“Try to see a Christian and a person in me better than a writer”.
Nikolai Gogol was born 1 on April 1809 of the year in the village of Bolshaya Sorochintsy (Poltava Province) in the house of the doctor Trokhimovskiy. The father of the future writer, Vasily Afanasyevich Gogol-Yanovsky, was an average landlord. He had a thousand acres of land, about four hundred peasants and at the same time eternal financial problems, forcing him to work as a manager with his relative, the powerful minister Dmitry Troschinsky. Nevertheless, Vasily Afanasyevich was an extraordinary man - he wrote folk farces in the Little Russian language and put them in the local theater, the leading actor of which, moreover, was. He first saw his nicknamed, Maria Kosyarovskaya, when he was still in his adolescence. Once he stopped by Kosyarovsky with his parents and looked at their one-year-old daughter, he said: “This is my future spouse!” When Maria was fourteen, the mutual attraction of young people forced her parents to agree to a marriage - they married in 1805.
The fact that Nikolai was not born in his father’s estate was caused by two previous unsuccessful families of Maria Gogol-Yanovskaya. This time everything was all right, and after six weeks the young mother and son returned to their native Vasilyevka. It was here that the future writer spent the first years of his life. Ros Kohl was a very impressionable boy, who inherited a lot from his parents - his father’s gaiety, interspersed with episodes of hypochondria, combined in him with the piety of mystic mother. Very early, Gogol began to write poetry. A well-known friend of Vasily Afanasyevich, the well-known poet Vasily Kapnist, after reviewing the boy's verse, announced that there would be a sense of the boy. The parents, having heard this, sent nine-year-old Nikosh, as the boy was called in the family, to the Poltava povet (district) school, and three years later (at 1821) they drove to the city of Nezhin, in which Prince Bezborodko opened a gymnasium of higher sciences.
Nizhyn seven years of Nikolai Vasilyevich played an important role in his life. Here, the future writer found the first true friends (they were the future poet Nikolai Prokopovich and the future director of the schools of the Poltava province, Alexander Danilevsky), took the first steps in the literary field, became acquainted with the latest literary trends and for the first time thought about his vocation. Romanticism was rapidly rushing into literature at that time - Nezhinis were captured by the works of Byron, Schiller, Walter Scott, Zhukovsky and Pushkin. In the letters of the young Gogol of those years, life was mixed with literature, dreams took on the features of reality, and the reality itself was hidden behind pathos declarations. Even the death of a father in 1825 did not dispel this verbal fog.
By the way, Nikolai Vasilyevich did not study well at the gymnasium; besides, he was weak in body and was often sick. Unable to compete in boyish gambling, Gogol received various offensive nicknames from classmates, for example, “Pigalitsa” or “Mysterious Karla”. However, after the first years of study, the attitude towards the young man began to change. The literary works of Nikolai Vasilievich, which he regularly published in gymnasium journals, convinced others of his “significance”. In addition, the future writer, distinguished by an unusual comic, unexpectedly became the star of the theater, which was organized in the Nizhyn gymnasium in the spring of 1824.
Over the years, the young man thought more and more about his future, but beyond the general formulation of “raising labor of the noble, important for the good of life like yourself, for the happiness of citizens and for the benefit of the fatherland,” the matter did not move. There was only geographical certainty - the “noble work” of the young man associated with St. Petersburg. He went there, graduating from the Nizhyn Gymnasium at 1828. Nikolai Vasilievich brought his essay "Ganz Kuchelgarten" to the Northern capital, which he evaluated very highly. In the spring of 1829 Gogol under the pseudonym “V. Alov ”published a poem and sent it to different editions. This idea ended in a fiasco. The literary newspaper "Northern Bee" wrote: "The Light would not lose anything when this first attempt of a young talent were hidden under a bushel." Other reviews were even more negative. Nikolai Vasilyevich, beside himself in despair, bought all copies of his unfortunate poem in May, burned them and left for Lübeck. By the way, on the adventure with the publication of the work and the journey to Germany, all the money received from Mother went, which the writer had to pass to the Board of Trustees for the mortgaged estate.
