Nikolai Gogol

Author: Nikolai Gogol

Profile: Nikolai Gogol was born in the Urainian Cossack region to Cossack parents. Even as a child, Gogol was interested in literature, penning plays which were acted out in his uncle’s home theatre. He studied art in high school. Though he was not popular in school, he formed a few close friendships. In 1831, Gogol’s first volume of Ukrainian short stories met with instant success. Gogol was passionately interested in Ukrainian history and tried hard to secure teaching positions in universities. But he was not qualified for the job.

Though Gogol met with success in his literary pursuits, he did not for a long time believe in a literary vocation. He began a period of ascetic practices which led to depression. In a bout of depression, he burned several of his manuscripts. Soon after he stopped eating and after nine days died after enduring agonizing pain.

Writing style: Nicolai Gogol universe is one of the most original, unexpected and wonderful which an artist of words, has ever created. With regards to people and reality, he truly has an impressionist vision. Details upon details are strangely heaped upon his pictures of nature, resulting disassociated chaos of things. The caricaturist methods used help in exaggerating salient features and bring them down to a geometric pattern however having an inevitability, truthfulness and convincingness obtained with unexpected reality strokes.

Published Texts:

1831 – Had a story published in Anton Delvig’s Northern Flowers

1831 – Brought out the first volume of Ukrainian stories ‘Evenings on a Farm Near Kikanka’

1832 – Second volume of ‘Evening on a Farm Near Kikanka’

1835 – Two volumes of stories entitle Mirgorod

1835 – Two Volumes of miscellaneous prose entitled Arabesques

Taras Bulba (fictional story)

Dead Souls (satirical epic)

The Portrait

Marriage (Zhenitba) – comedy

Rome (fragment)

The Overcoat (short story)


Awards and Acknowledgements:

Made Professor of Medieval History at the University of St. Petersburg.

1909 - A Symbolistic statue and memorial on Arbat Square, the first Gogol monument in Moscow represented Gogol’s idea, rather than the real sculptor Nikolay Andreyev.

Gogol’s conventional statue in Rome at the Villa Borghese gardens.

Featured on Soviet and Russian postage stamps a number of times as well as on stamps worldwide.

2009 – A commemorative coin was issued by the National Bank of Ukraine dedicated to Gogol.

Many streets in various towns and cities including Moscow, Belgrade, Vladimir, Harbin and more have been named after Gogol.

Mentioned in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Poor Folk and Crime and Punishment and Chekhov’s The Seagull.

More than 135 films have been based on Gogol’s work.

Gogol’s name has been used as an ideological influence for the punk band, ‘Gogol Bordello’.

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