Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

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Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

Russian: Николай Васильевич Гоголь (Гоголь-Яновский), German: Nikolai Wassiljewitsch Gogol
Birthplace: Velyki Sorochyntsi, Myrhorods'kyi district, Полтавская губ., Российская империя
Death: February 21, 1852 (42)
Moscow, Russia (Russian Federation) (self-inflicted starvation)
Immediate Family:

Son of Василий Афанасьевич Гоголь-Яновский and Мария Ивановна Гоголь-Яновская
Brother of Иван Васильевич Гоголь-Яновский; Мария Васильевна Трушковская; Татьяна Васильевна Гоголь-Яновская; Анна Васильевна Гоголь-Яновская; Елизавета Васильевна Быкова and 1 other

Occupation: Author
Managed by: Private User
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About Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

From Wikipedia:

Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (Russian: Никола́й Васи́льевич Го́голь, tr. Nikolay Vasilyevich Gogol; IPA: nʲɪkɐˈlaj vɐˈsʲilʲjɪvʲɪtɕ ˈgogəlʲ; Ukrainian: Мико́ла Васи́льович Го́голь, Mykola Vasyliovych Gogol; 31 March (O.S. 19 March) 1809 – 4 March (O.S. 21 February) 1852) was a Ukrainian Russian-language dramatist, novelist and short story writer.

Considered by his contemporaries one of the preeminent figures of the natural school of Russian literary realism, later critics have found in Gogol's work a fundamentally romantic sensibility, with strains of Surrealism and the grotesque ("The Nose", "Viy", "The Overcoat," "Nevsky Prospekt"). His early works, such as Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, were influenced by his Ukrainian upbringing, Ukrainian culture and folklore. His later writing satirised political corruption in the Russian Empire (The Government Inspector, Dead Souls), leading to his eventual exile. The novel Taras Bulba (1835) and the play Marriage (1842), along with the short stories "Diary of a Madman", "The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich", "The Portrait" and "The Carriage", round out the tally of his best-known works.

Early life

Gogol was born in the Ukrainian Cossack village of Sorochyntsi, in Poltava Governorate of the Russian Empire, present-day Ukraine. His mother was a descendant of Polish landowners. His father Vasily Gogol-Yanovsky, a descendant of Ukrainian Cossacks and who died when Gogol was 15 years old, belonged to the 'petty gentry', wrote poetry in Ukrainian and Russian, and was an amateur Ukrainian-language playwright. As was typical of the left-bank Ukrainian gentry of the early nineteenth century, the family spoke Ukrainian as well as Russian. As a child, Gogol helped stage Ukrainian-language plays in his uncle's home theater.

In 1820, Gogol went to a school of higher art in Nizhyn and remained there until 1828. It was there that he began writing. He was not popular among his schoolmates, who called him their "mysterious dwarf", but with two or three of them he formed lasting friendships. Very early he developed a dark and secretive disposition, marked by a painful self-consciousness and boundless ambition. Equally early he developed a talent for mimicry, which later made him a matchless reader of his own works and induced him to toy with the idea of becoming an actor.

In 1828, on leaving school, Gogol came to Saint Petersburg, full of vague but glowingly ambitious hopes. He had hoped for literary fame, and brought with him a Romantic poem of German idyllic life – Hans Küchelgarten. He had it published, at his own expense, under the name of "V. Alov." The magazines he sent it to almost universally derided it. He bought all the copies and destroyed them, swearing never to write poetry again.

Gogol was one of the first masters of the short story, alongside Alexander Pushkin, Prosper Mérimée, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Edgar Allan Poe, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. He was in touch with the "literary aristocracy", had a story published in Anton Delvig's Northern Flowers, was taken up by Vasily Zhukovsky and Pyotr Pletnyov, and (in 1831) was introduced to Pushkin.

Creative decline and death

After the triumph of Dead Souls, Gogol's contemporaries came to regard him as a great satirist who lampooned the unseemly sides of Imperial Russia. Little did they know that Dead Souls was but the first part of a planned modern-day counterpart to The Divine Comedy of Dante. The first part represented the Inferno; the second part would depict the gradual purification and transformation of the rogue Chichikov under the influence of virtuous publicans and governors – Purgatory.

In April 1848 Gogol returned to Russia from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and passed his last years in restless movement throughout the country. While visiting the capitals, he stayed with friends such as Mikhail Pogodin and Sergei Aksakov. During this period, he also spent much time with his old Ukrainian friends, Maksymovych and Osyp Bodiansky. He intensified his relationship with a starets or spiritual elder, Matvey Konstantinovsky, whom he had known for several years. Konstantinovsky seems to have strengthened in Gogol the fear of perdition by insisting on the sinfulness of all his imaginative work. Exaggerated ascetic practices undermined his health and he fell into a state of deep depression. On the night of 24 February 1852 he burned some of his manuscripts, which contained most of the second part of Dead Souls. He explained this as a mistake, a practical joke played on him by the Devil. Soon thereafter, he took to bed, refused all food, and died in great pain nine days later.

Gogol was mourned in the Saint Tatiana church at the Moscow University before his burial and then buried at the Danilov Monastery, close to his fellow Slavophile Aleksey Khomyakov. His grave was marked by a large stone (Golgotha), topped by a Russian Orthodox cross. In 1931 Moscow authorities decided to demolish the monastery and had Gogol's remains transferred to the Novodevichy Cemetery.

His body was discovered lying face down; which gave rise to the story that Gogol had been buried alive. The authorities moved the Golgotha stone to the new gravesite, but removed the cross; in 1952 the Soviets replaced the stone with a bust of Gogol. The stone was later reused for the tomb of Gogol's admirer Mikhail Bulgakov. In 2009, in connection with the bicentennial of Gogol's birth, the bust was moved to the museum at Novodevichy Cemetery, and the original Golgotha stone was returned, along with a copy of the original Orthodox cross.

The first Gogol monument in Moscow, a Symbolist statue on Arbat Square, represented the sculptor Nikolay Andreyev's idea of Gogol rather than the real man. Unveiled in 1909, the statue received praise from Ilya Repin and from Leo Tolstoy as an outstanding projection of Gogol's tortured personality. Joseph Stalin did not like it, however, and the statue was replaced by a more orthodox Socialist Realism monument in 1952. It took enormous efforts to save Andreyev's original work from destruction; as of 2014 it stands in front of the house where Gogol died.

О Николае Васильевиче Гоголе (русский)

Никола́й Васи́льевич Го́голь (фамилия при рождении Яно́вский, с 1821 — Го́голь-Яно́вский; 20 марта [1 апреля] 1809, Сорочинцы, Миргородский уезд, Полтавская губерния — 21 февраля [4 марта] 1852, Москва) — русский прозаик, драматург, критик, публицист, признанный одним из классиков русской литературы. Происходил из старинного малороссийского дворянского рода Гоголей-Яновских.

По мнению В. Белинского и Н. Чернышевского, Гоголь стал основателем литературного направления — основного этапа «натуральной школы» 1840-х годов; современные исследователи считают, что он оказал большое влияние на русскую и мировую литературу. Влияние Гоголя на своё творчество признавали Михаил Булгаков, Фёдор Достоевский, Рюноскэ Акутагава, Фланнери О’Коннор, Франц Кафка и многие другие.

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Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol's Timeline

March 20, 1809
Velyki Sorochyntsi, Myrhorods'kyi district, Полтавская губ., Российская империя
February 21, 1852
Age 42
Moscow, Russia (Russian Federation)