Rus Articles Journal

Who thought up the Viy?

to Begin the conversation about one more well-known fantastic story of Gogol, I would like an amusing fragment about Chekhov and ladies from a notebook of Maxim Gorky: “Ladies “were developed“ by

before it, bent, showing all the rotundities, did buttered eyes, regrettably asked:
“Anton Pavlovich why you so sadly write about love?“ Coughing
, pinching from time to time a small beard, he answered with unexpected questions:
“You were in Myrgorod?“
“It - where?“
“In the Poltava province. You remember Gogol “Myrgorod“?“
“Ah, so it was not invented by Gogol? Gogol never invented nothing“
“And... and “Viy“?

the Story “Viy“ according to all the characteristics could look perfectly in “Evenings on the farm near Dykanka“. Here to you both a romantic mystical horror film, and the Ukrainian color, and put in the narration, irony...
But “Viy“ was written later and published in other collection - “Myrgorod“ - in 1835.

At this time - after “Evenings...“ and “Nevsky Avenue“ - Gogol already deservedly was considered as one of the best Russian writers. However nobody exempted “hope of the Russian literature“ from censorship.
So, in original option of “Viy“ Hom, looking at lines of the late pan-night, “saw something terribly - shrill“ and “felt that the soul it began to ache somehow painfully, as if suddenly among a whirlwind of fun and the begun to spin crowd somebody started singing the song about the oppressed people“ . The mention of “the oppressed people“ was not pleasant to censors, and in a final version the song became “funeral“ .

But, thanks to censorship, “Viy“ was enriched with a new episode. In the first option the story came to an end with death of the unlucky philosopher. But then censorship dirtied two pages “Stories how Ivan Ivanovich with Ivan Nikiforovich Quarrelled“ which just followed “Viy“ in the collection. As a result, not to remake up, Gogol added final conversation of friends of Homa - Freebies and Tiberiya Gorobtsa ( “At us is in Kiev all women who sit on a market, - all witches“ ).

Also at alteration the writer already himself changed one more episode. In the first option of Hom kills the witch and throws her without looking therefore, having come to read the burial service a pan-night, does not recognize the dead woman (leaving to connect the ends with the ends to the ingenious reader). In new option he sees “rejuvenation“ of the witch and guesses with whom it is necessary to deal.

The writer preceded the story by the note: “All this story is the national legend. I did not want to change in anything it and I tell almost in the same simplicity as I heard“ .
Here Gogol, of course, dissembles though similar plots are really widespread in folklore of many countries and there are they in the mass of variations.

In one stories the hero should spend three nights at a coffin of the demonized tsarevna. After all the horrors accompanying test the tsarevna “recovers“, and the hero takes her in wives. In other stories the fearless hero wants to feel for the first time fear and is on duty at a coffin of the dead witch. To hide from the dead woman, the hero becomes in an altar, lays down in a coffin when the dead woman from it gets up, and lies so to the third roosters.
But the closest to Gogol`s version is the fairy tale in which the daughter of the witch falls in love with the guy and comes to it, having addressed a black cat. The guy covers with a bridle the witch and goes by it while that does not die. For it parents of murdered demand that the guy read three nights the psalter near a coffin. Two nights of the guy pursue any nightmares from which he takes cover, having outlined a forbidden circle. For the third night the evil spirits ask for the help “the senior witch“, that finds the guy, but roosters sing at this time, and the hero (as a rule) survives.

With plot sources more and more - it is less clear. But researchers are tormented already for many years by a question - and who such Viy who carries out functions of “the senior witch“ at Gogol?
the writer in the note to the story wrote that “The Viy - is enormous creation of demotic imagination. Such name is called the chief of gnomes at whom eyelids in the eyes go to the earth“ .
I here Gogol, most likely, frankly mystified the reader.

N. Gogol “Viy“:
“... the stumps sounding on church were distributed soon; having looked askance, he saw that conduct some stocky, hefty, clumsy person. All was it in the black earth. As sinewy, strong roots, were given his legs and a hand which are filled up with the earth. Hard he went, constantly stumbling. Long eyelids were lowered to the earth. With horror noticed Hom that the person was on it is mute iron. It was given under hands and directly put to that place where there was Homa.
- Raise to me eyelids: I do not see! - the Viy told by an underground voice - and all sonmishche rushed to raise to it eyelids.
“Do not look!“ - whispered some internal voice to the philosopher. He did not bear and looked.
- Here it! - the Viy cried and filled on him an iron finger. And everything how many was, rushed on the philosopher. Lifeless it was burst on the earth, and the spirit from it for fear right there took off“.
Of course, me books like all dictionaries of Slavic mythology where the Viy is honestly carried to folklore characters came across to

. There is only no such character in folklore. Similar to it, allocated with its separate lines - is, and just the same, as at Gogol, no.

The origin of a name of special riddles does not create and sends us to the Ukrainian word “v_ya“ (that is, an eyelash, or an eyelid with eyelashes). Similar long eyelids occur at many folklore characters. In the fairy tale “Ivan Bykovich“ from Afanasyev`s collection there is a husband of the witch whose eyelashes so long that they are lifted a pitchfork of the whole 12 athletes! However, eyes at this character do not possess any magic power.
Long eyelashes are described also in some beliefs about Kasyan. Kasyan generally the Christian Saint, but here in national folklore he for some reason changed in complete antithesis. Perhaps because day of his memory - on February 29 - a symbol not of leap-year which in the people passion as is not loved. As a result about Kasyan began to speak as about a fallen angel whom God chained in a chain, placed in a vault moreover put to the prisoner of a “kind“ angel who three years thrash Kasyan a hammer on a forehead. It is clear, that during execution the prisoner flies into a rage finally. And when on February 29 it is released “to run about on will“, Kasyan brings down the look all live on the left and to the right ( “Kasyan will look at cattle, the cattle falls“; “Kasyan at what will look - all fades“ ).

However at Gogol Vy the look does not ruin, he can only begin to see clearly through a veil of a veil of a magic circle.
looks giving to the Viy by Gogol of a title of “the chief of gnomes“ Even more suspiciously. It in general, as they say, quite another thing. The Slavic mythology does not know any gnomes.

Therefore most of researchers considers an image of the Viy as original creation of the writer. Though, as well as all in this world, it appeared not from scratch.

Jokes about the Viy:

the Viy Comes to beauty shop and speaks:
- Raise to me eyelids!

- Raise to me eyelids! - the Viy told.
Dirty ran up, lifted.
- Now lower!
Lowered. - Lift
Lifted. - Lower
- And now tell who you are is.
- We are du - at - fish soup, - uttered indistinctly dirty.
- And I who?
- And you, the Viy, the demobee.

The competition of children`s drawings on asphalt was won by the girl who drew a circle.
of the Others was taken away by the Viy.
(not absolutely correctly, but it is ridiculous - S. K.)

Moscow - as Homa Brut. Already around herself drew the third ring... and all of them climb and climb.