Nikolai Gogol - Life Stories, Books, and Links
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Stories about Nikolai Gogol

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Picture of Nikolai Gogol, author of Dead Souls; nineteenth century Russian Literature
Nikolai Gogol   (1809 - 1852)
Category:  Russian Literature
Born:  March 31, 1809
Sorochintsi, Ukraine, Russia
Died:  February 21, 1852
Moscow, Russia
Related authors:
Anton Chekhov, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy
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Nikolai Gogol - LIFE STORIES
2/21/1852     Gogol's Last Days, Lost "Nose"
On this day in 1852 Nikolai Gogol died at the age of forty-two. His unique style is a comic-tragic-absurd hybrid which has led to him being labeled the Hieronymous Bosch of Russian Literature. Having come under the sway of a fanatical priest late in life, and then been subjected to the treatments of several quack doctors, Gogol's last days mirrored one of his bizarre stories all too closely.
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Dead Souls
Selected Passages from Correspondence with Friends
The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol
by Nikolai Gogol, Richard Pevear (Translator), Larissa Volokhonsky (Translator)
anthology, fiction
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Nikolai Gogol
by Vladimir Nabokov
biography, literary criticism
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"Russian Serfs and Nikolai Gogol"
Offers historical context and commentary on serfdom and Dead Souls.

"The buying and selling of souls, dead or alive, is a morbid topic. Whether the merchandising of dead souls actually occurred is almost irrelevant to the deeper issue presented by Gogol; the value of human life. This is something he obviously struggled with. like his contemporary, Leo Tolstoy, Gogol came from the upper class and was seen as a traitor to his class. He died young at the age of just 41, only nine years before Alexander's Emancipation Edict."
Chagall Etchings for Dead Souls
Read the story of how Marc Chagall came to produce his renowned series of etchings inspired by Dead Souls. With critical commentary and illustrations.

"The result is one of the masterpieces of modern art. ... The characterizations of the people whom Chagall presents us are so striking that we instantly recognize them not simply as portaits of individuals but as representatives of the human comedy that so much of Chagall's art illustrates for us. Nor is this effect diminished upon further viewing; rather it is strenghtened the more familiarity we gain with the images."
Offers excerpts from Dead Souls on a variety of topics, including the purity of agrarian life, the evils of money, and the torment of intellect. On the relationship between the body, soul, and earthly fortunes:

"Believe me, my dear fellow, that so long as people refuse to give up everything for the sake of which they attack and devour each other on earth, that so long as they refuse to think of putting their spiritual fortune in order, there will be no fair distribution of earthly fortunes, either. A time of famine and poverty will come and the people as a whole as well as every individual in it will suffer... That, my dear sir, is clear enough. Whatever you may say, the body depends on the soul."
-- Murazov to Chichilov
Online Books Page
Find electronic texts including Dead Souls, The Inspector-General: A Comedy in Five Acts, and Taras Bulba and Other Tales.
The Rise of Prose
Russian Literature lecture notes discuss the author's life and his contribution to magic realism, with specific reference to Dead Souls. Suggestions for further reading are also provided.

"The writer who did most to establish prose as a force in Russian literary culture, however, was Gogol. Gogol's example, combined with the authoritative literary pronouncements of the greatest literary critic of the period, V. G. Belinsky, established prose as the literary medium of the future. The great novelist Dostoevsky is supposed to have said, referring to himself and his fellow Realists, 'We have all come out from under Gogol's 'Overcoat.'"
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February 20, 2018
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