ABSTRACT

This article is aimed at the comparative analysis of the selected short stories of Nikolai Gogol and the paintings of René Magritte, the Belgian artist most often associated with surrealism. The dominant rule governing the works of Magritte and Gogol seems to be the poetics of negation, built, among other things, on emphasizing the lack of an expected value or its replacement with an opposite one. Gogol, whose works had a critical influence on the development of Russian literature, shows in most of his texts the decline of the human being. The exaggerated pictures of the physical degradation of the body are Gogol’s method to turn attention to those characters who are pushed to live on the margins of society. Magritte, on the other hand, puts emphasis on an ironic play between the expected and unexpected, as well as the representation, reproduction and repetition of other typical elements of his technique. The publication shows that in spite of the differences between the medium of representation and the thematic content of the works, the authors use similar montage strategies such as the use of visual metonymy, synecdoche, suspense and repetitive close-ups of body parts. In this context, we refer to the Eisenstein’s concept of montage and discuss the artists’ experiments with prosthetic bodies. 

KEYWORDS: Gogol, Magritte, montage, negation, Eisenstein