In St. Petersburg, Gogol reappeared in September 1829. He no longer wrote romantic poems, drawing attention to the folklore of Little Russian life. At the same time, Gogol needed to serve, and Nikolai Vasilyevich in the spring of 1830 entered the Department of Lots as a scribe. For a whole year he diligently went to work, where he, having noticed, was promoted to assistant clerk. However, the routine career of an official was not to the liking of a writer. At the same time, Gogol gradually entered the higher literary circles. He showed his new texts with sketches of Little Russian life to Pushkin's friend Anton Delvig, who started the edition of the Literary Gazette at that time. Delvig published a young provincial, and then (shortly before his death) introduced him to Vasily Zhukovsky, who, in turn, brought Gogol to Peter Pletnev. All of them were people of Pushkin's circle - rapprochement with the idol was accomplished inevitably. Finally, in May 1831 Pletnev presented Nikolai Vasilyevich to the poet.
Subsequently, Gogol spoke more than once about the role that Alexander Sergeevich played in his fate, from which the myth about the friendship of these people was born. He, by the way, was fueled by his own mystifications of Nikolai Vasilyevich, who in every possible way advertised his companionship with the great poet. Nevertheless, the writers were really familiar, Pushkin reacted quite favorably to Gogol’s literary experiments, and Pushkin’s “party” accepted him into their ranks. In Tsarskoye Selo, Nikolai Vasilievich also made his acquaintance with the “black-eye Rosset” - the very “Kaluga governor”, to whom in the future several letters from “Correspondence with Friends” will be addressed. At the same time (in 1831) the first part of “Evenings on the Farm ...” was published, which made the author their name in literature.
It should be noted that Gogol had the gift to convince acquaintances in his “predestination”. Using Pletnev's patronage, he left a bureaucratic strap in 1831 and got a job as a teacher stories in the Patriotic Institute, and then managed to put his sisters here as well. Three years later, through the efforts of Zhukovsky and Pushkin, the young writer who had no special education or special works received a department of general history at St. Petersburg University. He himself at that time continued to be engaged in literature. In 1832, the second part of “Evenings on the Farm ...” saw the light, which put forward its author in the first rows of Russian literature. On summer vacations, Nikolai Vasilievich was already driving to Vasilyevka as “an important metropolitan thing”.
Ferry N. V. Gogol across the Dnieper. Artist A.I. Ivanov-Goluboy
It is worth noting that the teacher from Gogol turned out to be useless. He failed to save Russia through the upbringing of the younger generations - Nikolai Vasilyevich dreamed of doing it “in one step”, while his pedagogical work demanded plodding and deep study of the subject. It is curious that the first lecture of the writer made a huge impression on the audience. However, it was a pure spectacle. The newly formed associate professor, leaving all his classes and spending long hours, learned the lecture by heart and carefully rehearsed it in front of the mirror, not forgetting the laws of the theater - there were pauses and, as it were, natural “trips” in speech, and a change of tone, and gradual climb. At the end, excited students asked to rewrite the lecture, but Gogol, without batting an eye, announced that it was an improvisation. He lit the similar “firework” once more - when he learned that Zhukovsky and Pushkin would come to listen to him. Very soon the writer's enthusiasm dried up, and one of the students recalled: “He will come, he will talk for half an hour, leave and will not show for a week or two.” At the end of 1835, Gogol was relieved to tell Pogodin that he was "at odds with" the university.
1833 year was marked in the fate of Nikolai Vasilyevich agonizing calm. The writer was threatening a lot, but he quit, barely starting. Among other things, we can mention a novel from the Little Russian seventeenth century, a story about a student, dramatic sketches, fundamental historical works, a history of Russian criticism. It was an undeniable crisis, - being in the discharge of comic authors, Gogol tried to understand how to link his praise of comic talent with his own thoughts about the “big deal”: “The Great is not made up, it’s not a small one ...”. This time was a lull before the creative storm broke out soon. In the next two years, Nikolai Vasilyevich wrote (or invented) almost all of what brought him subsequent world fame.
At the beginning of 1836, Alexander Sergeevich received permission to publish Sovremennik magazine. He wanted to oppose this magazine to the “soap-shopping” trend in Russian literature, the features of which were already defined by the early thirties of the nineteenth century. The great poet attracted Odoyevsky, Vyazemsky, Rosen to the publication of Sovremennik, and also negotiated with Belinsky and the Muscovites. Nikolai Vasilievich was among the first authors of Sovremennik. Unfortunately, the cooperation of Gogol and Pushkin led to embarrassment. Alexander Sergeevich did not take into account the fact that the young writer in the few years that had passed since his literary debut had turned from a shy “Gogolka” - as Zhukovsky called him - into a bird of much higher flight. Nikolai Vasilyevich, on the pages of Sovremennik, decided to speak out frankly. In the article “On the movement of journal literature,” he brilliantly defeated almost all the contemporary authors, including those whom Pushkin tried to involve in working on his journal or with whom he simply did not want to quarrel. The main trouble was that readers found the article program. No one could have imagined that the author was the youngest editorial staff - everyone decided that it was either Pushkin himself or Vyazemsky. It ended the matter that Alexander Sergeevich publicly announced that "the opinion of the editors may not coincide with the opinion of the author."
