Ukrainian-born Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol.

Nikolai Gogol

(1809 - 1852)

After the success of his story collection Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, Nikolai Gogol obtained a history professorship at the University of St. Petersburg, where Ivan Turgenev was his student. The younger man later noted that he and his classmates were convinced their master knew nothing of history. Gogol published Dead Souls in 1842, envisioning it as the first part of a modern Divine Comedy. Convinced by a priest that he would be damned for his writing, he burned the second part on February 24, 1852. Within ten days, he was dead at the age of forty-two.

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