The History Of The Creation Of The Novel "Dead Souls"

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The History Of The Creation Of The Novel "Dead Souls"
The History Of The Creation Of The Novel "Dead Souls"

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Video: Nikolai Gogol's Dead Souls 2022, December

Dead Souls is one of the brightest works of Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol. The poem describing the Russian reality of the 19th century is of great value for Russian literature. The work was of great importance for the author himself: Gogol called it a "national poem", which was created in order to first expose the shortcomings, and then change the face of the Russian Empire for the better. The idea to write a book about the buyer of dead peasants was suggested to Gogol by Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin.

The history of the creation of the novel
The history of the creation of the novel

The birth of the genre

From the letters of Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol, it follows that initially the work was created as a light humorous novel. However, as it was written, the plot seemed to the author more and more original. About a year after starting work, Gogol finally defined another, deeper and more extensive literary genre for his brainchild - "Dead Souls" became a poem. The writer divides the work into three parts. In the first, he decided to show all the shortcomings of modern society, in the second - the process of personality correction, and in the third - the lives of heroes who have already changed for the better.

Time and place of creation

The work on the first part of the work took about seven years. Gogol began writing it in Russia in the fall of 1835. In 1836 he continued his work abroad: in Switzerland and in Paris. However, the main part of the work was created in the capital of Italy, where Nikolai Vasilyevich worked in 1838-1842. On the house number 126 of the Roman street Sistina (via Sistina) there is a plaque perpetuating this fact. Gogol carefully works on every word of his poem, reworking the written lines many times.

Publication of the poem

The manuscript of the first part of the work was ready for printing in 1841, but it did not go through the censorship stage. The book was published the second time, in this Gogol was helped by influential friends, but with some reservations. So, the writer was given a condition to change the name. Therefore, the first publications of the poem were called "The Adventures of Chichikov or Dead Souls." Thus, the censors hoped to shift the focus of the narrative from the socio-political system, which Gogol describes, to the main character. Another requirement of the censorship was the introduction of changes or deletion from the poem "The Tale of Captain Kopeikin". Gogol agreed to significantly change this part of the work so as not to lose it. The book was published in May 1842.

Criticism of the poem

The publication of the first part of the poem caused a lot of criticism. The writer was attacked both by officials who accused Gogol of showing life in Russia as purely negative, which it is not, and by the adherents of the church, who believed that a person's soul is immortal, therefore, by definition, it cannot be dead. However, Gogol's colleagues immediately appreciated the significance of the work for Russian literature.

Continuation of the poem

Immediately after the release of the first part of Dead Souls, Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol begins to work on the continuation of the poem. He wrote the second chapter almost until his death, but he could not finish it. The work seemed to him imperfect, and in 1852, 9 days before his death, he burned the finished version of the manuscript. Only the first five chapters of the drafts survived, which today are perceived as a separate work. The third part of the poem remained just an idea.

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