We applied that method to an examination of the creative productivity of Nikolai Gogol, whose eccentric behavior was enigmatic for both his contemporaries and later generations. The results were astonishing. We identified five phases during Gogol’s adult life, strikingly matching the writer’s productivity and his mental condition: prodromal, predominant elation, prominent mood swings, overpowering depressions, and decline. Both the quantity and the quality of Gogol’s literary work matched the stages of his chronic illness. In August 1841, Gogol completed the first part of his famous work Dead Souls. Then his creativity declined, both in quality and quantity. Between 1842 and 1848 he wrote 1,105 pages, mostly letters. The amount further declined to only 278 pages, until his death in 1852. In addition, Gogol burned the manuscript of the second part of Dead Souls twice during his depressive episodes.