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Zeitschrift für Slawistik

Ed. by Kosta, Peter / Kuße, Holger / Prunitsch, Christian / Udolph, Ludger

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Volume 60, Issue 4 (Nov 2015)


Mirror Motif and Mirrored Structure in Gogol’s “The Nose”: An Interpretation

Prof. Sang Hyun Kim
Published Online: 2015-11-04 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/slaw-2015-0036


Given the fact that Gogol’s works invite diverse interpretations, not restricted to a single theory or discipline, “The Nose” is much more intriguing in the sense that the text and its entire story are built on the mirrored structure, to which almost none of Gogol scholars have paid careful attentions. This is the underlying question this paper aims to explore, going beyond the general interpretations done by Freudian sexual discourse and Vinogradov’s Nosology, including Yermakov’s remarkable studies on the story. With this in mind, the primary purpose of this article then is to substantiate: in what manners the plot is structured and how does the mirror motif play a guiding role both architectonically and thematically. Then the paper argues that the mirrored structure might be compared to the traditional Russian triptych – складень трёхстворчатый, the special form of which is unarguably associated with the structure of the text. Equally, it should be noted that this unique mirrored structure is construed by the thematic unity on which Gogol put as an artistic code for his creation, “The Nose.”

Keywords: Petersburg Tales; “The Nose”; mirrored structured; motif of the nose; mirror motif

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About the article

Published Online: 2015-11-04

Published in Print: 2015-11-01

Citation Information: Zeitschrift für Slawistik, ISSN (Online) 2196-7016, ISSN (Print) 0044-3506, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/slaw-2015-0036.

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