Monday, July 14, 2014

HOC (The Nose)

MONUMENT TO "THE NOSE," ST. PETERSBURG (picture taken in summer, 2005)

Gogol's story "The Nose" features a nose who escapes from its owner's face, takes on an existence of its own, and, for a brief time, enjoys its new way of life. Critics have come up with a plethora of interpretations, but the story has no definitive explanation. It's is Gogol's most famous example of fiction as prank.

As if inspired by the festive giddiness of the story, pranksters have made a habit of kidnapping The Nose from its post, at the corner of Voznesensky Prospect and Rimsky-Korsakov St. This crossroads, by the way, is also the setting for a famous scene from Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. It was here that the hapless Marmeladov was trampled by horses.

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