2021 №20

Author: Igor A. Vinogradov
УДК / UDK: 821.161.1.0
About the author:

Igor A. Vinogradov, DSc in Philology, Director of Research, А.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 а, 121069 Moscow, Russia.


E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


For the first time, an analytical review of all, without exception, censorship stories of N.V. Gogol’s works is presented. An objective picture of Gogol's relationship with the censorship is being recreated. The findings of the study allow, with good reason, to judge about the interference of censors in the writer's works in a fundamentally different way, in comparison with the ideas offered by literary criticism of the previous period without solid evidence. Based on a thorough analysis, involving numerous archival sources, the common, stereotypical opinions about the extremely negative role of censorship in Gogol’s fate are being revised. The most significant negative result among all censorship interventions in Gogol's works was the activity of the censor of Westernizing views, opposed to the government, a professor at St. Petersburg University, A.V. Nikitenko. It is the numerous reductions of Nikitenko, И.А. Виноградов. Произведения Н .В. Гоголя и цензура 255 a friend of V.G. Belinsky, in Gogol's religious and patriotic book “Selected Passages from Correspondence with Friends” that the writer called “censorship murder”. No less significant was the intervention of the liberal censor in the texts of “Dead Souls”, “Theatrical Travel after the Presentation of a New Comedy” and other works of the writer. It is concluded that, with the exception of this “intrigue” against Gogol by the censor Nikitenko, on the whole Gogol's texts encountered relatively insignificant difficulties in censorship.

Keywords: Gogol, biography, creativity, censorship, interpretations, author's intention, poetics, social ideology, history of Russia, spiritual heritage.
For citation:

Vinogradov, I.A. “N.V. Gogol’s Works and Censorship.” Literaturnyi fakt, no. 2 (20), 2021, pp. 238–256. 


1. Vinogradov, I.A. Gogol' v vospominaniiakh, dnevnikakh, perepiske sovremennikov. Polnyi sistematicheskii svod dokumental'nykh svidetel'stv. Nauchno-kriticheskoe izdanie: v 3 t. [Gogol in Contemporaries’ Memoirs, Diaries and Correspondence. Full Systematic Set of Documentary Evidence. Scientific and Critical Edition: in 3 vols.], vol. 1. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2011. 904 p. (In Russ.)

2. Vinogradov, I.A. “Kontsept zakona v tvorchestve N.V. Gogolia” [“Concept of Law in the Works of N.V. Gogol”]. Problemy istoricheskoi poetiki, vol. 18, no. 2, 2020, pp. 64–86. (In Russ.)

3. Vinogradov, I.A. Letopis' zhizni i tvorchestva N.V. Gogolia (1809–1852). Nauchnoe izdanie: v 7 t. [Chronicle of N.V. Gogol’s Life and Work (1809–1852). Scientific Edition: in 7 vols.], vol. 7. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2018. 640 p. (In Russ.)

4. Vinogradov, I.A. “N.V. Gogol' i zakony Rossiiskoi Imperii: K edinstvu naslediia pisatelia” [“N.V. Gogol and the Laws of the Russian Empire: On the Unity of the Writer's Heritage”]. Dva veka russkoi klassiki, vol. 2, no. 2, 2020, pp. 66–133. (In Russ.)

5. Vinogradov, I.A. “Psikhologizm N.V. Gogolia” [“Psychology of Nikolai Gogol”]. Dva veka russkoi klassiki, vol. 2, no. 4, 2020, pp. 6–73. (In Russ.)

6. Vinogradov, I.A. “Khudozhnik i vlast'. N.V. Gogol' i tsenzurnaia politika XIX –XX vv.” [“Artist and Authorities. Nikolay Gogol and the Censorship Policy of the 19th–20th Centuries”]. Dva veka russkoi klassiki, vol. 3, no. 1, 2021, pp. 40–111. (In Russ.)

7. Vinogradov, I.A. “Evoliutsiia teksta: avtorskii kommentarii N.V. Gogolia k poetike komedii ‛Revizor’.” [“Evolution of the Text: Commentary by N.V. Gogol to the Poetics of the Comedy ‛The Inspector General’.”] Problemy istoricheskoi poetiki, vol. 18, no. 1, 2020, pp. 146–174. (In Russ.)

8. Gogol', N.V. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii i pisem: v 17 t. (15 kn.) [ The Complete Works and Letters: in 17 vols. (15 books)], comp., text prep and comm. by I.A. Vinogradov, V.A. Voropaev. Moscow, Kiev, Izdatel'stvo Moskovskoi Patriarkhii Publ., 2009–2010. (In Russ.)

9. Gogol', N.V. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii i pisem: v 23 t. [ The Complete Works and Letters: in 23 vols.], vol. 7, book 1, texts and comm. prep. by N.L. Vinogradskaia, P.Iu. Gurevich, E.E. Dmitrieva, I.A. Zaitseva, Iu.V. Mann, O.K. Suproniuk, A.S. Sholokhova. Moscow, Nauka Publ., 2012. 808 p. (In Russ.)

10. Zviagintsev, A.G. “Virus natsizma” [“Virus of Nazism”]. Vestnik Rossiiskogo fonda fundamental'nykh issledovanii. Gumanitarnye i obshchestvennye nauki, no. 2 (95), 2019, pp. 41–50. (In Russ.)

11. Inozemtseva, Z.P. “Usvoit' dukhovnye plody podviga novomuchenikov i ispovednikov XX stoletiia — nasushchnaia zadacha nashego obshchestva” [“To Assimilate the Spiritual Fruits of the Feat of New Martyrs and Confessors of the 20th Century is the Urgent Task of Our Society”]. Optinskii al'manakh [Optina Monastery Almanac], issue 6: V poiskakh Grada Nebesnogo [In Search of the Heavenly City]. Kozel'sk, Vvedenskii stavropigial'nyi muzhskoi monastyr' Optina pustyn' Publ., 2020, pp. 133–153. (In Russ.)

12. Perepiska Ia.K. Grota s P.A. Pletnevym [Correspondence Between Ya.K. Grot and P.A. Pletnev], vol. 2, ed. by K.Ia. Grot. St. Petersburg, Tipografiia Ministerstva putei soobshcheniia Publ., 1896. 968 p. (In Russ.)

13. Pletnev, P.A. Sochineniia i perepiska [Works and Letters], vol. 3, ed. by Ya. Grot. St. Petersburg, Tipografiia Imperatorskoi Akademii nauk Publ., 1885. 757 p. (In Russ.)

14. Serbskii, G.P. “Avtorskie nedosmotry i avtotsenzura v pervom tome ‛Mertvykh dush’ Gogolia” [“Author's Oversights and Auto-censorship in the First Volume of Gogol's ʽDead Souls’.”]. Stranitsy istorii russkoi literatury. K 80-letiiu chlena-korrespondenta AN SSSR N.F. Bel'chikova [Pages of the History of Russian Literature. On the 80th Anniversary of the Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences N.F. Belchikov]. Moscow, Nauka Publ., 1971, pp. 366–375. (In Russ.)

15. Smirnova-Rosset, A.O. Dnevnik. Vospominaniia [ Diary. Memoirs], ed. by S.V. Zhitomirskaia. Moscow, Nauka Publ., 1989. 792 p. (In Russ.)