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Today marks the anniversary of a tragic event in literary history. On this day in 1852, Nikolai Gogol, one of Russia’s most renowned authors, burned some of his manuscripts, including most of the second part of Dead Souls. He told his acquaintances that this action was a practical joke played on him by the Devil. Gogol took to his bed and died a few days later.
This event serves as a reminder of the fragility of the written word, and how quickly it can be lost forever. It also serves as a reminder of how important it is to cherish and protect the works of our favorite authors, so that future generations can enjoy them.
In light of this anniversary, let us take a moment to appreciate the works of our favorite authors. From Steven Spielberg’s classic Jaws to Rebecca Makkai’s I Have Some Questions For You, there are countless stories that have been preserved for us to enjoy. Let us also remember the authors who have passed away, such as John Macrae III, who died at 91, and Dorothy Horstman, who was instrumental in the development of the polio vaccine.
Let us take this day to celebrate the written word, and to remember those who have contributed to the literary world.