Gogol, Nikolay Vasilevich
(31 March 1809 – 4 March 1852 (Old Style date) 19 March 1809 – 21 February 1852. was a Ukrainian-born Russian dramatist and novelist.
Considered by his contemporaries one of the preeminent figures of the natural school of Russian literary realism, later critics have found in Gogol's work a fundamentally romantic sensibility, with strains of both the surreal and the grotesque ("The Nose", "Viy", "The Overcoat," "Nevsky Prospekt"). His early works, such as Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, were heavily influenced by Ukrainian culture and folklore. His later writing satirised political corruption in the Russian Empire (The Government Inspector, Dead Souls), leading to his eventual exile. After briefly flirting with conversion to Roman Catholicism while in Italy, on his return to Russia Gogol immersed himself in the Russian Orthodox Church. The novel Taras Bulba (1835) and the play Marriage (1842), along with the short stories "Diary of a Madman", "The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich", "The Portrait" and "The Carriage", round out his best-known works.