Gochman Lecture: "Gogol's Soul" with Taras Koznarsky (Univiersity of Toronto)


Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 4:15pm


Kresge Room (Barker Center 114)

In the canon of Russian literature (and for that matter, Ukrainian literature), no writerly soul ever attracted so much attention, scrutiny, and speculation as Gogol. Details of Gogol’s life and death puzzled his close circle and intrigued the wider public as possible manifestations of some profound disorder.  With his bouts of moodiness and righteousness, irritation and banter, humility and preaching, Gogol fueled this interest, and the polarized reception of his work ascribed notions of discrepancy, conflict, and inadequacy to his entire being.  At the later stages of his career, he was on various occasions categorized as insane – whether in Aksakov’s concerned estimations, Belinsky’s furious tirade, or the rumors of Moscow high society.  More than 160 years after his death, the “diagnosing” continues…