The lost soul of Nikolai GogolHe wrote a novel called “Dead Souls”,
a grandiose social satire spiced with humour,
and a poignant clever insight and analysis
of his contemporary social order and society
with a brilliant eye for human idiosyncracies;
and he was widely read, appreciated and successful,
publishing the first part of his “Dead Souls” without problems;
but he then came under the precarious influence of a fanatic,
who seduced him to exaggerated piety as an extreme ascetic,
breeding second thoughts about his writings
bringing his self-criticism to fatal levels,
which induced him to commit the second part to flames,
his doubts thus turning self-destructive,
which he came to bitterly regret,
exacerbating his religious fervour and asceticism
to make him starve himself to death.
He was Ukrainian, writing “Taras Bulba”” as his first and greatest novel,
a heroic and romantic family account of a rebellion
against oppression of the Cossacks,
one of the most brilliant masterpieces of the Russian literature,
a kind of manual and gospel universally for insurrection
against any power of inhuman and political repression.
We are there again today, as the Ukrainians have to struggle for their life
against intolerable force of terror by the greed of an oppressor.
Gogol’s novel thus became prophetic giving him immortal status
as a compensation for his early and untimely death.
Essay by Christian Lanciai
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Written on 2022-03-16 at 11:38
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