the story “Fearful vengeance“ where the brother kills the brother, and the killed demands from God to damn the fratricide`s descendants. In the story it is possible to meet only separate folklore motives - an image of “the great sinner“ or the dead persons who are getting up from graves.

“Fearful vengeance“: “Are pale, pale
, one another above, one another kostisty, there were they around the rider holding terrible production in hand. Once again the knight laughed and threw it in an abyss. And all dead persons jumped in an abyss, picked up the dead person and stuck into him the teeth. One more, is higher than all, it is more terrible than all, wanted to rise from the earth; but could not, not in forces was it to make, it is so big he grew up in the earth; and if rose, then would overturn also the Carpathians, both the Sedmigradsky and Turkish earth; a little only it moved, and the tryaseniye on all earth went from that. Also it pooprokidyvatsya much huts everywhere. And crushed to the people much“.

However, as incorrect will consider that Gogol derived the inspiration only from the Ukrainian folklore. The great influence on the writer was exerted also by the German romantic tradition in the spirit of the Tic and Hoffman.
But not only are settled by a fantasy advantages “Evenings …“. And we will talk about it in the following article.