Why did Gogol avoid women, burn things and fear death?

His works are striking in their mystery and depth. He is still considered the main mystical writer in Russian literature. But not only his work attracted a lot of attention. The life of Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol was filled with secrets and events that cause a lot of controversy to this day.

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N.V. Gogol
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Modest but confident

Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol was named in honor of St. Nicholas of Mirliki, in front of whose miraculous icon Maria Ivanovna Gogol made a vow.

From childhood, Nikolai Gogol was aware of his high destiny. He had a presentiment that he was allowed to live a short life. He remembered this all the time and was in a hurry to live like his heroes.

He amazed those around him with his statements, which in no way corresponded to his modest nature. Once leaving for St. Petersburg, Nikolai Gogol said: “Either you won’t hear anything about me, or you will hear something very good.”

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N.V. Gogol, 1834
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Why Gogol avoided women

Nikolai Vasilievich was overly religious, unsociable and avoided the company of unfamiliar women. He knew how to appreciate beauty and when talking about Roman women he could say: “… and if you look at her in only one garment of chastity, you will say: this woman came down from heaven.”

In the life of the writer, there were not so many representatives of the fair sex with whom he would like to start a relationship. Many researchers assumed that he was wary of women, and even negative. This is what the works of Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol speak about, in which there is not a single positive female image.

Throughout his life, he corresponded with only three women.

First, Alexandra Smirnova-Rosset, was the imperial maid of honor and muse of many Russian writers. They met in 1831 in St. Petersburg. Gogol became a comforter and advisor for her, who shared her melancholy and her dreams, who managed to appreciate her, forgive her shortcomings. Alexandra, on the other hand, was passionate only about the writer’s work, helped him in practical matters, but no more.

“My dear Nikolai Vasilyevich, only two days, and in my soul there is a gracious change. All disturbing, rebellious suddenly disappeared before the pure and beautiful light that illuminated me. “

In 1840, while in St. Petersburg, Nikolai Vasilyevich met the Vielgorsky family and became interested in the countess Anna Mikhailovna… They often talked about literature, Gogol was her mentor and teacher. Anna Vielgorskaya answered him in return. Nikolai Vasilyevich was even going to propose to her, but the inequality of their social status did not allow Gogol to find love. In the last correspondence Nikolai Vasilyevich says goodbye to Anna Mikhailovna:

“… Maybe I should be nothing else in relation to you, like a faithful dog, obliged to protect the property of his master in some corner. Do not be angry at me. Yet our relationship is not such as to look at me as a stranger. “

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N.V. Gogol, 1840s
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After an unsuccessful attempt to arrange his personal life, Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol believed that he should not tie the knot.

“… And almost from the time of this first meeting of ours, it has already become the main and first in my life, and everything else the second. It seemed to me that I should no longer be linked by any other bonds on earth, neither by family life, nor by the official life of a citizen, and that the verbal field is also a service. “

The only woman who confessed her love to Nikolai Vasilyevich was his cousin Maria Sinelnikona… In her letter to S.P. Shevyrev, a friend of Gogol, she wrote:

“In 1850 I saw him for the first time, fell in love with him, met in him real brotherly sympathy, and became attached to him with all the strength of my soul”.

Mysticism in the life of a writer

Mystical events in the family of N.V. Gogoi began to occur even before his birth.

So to his father, Vasily Yankovsky, the Mother of God appeared in a dream and pointed at the girl, saying: “Here is your wife …”. Vasily Afanasyevich recognized the same girl in the neighbor’s seven-month-old daughter, and after 14 years asked for her hand in marriage. Perhaps it was this story that gave the writer the confidence that he sees prophetic dreams. At least he believed in them.

The famous burning of the second volume of Dead Souls is still shrouded in mystery. Nikolai Vasilyevich increasingly began to torment visions and at the beginning of 1852, under the influence of an unclean spirit, as he later told Tolstoy, he burned the wrong papers.

“That’s what I did! I wanted to burn some things that had been prepared for a long time, but I burned everything! How the crafty is strong – that’s what he pushed me to. “

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Title page of the second edition of Dead Souls. Sketch by N.V. Gogol
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This was not the first time that Nikolai Vasilyevich set his works on fire. He took the criticism of the public rather painfully and was categorical in his decisions.

While still in school, he threw his historical stories into the oven, which were not approved by his classmates. The point is not even that how many of his works Gogol destroyed. He burned everything to start over, so that there was no way to go back and fix something.

Fear of death and a strange testament

After the fever he contracted in Rome, Gogol has a fear of death. The first serious crisis overtook him in Vienna in 1840. He was in a foreign land for the first time and felt that he could die all alone.

A little later, Nikolai Vasilyevich begins to suffer from taphophobia – the fear of being buried alive. He was so obsessed with this thought that he called a priest to write his will.

“I bequeath my body not to bury until there are clear signs of decay. I mention this because even during the illness itself they found moments of vital numbness on me, my heart and pulse stopped beating. “

The mysterious death of a great writer

A few weeks before his death, Nikolai Vasilyevich begins to literally fade before our eyes. He refused food and water while fasting. Doctors sounded the alarm, urging him to start immediate treatment, but Gogol was already preparing for death and only asked to be left alone.

Excessive religiosity or, perhaps, a depressive psychosis took the life of the writer in 1852, forever leaving unsolved secrets and the spirit of mystical works around his name.

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