Meditations on Form and Meaning in Gogol's “On Present-Day Architecture”

in Russian History
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Abstract

In the 175 years since Gogol published his Arabesques, there have been numerous attempts to unravel the meaning of the essays. This attempt to understand Gogol's 1831 essay “On Present-Day Architecture” tests a variety of old and new architectural theories against his seemingly impenetrable illogic. The essay also considers his use of synecdoche in his fictional and non-fictional works. The essay is, in the end, a meditation on Gogol's methods of construction and his pursuit of balance in a chaotic world.

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