The beginning of Pushkin's work on his fairy tales coincided with his well-known competition with Vasily Zhukovsky in 1831, but this was neither an isolated nor a solitary event: in the same year, Nikolai Gogol's Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka
, a collection imbued with folk legends, appeared; the next year, Vladimir Dai's tales followed, and in 1834, Pyotr Ershov's "The Little Humpbacked Horse." In the early 1830s many people were at work collecting and cataloguing Russian folk songs.
And yet, the most striking festive numbers were Gogol's fairy-tale improvisation "Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka
", a dance battle for Russian folk songs, a presentation of a huge cake stylized as a forest stump of pancakes.
Nabokov also expels from his narrative those books by Gogol he deems inferior including [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka
), whose publication made the twenty-four-year-old Gogol a literary celebrity.
The very first critics of The Evenings on a farm near Dikanka
, for instance, saw it as a Russian example of Scott's antiquarian enterprise.
And the Devil is bent on the destruction of man, as is made clear from other tales by Gogol, not least in his Village Evenings near Dikanka
, in particular St-John's Eve.
I had The Steppe as a backup, as something with which I could stun Maria Petrovna if I backfired on the question of Pushkin's duel, Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time, or Gogol's Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka
or other topics that I had studied while preparing myself ...
As Bojanowska shows, readers of Dead Souls who had expected that Gogol would paint the Russian nation in the same idyllic and idealized strokes he had earlier used to portray his native Ukraine in Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka
were sorely disappointed.
49); Christopher Putney, Russian Devils and Diabolic Continuity in Nikolai Gogol's 'Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka
' (New York: Peter Lang, 1999), p.
Gogol was similarly preoccupied with his name, but initially embraced anonymity, as in the Dikanka
tales, as a means of fostering parody and innovation--especially "allowing him to experiment with point of view" (117).
En 1845 fueron publicadas en Paris Nouvelles Russes de Gogol: una edicion que contaba con el cuento Memorias de un loco del ciclo Arabescos, las obras Taras Bulba y Terratenientes de antano del ciclo Mirgorod y el cuento fantastico El Viy de Los atardeceres cerca del caserio de Dikanka
the dark and terrible side of life, which was localized in the countryside in the Dikanka
stories, [and] is now transformed into universal evil, of which every man is the vehicle.
Sorochintsi Fair is a tale from Gogol's Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka
; other tales formed the basis of operas by Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov.