The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich Background

The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich Background

"The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich" is a short story of Nikolai Gogol. It was Included in the stories collection "Mirgorod".

First it was published in the anthology of Smirdin "The Housewarming" (the 2nd part, 1834). With minor stylistic corrections was included in "Mirgorod" in 1835 year.

In the story of the quarrel of Ivan Ivanovich and Ivan Nikiforovich Gogol in all nakedness displays provincial life in the county town. Analysis of this life shows that it is not illuminated by any overriding interest. There is no trace of the disarming simplicity and cordiality, this work shows the existence of a broken, constrained propriety, enslaved gossip and malice. It is a quiet swamp, which is not necessary to stir, otherwise the dirt would rise from the bottom! Heroes of "The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich" do not live peacefully.

The naivete of the story by Gogol is masterfully maintained: it allows the author to hide the condemnation of this life, allows him to refrain from caricature, of subjectivity, which only at the end of the story breaks in the author's exclamation: "boring to live in this world, gentlemen!"

The literary history of this story is quite clear. Live impressions of Russian provincial life, collected by Gogol in 1832, when he went back home, gave him a sketch of the images, the insignificance of which he felt when was a young man.

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