the approachPosted: 02/22/2012
extract from Introduction to Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol:
The following account, given by Gogol himself to some of his friends in Moscow, shows how he wrote at least parts of the novel:
This is the sort of thing that happened to me. I was travelling one July day between the little towns of Genzano and Albano. Half way between is a miserable little inn, standing on a small hill, with billiard table in the main saloon, where people are constantly talking in different languages and the billiard balls never cease clicking. I was writing the first volume of Dead Souls at the time and never parted from my manuscript. I don’t know why, but I felt like writing as soon as I entered the inn. I ordered a small table to be brought and sat down in the corner of the saloon. I took out my manuscript and, in spite of the noise made by he rolling balls, the rushing about of the potboys, the indescribable din, the some, the close atmosphere, I became completely lost to the world and wrote a whole chapter without stirring from my place. I consider this chapter the most inspired in the whole novel. In fact, I have seldom written with such inspiration.