Vinogradov I.A. “Superfluous Men” of Russian Literature: New in the School Topic
A new approach to the study of the readerʼs, “school” topic of “superfluous men” in Russian literature is proposed. The principle material in rethinking this topic is the work of Nikolay Gogol. Traditionally, in the research studies, Gogol’s numerous writerʼs merits underline the important contribution that he made, following Alexander Pushkin, to the development of the theme of the “little”, destitute person. However, ideological obstacles diverted the attention of critics and subsequent researchers from the fact that the theme of the “little man” in Gogol’s work is the only one of the constituent parts of the much wider theme of the “superfluous” oppositional man – one of representatives of the extensive Gogol’s gallery of “dead souls”. Thus, an extremely important link was missed in the history of Russian literature. Although the term “superfluous man” itself appeared later (Gogol himself called this type “an aggrieved person”), however, as the very content of Gogol’s creativity testifies, this theme for the writer is, without exaggeration, one of the most “central” and key ones. According to Gogol’s point of view, the solution to the problem of a “superfluous man” is not to change the political system of society, but the spiritual and professional growth of each of its members.
Nikolay Gogol, Alexander Pushkin, Vissarion Belinsky, biography, creativity, interpretation, hermeneutics, autobiographic approach, hero typology, “superfluous men”, controversy, social ideology, spiritual heritage