Me & Gogol, Gogol & Me

A rare magical pony tipped me off to the article “Why Do Writers Abandon Novels?” from this Sunday’s NYTimes Book Review. In it, anointed authors like Michael Chabon and Junot Diaz talk about their stillborn works and the heartache of letting them go. It’s a great read.

Then I hit paragraph three and there’s this gem of literary trivia:

More dramatically still, Nikolai Gogol died a mere 10 days after burning the manuscript of “Dead Souls II,” for the second time.

My very own artistic forbear’s  epic, tragic struggle to put words down on the page! I had a whoosh of relief – not schadenfreude, but relief – over our common creative endeavor. I too experience fear, doubt, and self-loathing, just like Gogol!

Pass on the early death and book burning, though, please.


  • Isa de Sola wrote:

    FYI: had Amazon UK ship me english version of Dead Souls by Gogol, so I can get up to speed and then start reading your awesome writing online! Started last night. Love this project, go Kirstin, go Kirstin!

  • Kirstin Butler wrote:

    Isa you are the greatest! Much, much love for the support. And you don’t have to read the original to follow along here, really–what I write will hopefully be able to stand on its own (though I’m sure you’ll appreciate the dorky references more). Plus Gogol is da bomb :)

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