In April, 1836 in St. Petersburg hosted the "Auditor" premiere. The consequences of this performance did not bring satisfaction to Gogol. The premiere, no doubt, became a “cultural” event, but the author himself dreamed about the “epochal”. In early summer, a frustrated writer went abroad. For three years, Nikolai Vasilievich has traveled the length and breadth of Europe to an old woman. He especially liked Rome, where he first came in the spring of 1837. Desperately falling in love with the Eternal City, he wrote to Danilevsky: “In the heart of heaven and heaven. Never before have I been so merry, so contented with life. ” In Rome, the writer was in the winter and autumn, and in the summer and in the spring, he led the life of a pilgrim. In general, for Nikolai Vasilievich - with his growing physical ailments - travel turned into a kind of medicine, on the way he seemed to come to life. And diseases, by the way, tormented Gogol more and more. Interestingly, Nikolai Vasilievich explained them with his “specialness,” for example, the critic and memoirist Pavel Annenkov recalled that the writer assured him that he was physiologically completely different from other people.
The circle of Roman acquaintances of Nikolai Vasilyevich was rather narrow. He was friends with the Balabin family, visited the princess Zinaida Volkonskaya who had converted to Catholicism. But the writer was especially close to two people - the artist Alexander Ivanov and the young count Iosif Vielgorsky. Exceptionally gifted, Joseph Wielgorski, being hopelessly ill with consumption, came to Rome to die in 1838. He met with Nikolai Vasilyevich almost every day - the writer devoted his last days to the heartfelt excerpt “Night at the Villa.” In May, 1839 Vielgorsky died in the arms of Gogol. In Alexander Andreevich, who for many years had been writing his grandiose canvas, “The Appearance of Christ to the People,” Gogol saw the ideal of a disinterested master dedicated to the Christian idea. From him the writer copied Chartkov in the second edition of the story "Portrait". And the artist, in response to Gogol, wrote a half-turned man in brown robes (“Coming to Christ,” as they call this hero) in his famous painting.
Abroad, Gogol returned to the characteristic of the writer's youth, and then left the sparkling gaiety - he laughed a lot, invented pranks, became more “easy” in relations with other people. The idyll of Nikolai Vasilyevich was destroyed at the beginning of 1837, when he learned about the death of Pushkin. In March, he wrote to Pletnev: “All my enjoyment vanished with him. Not a single line was written without me presenting it in front of me. What he will say, what he will notice, what he will smile at, what will be said about his eternal and indestructible approval, this is what only interested me and inspired ... God! He inspired my present work, his creation ... I am no longer able to continue ... ". Speaking about the “current work”, the writer meant “Dead Souls”, the idea of which he was given as an anecdote by Alexander Sergeevich. He began this “poem” in Russia, and continued abroad, but continued with completely different thoughts - the anecdote, which formed the basis of the plan, faded into the background, becoming a shell that hid the work intended to be the salvation of Russia, new gospel.
Gogol was in a hurry, after the death of Vielgorsky he was overcome by the anguish of mortal premonitions. In one of the messages of that time he laments: "Fatal thirty years, a disgusting stomach and all the vileness of an extinct stale mind." Abroad, Nikolai Vasilyevich almost finished the first volume of Dead Souls, and at the end of 1839 began to gather at home - it was required to arrange sisters who graduated from the Patriotic Institute. In May, 1840 Gogol arrived in Moscow. The ancient capital of Russia beat into the timpani - they echoed in the letters of those times, which were written by “mental” people to each other: “Now everyone talks about Gogol. Fans of St. Petersburg society and St. Petersburg life envy Muscovites ... You can barely get an auditor, and then not less than 15 rubles. ” Petersburg and Moscow journals tore the writer apart - everyone wanted to publish his new works, hoping thereby to increase his circulation. The writer himself communicated in Moscow mainly with his close friends (Shevyrev, Pogodin, Aksakov, actor Mikhail Shchepkin), although sometimes he was chosen for the light - he was “fashionable” and everyone wanted to see him.
