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Gogol's Aesthetics Compared to Major Elements of German Romanticism

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Rosemarie K. Jenness

Scholars have traditionally underestimated Gogol as a theorist and critic of art. Taking a fresh look at his fictional and nonfictional work, the author finds compelling evidence that Gogol was a conscious and rather consistent thinker. Gogol's basic assumptions concerning the role of the poet, the nature of the creative process, and the spiritual dimension of art are shown to coincide significantly with the aesthetics of early German Romanticism. Also presented here are some novel perspectives on The Inspector General and Dead Souls.