Image of Eternity in N. Gogol’s «Rome»
Seriously depressed by the failure in the first performance of his own drama«The Government Inspector», N. Gogol sought out a space, Italy, which is obviouslya turning point for the writer. Here in Italy, the writer could be able to explorean essential foundation for the national identity as well as self-identification ofRussian traditional culture, all of which have already been epitomized in theRenaissance period in Italy. The city Rome itself provided Gogol with its grandnessand harmonious perfectness, influencing something ‘spiritual being’ upon the writer. The work under discussion, “Rome,” is thus created through these literarycircumstances. Though it is made under the different title as “Annuntiata” andit delivers a love story between lovers, the story lines gradually turned into afiction about the city, Rome.
In comparison with city Paris, Gogol himself presents a negative view of theFrench metropolitan, saying that it is nothing but a by-product of the 19th centurycivilization. Interestingly enough, Rome for Gogol is totally different; it is theplace of sublimity, that is a locus of harmonious, holy, and eternal city. Likewise,this pattern can be said of another description on the two contradictory cities:Paris and Rome. Again, Gogol fully pictures the city Paris as centripetal andRome as centrifugal, in which the main protagonist makes the reader indulgein his own world. Throughout the story the writer tells us a transformationexperienced by his character, and the work ends with an open denouement. LikeJerusalem, Rome is the city of resurrection for Gogol. Yet, this kind of possibilityof transformation in the story is exposed to the hero, and it arguably dependson the extent to which he explores the readiness for encountering of ‘eternity’in this “eternal city.”