In these stories, Merezhkovsky's definition of the Gogolian
Devil is approached: "The Devil is the denial of God and consequently the denial of the infinite as well, the denial of all beginnings and all ends" (57).
(19) At times Pelevin pushes this view of the world to Gogolian
But Gogol's most Gogolian
punishment, something his paltry demons might have conjured up, has been his translators, who have almost always been pedantic and humorless.
Together with this purchase there is added the purchase of souls and their property and their future "Lebensraum." Razin prepares a new grave in the future for the reanimated Gogolian
(36) The reinterpretation of girl-giving can serve either to rehabilitate the supposedly corrupt and greedy "Gogolian
" official, as Schattenberg suggests, or to better diagnose a Russian illness.
In one of the story's many scabrous anecdotes, the nose of the title was reputedly used by its owner as a sexual tool, and it appears phantasmagorically at the end of the story, like a Gogolian
apparition, pressed against the narrator's taxi window, as he reflects on his fate, "doomed to remain in the passenger's seat, as if locked in a time capsule."
(22) Despite these important studies, the Gogolian
paradigm is still a strong one in many disciplines, being both cause and consequence of what Kimitaka Matsuzato has termed "geographic nihilism," or a belief that geographic differences are not important in the Russian provinces or regions.
For example, in the section 'The Copy Clerk Christ' we see the way in which Myshkin inherits and develops many of the key traits of Akakii Akakievich (deemed 'the perfect Gogolian
In pasting together the diverse fragments of post-Soviet reality into a world of Gogolian
absurdity, Pelevin raises questions about the meaning of life and art itself.
The splendid Gogolian
noms parlants are not commented on, nor is Zemlianika's assertion that all his patients are 'recovering like flies', or the mysterious labardan, the fish Khlestakov eats, which then becomes the triumphant exit line of the famous rodomontade scene, Act iii, Scene 6.
The characters, especially the negative ones, are Gogolian
, hyperbolic and physically challenged.
This provides a nice contrast to the more flippant pieces by Pelevin and Aksenov, to the extract from Zinik's unpublished novel (a culturally perceptive and Gogolian
piece), and the more raw talent of newcomers Alexander Terekhov and Mark Shatunovskii.