Odessa Literary Museum
Inside the powder-blue 19th-century palace, sumptuous rooms host displays on Odessa’s cultural eras and the writers who were either born or wrote here. Gogol, hypochondriac gluttonous master of the grotesque, worked on his ill-starred second volume of Dead Souls during his stay in 1850. Chekhov, we learn, gorged on local ice cream. The green hall dedicated to Pushkin is the museum’s crowd-pleaser; Russia’s Byron still enjoys rock-star status. Pushkin spent a year of political exile in Odessa in the 1820’s, immortalizing the city in the so-called “Odessa stanzas” of his verse novel, Eugene Onegin. Immortal too is the gossip: how Pushkin cuckolded the regional governor, who got him back by giving the poet the assignment of making a survey of locust infestation.