Tagebuch eines Wahnsinnigen
The low-ranking civil servant Proprishchin refuses to play by society’s rules and to accept the role allotted to him. He feels destined for higher things and is affronted by the circumstances of his miserable existence. A subtle rejection of reality sets in. Ultimately, all that is left is total solitude inside his insane dream-world, where he can talk to dogs and become crowned as king of Spain.
In Aksenty Proprishchin, Nikolai Gogol portrays a character who is broken by the alienated existence of humankind in modern society and who refers directly to our present times. Even though it was created in the early 19th century, the world that Gogol outlines already contains many Kafkaesque and surreal scenarios of modernity.