Having lived for some time in Moscow, Nikolai Vasilyevich went to St. Petersburg, where his triumphs continued. Secular evenings went one after another, but again the writer most of all preferred to talk with his old acquaintances — Zhukovsky, Pletnev, Smirnova-Rosset. Among his few new interlocutors, Vissarion Belinsky is also worth noting. It is curious that in the first weeks of his life in Moscow, Gogol mystified his mother by sending her pre-prepared messages from various cities of Europe. He did not want to appear with her, because literary success did not abolish the writer's poverty. In fact, Nikolai Vasilievich lived in debt - his comrades willingly lent him money. By the end of 1841, these debts exceeded eighteen thousand rubles. The euphoria from coming home also gradually disappeared - an uncertain future, lack of money and unremitting worries about relatives (whom he did transport to Moscow) oppressed the writer. He began to dream of Italy, where his life went so smoothly and calmly. In early May, 1840 in the garden near Pogodin hosted a ceremonial dinner, arranged in honor of Gogol's wires abroad. During this evening, Nikolai Vasilyevich met with Lermontov.
Already in June, 1840 Gogol announced in Vienna, where he stayed for a long time. At first, he “vigorously” worked, in a month and a half he remade “Taras Bulba”, writing three more chapters “Dead Souls”, as well as the story “The Overcoat”. No less "violently" the writer was treated with local waters. And then in Nikolai Vasilyevich something broke, and the disease hit the ground. The cause of this attack (as well as of many other ailments of Gogol) is difficult to uncover; most likely, these were nerves. However, the writer himself perceived his illness as mortal and even made a testament. In a letter to Pogodin, he reported: "To my nervous irritation, painful longing joined, which is not described ... This is the same longing, that terrible anxiety in which I saw poor Vielgorsky in the last hours of life." As soon as it became easier for Gogol, he left Vienna, without delay. His path lay, of course, in Italy.
After illness, Nikolai Vasilyevich has changed dramatically. He perceived “recovery” as a divine symbol of his election, in which he always believed and in which he always doubted. But from now on, all doubts left him, and in the following years Gogol, in the opinion of his comrades, behaved very strangely. It was really surprising what the tone of the writer's communication with friends was perfectly conveyed by the following selected quotes almost randomly from Nikolai Vasilievich’s letters: “None of my friends can die, because he lives with me forever” (Aksakov in 1840), “From now on you should listen my words, for my word is doubly imperious over you and woe to the one who does not listen to my words ... From now on my word is clothed with the highest authority ”(Danilevsky in 1841),“ I bless you. This blessing is not powerless, and therefore accept it with faith ”(Zhukovsky in 1842).
In December, 1841 Gogol returned to Russia. His arrival was due to the need to publish "Dead Souls", as well as to print the complete works, which Nikolai Vasilievich hoped to improve his financial situation. It should be noted that the attempt to publish the novel in Moscow came across censorship obstacles. Get censorship permission (with the exception of a number of places, including the famous story of Captain Kopeikin) was released in St. Petersburg. The publication of "Dead Souls" has become, undoubtedly, a phenomenon of national scale. The first edition was instantly bought out; Gogol's composition, having fallen into the “heroes of the day”, caused a violent journalistic controversy. The battles around this work did not subside over the following decades. The urgency of the “poem” was especially felt at the beginning of the twentieth century, when many writer's “snouts” seemed to come alive and appeared in large numbers in real life.
Gogol himself, having lived half a year in Russia, once again left for Rome. As usual, Nikolai Vasilievich went to Italy not immediately. He spent the summer of 1842 in Germany - he tried to write and heal. He arrived in the Eternal City in October, bringing with him the poet Nikolai Yazykov, who became friends with him during this period. The works of Nikolai Mikhailovich he liked since the gymnasium years - according to Pavel Anennekov, in Russian poetry Gogol preferred Derzhavin, Pushkin and Yazykov. In the following years there were few incidents in the writer's life - he lived in Rome, traveled around Europe, occasionally meeting friends who had visited him. For example, in 1843 it intersected twice with Smirnova-Rosset. There were rumors about their novel, but those were idle speculation. Smirnova, like many others, noticed that Gogol had changed again - had become thoughtful and silent, had prayed a lot. This was reflected in his letters of those years: "I tell you in the name of God, everything will turn into good." At the same time, Nikolai Vasilievich first spoke about pilgrimages to the Holy Land.
