Author. The son of a wealthy grain merchant from Simbirsk (now Ulyanovsk), Russia, he graduated from Moscow University in 1834 and spent 33 years as a minor government official. His fame rests on his humorous novel "Oblomov" (1859), one of the most remarkable works of 19th Century Russian Literature. The title character is a young nobleman so overcome by ennui that he cannot bring himself to make the simplest decisions. In one famous passage it takes him nearly 50 pages to move from his bed to a chair. Viewed as a satire of the Russian nobility, the book was wildly popular and for decades "Oblomov" was used as a synonym for a lazy or indecisive person. In some ways the novel even foreshadows absurdism. Goncharov was known as an eccentric prone to bouts of mental instability. He accused fellow writers like Ivan Turgenev and Gustave Flaubert of stealing his ideas, and most of his later works were deemed unpublishable. He never married.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards