Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Nikolai Gogol (1 April 1809 – 4 March 1852) was a Russian novelist, short story writer and playwright of Ukrainian origin.

Life and Career

Nikolai Gogol was born on 1 April 1809 in the Ukrainian Cossack town of Sorochyntsi.

He was the son of a Ukrainian Cossack who was also an amateur playwright. After finishing his studies in the city of Nizhyn, he moved to St. Petersburg in 1828 to pursue a career in literature.

Gogol’s early works were heavily influenced by Ukrainian folklore and the rural life of Ukraine. In 1831, he published his first book, “Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka,” a collection of stories inspired by Ukrainian folktales. This book was a commercial success and established Gogol as a major literary figure in Russia.

Gogol’s most famous works include the satirical novel “Dead Souls” and the play “The Inspector-General.” “Dead Souls” is a satirical novel about a man who travels through rural Russia, buying and selling the “souls” of deceased serfs. “The Inspector-General” is a satirical play about a corrupt town official who is mistaken for an inspector-general and is given preferential treatment by the townspeople.

Gogol’s writing style was characterized by his use of satire and irony to criticize Russian society and its bureaucratic systems. His works often explored themes of corruption, social injustice, and the human condition.

Despite his literary success, Gogol struggled with depression and spiritual crises throughout his life. In 1852, he burned the second part of “Dead Souls.”

Gogol’s works continue to be celebrated for their satirical and critical commentary on Russian society and culture. He is considered one of the most important writers in Russian literature and a significant influence on the development of Russian Realism.

Nikolai Gogol passed away on 4 March 1852 in Moscow, Russia at an age of 42.

Award and Legacy

Nikolai Gogol’s literary contributions have been widely recognized both during his lifetime and posthumously. Some of the awards and honors he received include:

  • 1966: A crater on the planet Mercury was named after Gogol

Gogol’s literary legacy continues to be celebrated both in Russia and around the world. He is widely regarded as a major figure in Russian literature and an influential voice in the development of the Realist literary movement. His works have been translated into numerous languages and adapted into films, plays, and operas.

Gogol’s influence can be seen in the works of many later writers, including Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anton Chekhov, and Franz Kafka. His use of satire, irony, and the grotesque to explore social and psychological themes has had a lasting impact on literature and continues to be studied and admired by scholars and readers alike.

On 1 April 2009, Google celebrated Nikolai Gogol’s 200th birthday with a doodle.

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