Moscow was not only the home of many Russian writers but also a part of their creative world, a kind of writer’s workshop. As it did to Chekhov’s Three sisters, whose mantra was “To Moscow, to Moscow, to Moscow,” the city represented so much than just a city to many Russian writers. Some writers are inseparable from Moscow; the fate of the city is intertwined with their own.
In Moscow, there are two monuments to Gogol just 200 meters apart, for some reason. A headstone from Gogol’s grave somehow ended up on Bulgakov’s grave 100 years later. Maxim Gorky returned to the USSR and was gifted with unofficial house arrest in an Art Nouveau mansion in Moscow which you can now visit. Well, as those familiar with Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita know, in Soviet Moscow, the devil and his team rule the ball. The plots of literary Moscow are inexhaustible. Each offers a key to understanding Russian history and the world of its writer.
We believe a good conversation in the house-museums of Tolstoy, Chekhov, or Gorky is no less important than reading their works. The combination of the space of the city and the lives of its individual writers offers a unique setting and experience, sure to brighten any trip to Moscow.
Below are some of Moscow’s most important writers. Remember, the scope of your specific excursions can also be expanded to your liking.