The second book of "Dead Souls" progressed painfully. The goal - “to show the whole of Russia” - was successfully solved in the first part, but now the author decided to show the rebirth of a damaged human soul. Gogol claimed that he knew what to write, but the "poem" did not go. And it was not only with literary creativity. The writer was striving for the ideal, and his relations with friends suddenly began to deteriorate. Mutual understanding was broken with an old comrade, a professor at Moscow University, Mikhail Pogodin. The good-natured poet Nikolai Prokopovich, who published Gogol's collected works, got a scolding from a writer for being out of inexperience and deceived by the printing press. Nikolai Yakovlevich contributed his own money and stopped all communication with his lyceum comrade. After this incident, Gogol, reproached by Pletnev, wanted to give all the proceeds from the sale of the congregation to needy students, but in St. Petersburg it was considered a whim, passing the writer's requests past. Nikolai Vasilievich, who decided that literature can be created only by completely cleansing his soul, set an impossible task for himself and, in fact, overstrained himself.
At the beginning of 1847, the “Selected posts from correspondence with friends” went on sale. The writer did not treat any of his works with such tenderness and love. This book was not just a collection of selected letters - their selection and location turned it into the final system of Gogol’s views on the meaning of life, on the providential role of Russia in the world community. A terrible shock awaited Nikolai Vasilyevich, which was the total rejection of this work by those whom he considered friends. Not accepting the prophetic style of the book, not wanting to read it carefully, the work was criticized not only by Westerners, but also by Slavophiles. The “chosen places” were rejected by the people of the Church, Belinsky wrote the author a “devastating” letter, and for the first time in society they began to talk about the fact that the writer had “gone mad”. Nikolai Vasilievich's hands dropped, he devastated 1847 by the summer of writing “Author's Confession” (which, however, was published only in 1855), in which he recognized his “mistakes”, and at the beginning of 1848 left for Palestine.
A writer entered Jerusalem on a donkey in early February 1848. His stay in the famous city was devoid of joy for him. His own insensitivity, in which Gogol spent the whole pilgrimage, struck him. He wrote to Zhukovsky: “The trip to Palestine was exactly accomplished by me, in order to see with my own eyes how great the hardness of my heart is ...”. Nikolai Vasilyevich, who suffered in the last months of his life, explained this: “It is not my business to preach with sermons ... I should not interpret life, but expose it as a face.”
It should be noted that in the life of Gogol there were no “romance” stories, which gave some researchers a reason to invent more or less arbitrary theories. In the meantime, the writer had at least one “real” novel. Moreover, Nikolai Vasilyevich even thought about starting a family. His representative became a representative of the family of Vielgorskikhs close to Gogol - the youngest daughter of Mikhail Yuryevich, to whose help he repeatedly resorted. For a while, his relationship with the girl wore a mentoring character, but then the writer thought that he could “fashion” the faithful soul mate and helper from Anna. In the winter of 1848-1849, Nikolai Vasilyevich, “probing” the soil, wrote about the intention of his sister, the girl Apollinaria Venevitinova, who dissuaded the writer from starting the matchmaking, having convinced that their countess would never agree to such an unequal marriage. After this, the writer ceased all relations with the girl.
In April, 1848 Gogol returned to Russia forever. Having been in Odessa, the writer went to his native Vasilyevka, where he spent spring and summer. He wrote to Danilevsky "You ask me about impressions ... It was a little sad ... Some trees grew and became a grove, and others fell out ...". After the initial excitement from meetings with his family had subsided, the blues again fell on Nikolai Vasilyevich. Sister Elizaveta Vasilievna wrote in her diary: “He changed, became so serious, indifferent, cold to us; nothing seems to amuse him! .. ”
In the fall of 1848, Gogol turned up in Moscow and settled on Nikitsky Boulevard near Count Alexander Tolstoy. This house became the last refuge of Nikolai Vasilyevich, and here he met Rzhevsky priest Matthew Konstantinovsky. This priest is often represented by the evil genius of Gogol, however, this characteristic is not confirmed by the memoirs of his contemporaries: “He was always cheerful, and no one heard the angry word from him, he never elevated his speech, he was always self-reliant, calm, even ... Simple figurativeness, simplicity of words amazed the listener, sincere conviction irrefutably affected the heart. ” Father Matvey healed the writer of longing, directing him to the path of ascetic ministry. And the service was the hard work on the second book of Dead Souls, to which Gogol returned at the end of 1848.
