Nikolai Gogol’s “Selected Passages from Correspondence with Friends”: Nobility and Peasants

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Egor V. Sartakov

PhD Student at the Chair of History of Russian Journalism and Literature, Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia


Section: History of Journalism

The work is focused on the relations between the nobility and their peasants as presented in “Selected Passages from Correspondence with Friends ” by Nikolai Gogol (1847). The reality of Russian nobility according to Gogol is filled with constant preaching of their peasants, doing common work along with them, reading religious literature while maintaining good relations with the local priest. This behaviour is explained by paternalistic and conservative views of the author. Our hypothesis states that the scheme of the relations described by Gogol takes its roots back in “Our local judge ” by I. Kulzhinski (published in “Majak " [“Beacon of contemporary enlightenment and education ”], 1842). The intertextual connections between these two pieces make it possible to include the work by Kulzhinski in the list of the likely sources of the «Selected Passages...».

Keywords: Gogol, “Selected Passages from Correspondence with Friends ", nobility, peasant, conservatism, Kulzhinski