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Gogol, Nikolai (1809-1852)  
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This brought down on Gogol the wrath of almost every political faction in Russia. The rest of his life was devoted to efforts to write a sequel to Dead Souls, where his picaro would be morally uplifted by associating with virtuous aristocrats and saintly millionaires.

In January 1852, Gogol confessed his sexual orientation to a bigoted priest, Father Matthew Konstantinovsky, who prescribed abstinence from sleep and food, so as to cleanse Gogol's "inner filth." Gogol obeyed. He died of starvation on February 21, despite the ministrations of his friends. His death at the age of forty-three was hastened by doctors, who in order to help him, bled him profusely and subjected him to treatments that were physical tortures.


Much of Gogol's work was misread in the nineteenth century, when he was regarded as a photographic realist, the originator of the humanitarian and realistic trend in Russian literature. His complexity and originality were first noticed by the writers (rather than the critics) of the early and mid-twentieth century, such as Andrei Bely, Aleksei Remizov, and Vladimir Nabokov.

Although his influence on Dostoevsky was enormous, Gogol's genuine impact on Russian writers came in the twentieth century, after his powerful imagination and unique perception of reality were truly understood.

Simon Karlinsky

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Fanger, Donald. Dostoevsky and Romantic Realism. A Study of Dostoevsky in Relation to Balzac, Dickens and Gogol. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1965.

Gippius, V. V. Gogol. Robert A. Maguire, ed. and trans. Ann Arbor: Ardis, 1981.

Karlinsky, Simon. "The Alogical and Absurdist Aspects of Russian Realist Drama." Comparative Drama 3 (Fall 1969): 147-155.

_____. The Sexual Labyrinth of Nikolai Gogol. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1976; rpt. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

Luckyj, George S. N. The Anguish of Mykola Hohol, a.k.a. Nikolai Gogol. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997.

Maguire, Robert A., ed. and trans. Gogol from the Twentieth Century. Eleven Essays. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974.

McLean, Hugh. "Gogol's Retreat from Love: Toward an Interpretation of Mirgorod." Russian Literature and Psychoanalysis. Daniel Rancour-Laferriere, ed. Linguistic and Literary Studies in Eastern Europe, Vol. 31. Amsterdam: John Benjamin Publishing Co., 1989: 101-122.

Nabokov, Vladimir. Nikolai Gogol. Norfolk, Conn.: New Directions, 1944.

Setchkarev, Vsevolod. Gogol: His Life and Works. Robert Kramer, trans. New York: New York University Press, 1965.


    Citation Information
    Author: Karlinsky, Simon  
    Entry Title: Gogol, Nikolai  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated March 3, 2004  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 1995, 2002 New England Publishing Associates  


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