Parable in Nikolai Gogol’s works: specifics of the author's presentation


The parable of the works of N.V. Gogol as one of the most important elements of the writer's strategy is analyzed. Emphasis is placed both on its formal and content embodiment in the author's works. The formal part shows the important connection between the parable and the artistic detail of the literary work and the composition on the whole. The content part deals with the writer, who builds a complex system of conflicts and their role in the plot scheme. For the study, researchers consider it necessary to warn against a shallow analysis of Gogol's parable as a kind of vulgar form of reasonableness or teaching. Reading the author's texts shows that the parable departs from the classical model and resembles “die Parabel”, a form of parable in the literature of European modernism, which complicates and makes the edifying aspect less obvious. The parable element considered in this work should be studied not in general terms, but as an integral part of the poetics and artistic system of the author, which allows us to consider this phenomenon in more detail, as an individually mastered part of the composition of the work of a single author. Using this approach, it is possible to show Gogol as a phenomenon of world literature, and the reason for that is a complex system of parables, implemented in different ways in his literary works. This system absorbs particular elements of poetics using a variety of functions that form a single system of artistic originality of Gogol's texts. Moreover, it emphasizes the originality of texts and their dissimilarity from each other even within the author's collection.

About the authors

Nikita M. Demidov

Lomonosov Moscow State University

ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8336-4333

postgraduate student, Department of Theory of Literature, Faculty of Philology

1 Leninskiye Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation

Oleg A. Kling

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1543-5253
Scopus Author ID: 57210864490

Doctor of Philology, Professor, Head of the Department of Theory of Literature, Faculty of Philology

1 Leninskiye Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation


  1. Agranovich, S.Z., & Samorukova, I.V. (1997). Harmony - goal - harmony. Artistic consciousness in the mirror of the parable. Moscow: MISiS Publ. (In Russ.)
  2. Bely, A. (1996). Gogol's artistry. Moscow: MALP Publ. (In Russ.)
  3. Glyantz, V. (2013). The sacrament of end: The theme of apocalypse in three works by Gogol. Shapes of Apocalypse: Arts and Philosophy in Slavic Thought (pp. 89-121). Academic Studies Press.
  4. Karst, R. (1975).The reality of the absurd and the absurdity of the real: Kafka and Gogol. Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature, 9(1), 67-81.
  5. Kelly, M.R. (2005). Navigating a landscape of dead souls: Gogol and the Odyssean road. New Zealand Slavonic Journal, 39, 37-61.
  6. Lodge, K. (2002). The semiotics of Gogol’s “Dead Souls”. Ulbandus Review, 6, 69-84.
  7. Mann, Yu.V. (2007). Gogol’s work: Meaning and form. St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg University. (In Russ.)
  8. Nabokov, V.V. (2018). Lectures on Russian literature. St. Petersburg: Azbuka Publ., Azbuka-Attikus Publ. (In Russ.)
  9. Nikolyukin, A.N. (Ed.). (2001). The encyclopedia of literary terms and concepts. Moscow: Intelwak Publ. (In Russ.)
  10. Pospíšil, I. (1994). Sborník prací Filozofické fakulty brněnské university. D, Řada literárněvědná, (43), 91-100.
  11. Wilpert, G. (2001). Sachworterbuch der Literatur. Stuttgart.

Copyright (c) 2023 Demidov N.M., Kling O.A.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies