Nikolai Gogol (1809 – 1852) was a Ukrainian-born Russian writer. Although his early works, such as Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, were heavily influenced by his Ukrainian upbringing and identity, he wrote in Russian and his works belong to the tradition of Russian literature. Often called the “father of modern Russian realism” he was one of the first Russian authors to criticize his country’s way of life. The novels Taras Bul’ba (1835; 1842 [revised edition]) and Dead Souls , the play THE INSPECTOR GENERAL (1836, 1842), and the short stories “Diary of a Madman,” “The Nose” and “The Overcoat”  are among his best known works. With their scrupulous and scathing realism, ethical criticism as well as philosophical depth, they remain some of the most important works of world literature.