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The Jewish Persona in the European ImaginationA Case of Russian Literature$
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Leonid Livak

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780804770552

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804770552.001.0001

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The Temptation of Taras

The Temptation of Taras

(p.138) Nine The Temptation of Taras
The Jewish Persona in the European Imagination
Stanford University Press

This chapter analyses the temptation experienced by the character of Taras in Nikolai Gogol's “Taras Bul'ba.” It suggests that Taras's journey through temptation parallels the crusade of the Cossacks, whose initial venture outside Zaporozh'e fails because they are not spiritually ready for an exploit, as illustrated by Andrii's Judas act or defection. The chapter also contends that Taras' martyrdom is an emulation of Christ and a salvific event for those putting faith in him, and considers the influence of Gogol's spiritual evolution on the plot of “Taras Bul'ba.”

Keywords:   Taras, temptation, Taras Bul'ba, Nikolai Gogol, Cossacks, martyrdom, salvific event, spiritual evolution

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