Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
LITERATUROVEDCHESKII
ZHURNAL
The Journal of Literary History and Theory
Peer-reviewed Academic Journal

“THIS CURSED INCOGNITO”: N. GOGOL’S SATIRICAL PLAY THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR AS A PRETEXT FOR I. IL’F AND E. PETROV’S NOVEL THE TWELVE CHAIRS

Bersina M.E.

Margarita E. Berzina, PhD Student of the Department of History of Russian Literature, Faculty of Philology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1st building of humanitarian faculties, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskie Gory, GSP-1, 119991, Moscow, Russia. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0839-6655

Abstract

The poetics of the novel The Twelve Chairs by I. Il’f and E. Petrov is a poetics, ironic in relation to classic literature, it is a poetics of a literary game. The first book about Ostap Bender, as generally recognized by researchers, is characterized by an extremely high level of intertextuality; the two authors’ references to literature of the 19th century are especially frequent. This fact was indirectly noted even in the first negative review. In the below article, N. Gogol’s satirical play The Government Inspector is considered as one of the important pre-texts for the “Stargorod chapters”: similarities can be traced at the level of treatment (and the author’s attitude) to the word of comic culture, at the levels of the character system, plot and composition, and also emphasized images and motifs. Both in The Government Inspector and in the first part of the novel, the key episodes are: the appearance of two strangers in a provincial town, the motives of deception, fear, dispelled illusions, as well as the incriminating image of the provincial town and the image of so-called inspector. The article confirms that the novel by Il’f and Petrov The Twelve Chairs is largely inspired by Gogol’s work.

Keywords

I. Il’f; E. Petrov; N. Gogol; The Twelve Chairs; The Government Inspector; word of comic culture; continuity.

Recieved

15.01.2024

Accepted

12.02.2024

For citation

Bersina, M.E. “‘This Cursed Incognito’: N. Gogol’s Satirical Play The Government Inspector as a Pretext for I. Il’f and E. Petrov’s Novel The Twelve Chairs”. Literaturovedcheskii zhurnal, no. 2(64), 2024, pp. 113–135. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.31249/litzhur/2024.64.06

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