Gogol's Artistry

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Northwestern University Press, Jul 5, 2009 - Art - 445 pages
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When one great author engages another, as Andrei Bely so brilliantly does in Gogol’s Artistry, the result is inevitably a telling portrait of both writers. So it is in Gogol’s Artistry. Translated into English for the first time, this idiosyncratic, exhaustive critical study is as interesting for what it tells us about Bely’s thought and method as it is for its insights into the oeuvre of his literary predecessor. Bely’s argument in this book is that Gogol’s earlier writing should be given more consideration than most critics have granted. Employing what might be called a scientific perspective, Bely considers how often certain colors appear; he diagrams sentences and discusses Gogol’s prose in terms of mathematical equations. The result, as strange and engaging as Bely’s best fiction, is also an innovative, thorough, and remarkably revealing work of criticism.


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About the author (2009)

 Andrei Bely (the pseudonym of Boris Nikolayevich Bugaev, 1880-1934) was a leading theorist and poet of Russian Symbolism. In 1913 Bely moved to Switzerland but returned to Russia for good in 1923. His development of new writing techniques, evident in his masterpiece, Petersburg, significantly influenced Russian prose and verse. 

Christopher Colbath received his Ph.D. from UCLA in 2005. He teaches writing at Mitchell College and Russian literature and film at Connecticut College. He lives in Groton, Connecticut.

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