Had Gogol Ever Been to Spain? The Modern View

The material was received by the Editorial Board: 2015-10-6

The article systematizes and comments on the reports of contemporaries and Gogol’s early biographers concerning his journey to Spain and Portugal. Skeptical judgments on the matter in modern literary studies are considered in this article. None of Gogol’s contem­poraries, who left notes on this journey, had doubted the fact of travelling. Skepticism on this matter appeared in modern times and is based on the fact that such reports have no documentary confirmation - there are no letters from Spain or Portugal written by Gogol or any evidence left by Gogol’s contemporaries about meeting him in these two countries. The article raises a question as to what the grounds for considering a certain fact to have a documentary confirmation are. If a document contradicts other facts and is not confirmed by other reports it may not be considered reliable. There isn’t any ground for doubting that Gogol did travel to the civil war-stricken Spain in the summer of 1837. Few facts of his bi­ography have such numerous, but unconnected witness reports by his contemporaries. The time of the journey had been specified - Gogol had made it in the period from June the 27th (New Style) until July the 26th (New Style) 1837.

Keywords: Gogol, journey to Spain and Portugal, reports by contemporaries, scientific biography, the modern view.

Had Gogol Ever Been to Spain? The Modern View
References: Vladimir A. Voropayev Had Gogol Ever Been to Spain? The Modern View . Universum Humanitarium (En). 2, #1. С. 92–102.