“The moon is made by some lame cooper, and you can see the idiot has no idea about moons at all. He put in a creosoted rope and some wood oil; and this has led to such a terrible stink all over the earth that you have to hold your nose. Another reason the moon is such a tender globe it that people just cannot live on it any more, and all that’s left alive there are noses. This is also why we cannot see our own noses - they’re all on the moon.” (from ‘Diary of a Madman’, Nikolai Gogol)
And…written of ‘Gogol’s Wife’ by Tommaso Landolfi, which you can hear at Miette’s Bedtime Story Podcast:
"In the title story, Landolfi strikes a variation on a recurrent theme—man’s need to destroy the objects of his love. For some obscure reason, Landolfi makes the classic Russian novelist Gogol the victim of his fantasy, perhaps because Gogol never married and was given to inventing imaginary affairs."
"The sick object of Gogol’s love is an inflatable rubber dummy that can be made to assume an infinite number of seductive shapes depending on the pressure to which it is inflated. But as Gogol’s love grows, so does his distaste for his aging rubber wife, and the two "struggle so fiercely with each other in his heart" that on his silver wedding anniversary he deliberately overinflates his wife and blows her to bits, crying, "Oh, how I love her, how I love her, my poor, poor darling!"