Nikolai Gogol (1809–1852)

Nikolai Gogol (1809–1852)

The collection dedicated to the 210th anniversary of the birth of Nikolai Gogol – the classic writer of Russian literature, prosaist, dramatist, critic, and publicist, includes electronic copies of books, articles from periodicals, archival documents and visual materials, which contain information about the life and work of the writer, and texts of his writings.

Nikolai Gogol was born and grew up in Little Russia (Malorossia). In 1828 he moved from Nezhin to St. Petersburg, and soon entered the civil service. Although it became unbearable after about one year and a half, it inspired his further writing career (The Government Inspector play, Petersburg stories and other works).

In the capital, Nikolai Gogol developed a close association with the circle of Zhukovsky and Pushkin and continued his literary experiments. The book under the title “Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka” published in 1831-1832 brought him first success, after which he established a reputation as a serious writer.

Gogol showed an amazing artistic talent of satire in his works. His characters are very individual and also have typical features of his time. The collection’s subsection “Illustrations to Nikolai Gogol’s Works” presents works by one of the greatest Russian illustrators P. M. Boklevsky, who created “The Album of Gogol’s Types”. The characters from the “Dead Souls” novel are particularly vividly depicted. “Film and Stage Adaptations of Nikolai Gogol’s Works” subsection presents famous Russian actors portraying Gogol’s characters.

The search for moral ideals inspired Nikolai Gogol to write Selected Passages from Correspondence with Friends and Meditations on the Divine Liturgy. The texts of the last works of the writer may be found in the collection’s “Nikolai Gogol’s Writings” subsection.

The works of Nikolai Gogol had a great influence on the further development of Russian literature. It marked the beginning of socially-critical movement in Russian realism in the 1840s-1850s. Mikhail Bulgakov was the most prominent successor to Nikolai Gogol's literary traditions in Russian literature in the first half of the 20th century. Further information is available in the collection’s “Literary Criticism. Modern Studies” section.

The collection is based on archival documents, books, periodicals, and visual materials from the collections of A. I. Herzen Russian State Pedagogical University Fundamental Library, The Ural Federal University Research Library, N. K. Krupskaya Moscow Regional State Research Library, St. Petersburg University M. Gorky Research Library and other sources.