There was a century or so when Russian literature was represented by fantastic writers the likes of Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Tolstoy, Lermontov, Gogol. But, you know, genius has the tendency to be eccentric.
Michael Lermontov was very interested in mathematics. He spent days trying to solve difficult mathematical problems. Once Michael faced a huge challenge, he worked all day long trying to solve it, and eventually, he fell asleep behind a table. In his dream he saw a strange person, who told him the answer to the mathematical problem.
Krylov’s passion was food. He was very big person and ate a lot. Before a dinner he’d read 2 or 3 fables, and which he’d eat an enormous plate of pies, three bowls of fish soup, huge chopped veal cutlets – a pair of plates, a fried turkey (he called it “Firebird”). Krilov ate huge apples as plums, and at the end of the dinner he liked a Strasbourg paste from the freshest butter, truffles and fuagra. He’d also drink a lot of alcohol and coffee. The sad end of this story is that he died from overeating.
Alexander Pushkin is one of the most famous Russian poets. He communicated very closely with the “Decembrists” – revolutionaries who tried to overturn imperial power in Russia. It’s known that the leaders of revolutionary movement were killed in December, 1825 in the Senatorial Square of St. Petersburg. Pushkin was at this time under “house arrest” near Petersburg and decided to move to Petersburg. On his way to the city he met with a priest on a road (a bad sign), then the servant who accompanied Pushkin fell il . As a result, Pushkin decided to head back home, and that night he had a dream – five of his teeth fell. The next day five of the leaders of the revolutionary club were arrested and executed.
Leo Tolstoy was very strong person. Once, when he was hunting, he was attacked by a bear. He somehow managed to kill the bear with a knife. Or so the story goes.
Also, when he was in the army, Tolstoy used to play cards. One game lasted 2 days and 3 nights, and resulted in him losing all of his family’s lands.