aaus-list @ ukrainianstudies.org -- [aaus-list] WIKIPEDIA on Bulba

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Taras Bulba is a romanticized short historical novel by Nikolai Gogol.
It tells the story of an old Russian Cossack, Taras Bulba, and his two
sons, Andriy and Ostap. Tarasí sons studied at the Kyiv Academy and
return home. The three men set out on a journey to Zaporizhian Sich
located in Ukraine, where they join other Cossacks and go to war
against the Polish nobles.

Taras Bulba is Gogolís longest short story. The work is classical in
nature with characters that are not exaggerated or grotesque as was
common in Gogol's later work, though his characterizations of Cossacks
are said to be a bit exaggerated by some scholars. This story can be
understood in the context of the romantic nationalism movement in
literature, which developed around a historical ethnic culture which
meets the romantic ideal. The original 1835 edition reflects the
Ukrainian context of the story. The second 1842 edition, revised in
response to critics who called Gogol's DEAD SOULS "anti Russian,"
includes Russian nationalist themes in keeping with official tsarist
ideology at the time.<ref E. Bojanowska, NIKOLAI GOGOL: BETWEEN
UKRAINIAN AND RUSSIAN NATIONALISM (2007). This second "pro RUssian
edition has been cited as the seminal work establishing the concept of
the "Russian Soul." The story is rich in adventure and battle scenes
as well as touches of Gogolís characteristic humor.

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