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IVAN GONCHAROV (1812-1891) was a writer, translator and, perhaps incongruously, a censor. He is best known for his three novels: A Common Story (1847), Oblomov (1859), and The Precipice (1869). He also wrote poems and theater criticism. Near the end of his life he wrote a memoir in which he accused other writers, especially Turgenev, of plagiarizing his works and thus keeping him from becoming as famous as he ought to have been. He was deeply admired by both Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky; Chekhov said that Goncharov was “ten heads above me in talent.”