The following years, Nikolai Vasilyevich traveled extensively in Russia. He needed new impressions — both to complete the second volume, and for the new geographic work that he intended. In 1849, Gogol visited Kaluga at the local "governor" Smirnova-Rosset. Here, in a narrow circle of acquaintances, the writer read several chapters in the second volume of Dead Souls, which made a huge impression on those present. Among those who heard the second part of the “poem”, was, by the way, Sergey Aksakov, who possessed an almost unmistakable artistic taste, who wrote: “You can’t find the high human side in such a vulgar way to show the high human side anywhere except for Homer ... Only now I’ve completely convinced that Gogol he will be able to accomplish the task, about which he speaks so boldly and arrogantly in the first volume ... Yes, life must burn in the furnace, many of which are pure gold. ” By the beginning of 1850, all the chapters of the book, according to the author himself, were “sketched”. Some parts of his “poem” Nikolai Vasilyevich rewrote eight times, and some places - and more.
In the summer of 1850, Gogol, together with botanist Mikhail Maksimovich, made a trip to Little Russia. From there, he went to Odessa, where he spent the winter and spring of 1851. During this time, he completed all the work on the second volume of Dead Souls and rewrote it completely. In May of this year, on the way to Moscow, the writer last drove into Vasilyevka. Son’s plans for the future surprised Maria Ivanovna. Nikolai Vasilievich presented a plan for her new home, promised to begin construction as early as next year, and even bought wood. Gogol never went to Vasilyevka anymore.
In the last years of his life, the writer visited Optina Pustyn three times, which became famous in the nineteenth century for its elders. The writer began to assemble there in the middle of the 1840s, but 1850 arrived in the first only in the summer. The second and third pilgrimages took place in June and in September 1851. In the Desert, Nikolai Vassilievich met Reverend Macarius and Moses Optinsky, and this acquaintance in him left a deep impression. He wrote: “I stopped in the Optina Deserts and forever carried away the memory of her. I think that on the Mount Athos is no better. Grace is there ... I have never seen such monks anywhere. With everyone, it seemed to me, everything heavenly talks. ” Especially curious is the writer's last journey to this place. During the visit, Gogol had an important conversation with the elder Macarius. According to indirect information, we can assume that the writer requested permission to remain in the monastery. However, Gogol’s dream did not come true.
The chronology of the departure of Nikolai Vasilievich from life is painted almost by the hour. In recent months, the writer wrote the “Reflections on the Divine Liturgy” conceived six years earlier. Gogol even suggested a format - in the end, deciding to put the product on sale without attribution and at a low price. Critic Konstantin Mochulsky at 1934 noted that this work "is one of the most heartfelt and spiritual interpretations of the Liturgy." At the end of January 1852 arrived in Moscow, Father Matvey Konstantinovsky. When meeting with him, Nikolai Vasilyevich read the second book of Dead Souls, after which a fierce argument began among friends. Matvey Konstantinovsky asked the writer to remove from the text of the chapter with a description of the priest, arguing his request, according to eyewitnesses, so: “It was a living person whom everyone would recognize, and added features that I don’t have in me, and also with Catholic tones ... ". Nikolai Vasilyevich, as he could, defended his brainchild. In early February, the writer conducted the priest, sending him a letter after him in which he apologized for incontinence.
Over the next five days, a number of writer exits to the people were recorded. But then he suddenly declared himself dying and practically stopped taking food. On the same days, he handed over the manuscript of the second part of "Dead Souls" to Alexander Tolstoy, but he refused to take it. Then two days later, deep in the night, Gogol burned her. It was not a mental or mental frenzy, as is customary to represent this act of the writer. In the conscious nature of the act convince some domestic details, transmitted by the only witness to the incident, the boy Semen. Nikolai Vasilievich sorted the papers for a long time, some postponing for destruction, and others - removing them back (among the latter, by the way, were Pushkin's letters). When he threw the cooked bundle into the stove, it only charred. The fire began to go out, and Gogol, seeing this, asked them to untie and move the papers until they were busy. The very next day, in conversation with Tolstoy, the writer regretted what he had done. After this act, he moved to the bed and stopped getting up.
Doctors diligently treated Nikolai Vasilyevich, but to no avail. They tried to force-feed him, bleed with the help of leeches, poured cold water on his head, and Gogol only asked: "Leave me, I feel so good." A couple of hours before his death, the great writer shouted loudly, “Staircase, let's get the ladder quickly!” In the morning of March 4, 1852, he was gone. Nikolai Vasilievich was buried with a huge gathering of people in the Danilov Monastery.
Based on materials from the site http://www.ngogol.ru/ and the weekly edition “Our History. 100 great names.