/Lesson of reading and watching „The Nose” by Nikolai Gogol

Lesson of reading and watching „The Nose” by Nikolai Gogol

Etiuda&Anima i Tygodnik Powszechny presents!

Hosted by: Grzegorz Jankowicz

Legendary serie „Reading lesson” with Grzegorz Jankowycz from „Tygodnik Powszechny”, this time as a film. As a subject of this attentive and unconventional reading we are going to take “The Nose” – a short story by Nikolai Gogol and its animated adaptation directed by Alexander Alexeieff and Claire Parker (1963).


We invite you to play with interpretation between a great literature and a visionary animation! Can animated movie be the rightful adaptation of literary mastery? Is it possible for animation to express the gloominess of writer’s imaginings? Can it take a simple reading to another quality?

„The Nose” by Nikolai Gogol was written in 1836. The title character happens to separate from its owner’s face and starts to live his own life…

The authors were always fascinated by all the physical transformations and surreal phenomena. Alexander Alexeieff and Claire Parker interpret Gogol’s idea very creatively and making a good use of old technique – a pinscreen animation.


„Claire Parker and Alexander Alexeieff have engineered and patented a large horizontal desktop with 500 thousands pins in it. They could regulate the length of the pins with a set of rollers and spatulas and get relief images in a greyscale. The pin could give a white colour by being completely pushed in, black when pushed out and those between – different shades of gray. For the first time the effect was seen in the movie “The Night on Łysa Góra” based on symphonic poem by Modest Musorgski and it could be watched as a movable etching or as a kind of black and white oil paintings. Every frame change entailed rearrange of the whole screen, lights and exposure time. As Alexeieff said in the interview, it was very difficult to create more than 3-4 minutes of film yearly in this technique. Until 1980 Alexeieff and Parker made only five short movies with a pinscreen. All of them combines are less than 40 minutes. In 1960’s they were trying to make their invention public for creating some abstract movies, but it ended with just a few promising experiments.”

– Paweł Sitkiewicz, „W pogoni za niemożliwym. Niekonwencjonalne techniki animacji”, „Ekrany” 2014, nr 5.


„Reading lessons” is an social initiative by Fundacja Tygodnika Powszechnego to bring some attention to literature by discussing selected books or poems with outstanding writers, critics and professors.

Registration required. The event is dedicated for 100 people at most. Send us your name and surname to the address: relacje.eia@gmail.com and as a title write “Lekcja czytania”



„The Nose” by Nikolai Gogol – Reading lesson on E&A – Grzegorz Jankowicz

Pauza In Garden (Rajska 12)
November 23rd (Tuesday) 5:00 PM

admission free
e-mail registration required: relacje.eia@gmail.com