Gogol′, Nikolay Vasil′yevich
- April Fitzlyon
(b Sorochintsï, Poltava province, 19/March 31, 1809; d Moscow, 21 Feb/March 4, 1852). Russian novelist and dramatist. Born into an impoverished gentry family in the Ukraine, where he spent his childhood and youth, he received a rather meagre education. He went to St Petersburg in 1828 and began to make his name with the stories in Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka (1831–2); his introduction to Zhukovsky and Pushkin also broadened his outlook. All his early stories, including Taras Bul′ba (1835), have Ukrainian settings, but with Nevskiy prospekt (1835) and The Diary of a Madman (1835) he began to write about St Petersburg. His satirical comedy The Inspector-General (1836) was not only a landmark in the history of the theatre, but also in the history of Russian social attitudes. The short story The Overcoat...