Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol was the founder of Russian realism. He was born on March 31st 1809 in Ukraine that was then a part of the Russian empire.

He finished school about the time he turned 19 and then he moved to Petersburg. He changed many jobs, tried to become an actor but ended up as a placeholder in a state service.

While he was working there, at his own expense, Nikolai published a high school poem but the people didn’t like it so Gogol burned all of the copies and started fantasizing about moving to America.

A few years later he started to work as a history teacher in an all girls boarding school and parallel to that he worked as a private teacher for rich kids. He published a book of novels "Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka" and soon became famous in the literary circles and became friends with Pushkin.

In 1835 he published "Mirgorod", a book of short stories, that included "Taras Bulba" which was expanded into a novel later on. He published another short stories collection called "Arabesques" . After that the period od "Petersburg’s stories" began and one of the most famous are "The overcoat" and "The Nose".

In 1836 he achieved great success with the comedy "The Government Inspector". It is supposed that he got the idea from Pushkin as well as for the novel "Dead Souls". Gogol imagined him like Dante’s "Divine Comedy".

"Dead Souls" were supposed to be divided into three parts and the only one finished was the first one and it was published in 1842. The first part was supposed to be hell. He was working on the second part for 10 years and then he became a religious fanatic and went to a pilgrimage to Palestine. It is believed that he fell under the influence of a priest and burned the second part of "Dead Souls".

He dies in 1852, on March 4th.

Dead Souls

"The Dead Souls" is the unfinished novel written by Nikolay Vasilievich Gogol. Published in 1842, and used as a setting point for the Russian literary realism. "The Dead Souls" consists out of three different poems, only five fragments of the second one saved, and the third one being lost completely. Gogol was writing the first part of the novel for seven years while he was traveling … [Read more...]

The Government Inspector

"The Government Inspector" is a comedy by Nikolai Gogol written in 1835 and performed in 1836 but it was published in 1842. The comedy is divided into 5 acts. The plot is settled in Russia in the first half of 19th century and the theme is identity swap. In a small village an important person is expected to arrive from the capital but instead of the important person somebody else … [Read more...]

The Overcoat

"The Overcoat" is a story by a Russian author Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol. Even though most romantics place their main characters on prestigious places in the society Gogol did just the opposite. The main character is an ordinary worker who transcripts books. Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin isn’t rich, doesn’t have a big house or a huge salary. The author created an anti-hero who takes his … [Read more...]