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The young Gogol published a study on the teaching of geography for children in 1831. At the same time, he was writing the collection of short stories, Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka (1831–1832). We can observe interesting connections between his texts – prose fictions and pedagogical writing – of this period: motives belonging to geography, history and folklore make a specifically large context. The author’s interest in geology, as he writes, in the „underground geography” (“подземная география”) – the earth’s crust, rocks, strata – corresponds with the “underground mythology and folklore” in the Dikanka stories, with the demonic figures ( колдун, ведьма, черт ), places ( abyss, ravine, depths of the earth, swamp, churchyard ) and time ( night ). In this study, on the basis of the Gogol’s long-time unedited manuscripts ( Неизданный Гоголь , ed. by I. A. Vinogradov, Moscow, 2001) we investigate the common roots of the seemingly heterogeneous motives to discover the hidden strata and meanings of his early works.

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= Cattani A. La Dikan’ka di Gogol’ come cronotopo del carnevale bachtiniano . Studia Russica XXIV . Budapest , 2011 . 73 – 83 . Chodorow 1978

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