Classification – name: Literary studies
Publisher: A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IWL RAS Publ.)
Rights – description: Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 (СС BY-ND)
Rights – URL:
Language of the publication: Russian
Type of document: Monograph
Collection: Literary process in Russia of the 18th  — 19th centuries. Secular and spiritual literature. Issue 2
Year of publication: 2020
Place of publication: Moscow


Author: Igor A. Vinogradov
Vinogradov I.A. Religious motifs of the comedy of Nikolai Gogol “The Gamblers”

About the author

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


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The fundamental, plot-forming theme for Nikolai Gogol’s comedy «The Gamblers” (1842) is investigated, the idea that ignoring a secularised society of spiritual ideals, focusing only on «technical» improvement leads to the exhaustion of a credit of trust between people, without which the existence of any social institution is impossible. The originality of Nikolai Gogol’s plan lies in the fact that he managed to put an ordinary card game on a par with numerous phenomena of public life, in which, since the time of Peter I and Catherine II, «imaginative» values based on conditional recognition of their validity began to play a much bigger role, than in pre-Petrine Russia. The play is considered in the context of all the writer’s work; a connection is established between its content and «The Government Inspector” (1836), «Dead Souls» (1842), the book «Selected Passages from Correspondence with Friends» (1847), and other works by Nikolai Gogol.

Keywords: Nikolai Gogol, artistic creative work, author’s intention, interpretation, spiritual heritage.