Dr. M. Weisskopf’s lecture is devoted to Gogol's famous story "Overcoat". It is believed to reflect the pathetic hopes and the tragedy of the so-called "little man" who will later become one of the central figures in Russian realistic prose. Mikhail Weisskopf revises radically this traditional view. He interprets the masterpiece as a superbly camouflaged system of logical traps and mystifications covering the entire hero’s life story – since his birth and baptizing – and the life of St. Petersburg as its background. A world of continuous fictions from the black mass to catharsis hides and slightly reveals Gogol's genuine religious attitudes infinitely far from the standard piety.