“162 years ago today, Nikolai Gogol burned most of the second part of his novel “Dead Souls” — a grave loss for world literature. Soon after that, Gogol took to bed, refused all food, and died in great pain.” ~ Moscow Times
Nikolai Gogol (1809–1852) began to publish stories in 1828, and by the mid-1830s he had established himself in the literary world and been warmly praised by Pushkin. In 1836, his play The Inspector-General was attacked as immoral, and Gogol went abroad, where he remained for most of the next twelve years. During this time he wrote two of his best-known stories, “The Nose” and “The Overcoat,” and in 1842 he published the first part of his masterpiece Dead Souls. Gogol became ever more religious as the years passed, and in 1847 he fell under the sway of an Orthodox priest on whose advice he burned much of the second part of Dead Souls and soon gave up writing altogether. After undertaking a fast to purify his soul, he died at the age of forty-two. ~ Donald Rayfield is emeritus professor of Russian and Georgian at Queen Mary, University of London.
The photo below, Gogol’s statue, was taken at the Gogol House Museum during my recent trip to Moscow.