Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol was a Russian novelist, short story writer and playwright of Ukrainian origin.
Gogol was one of the first to use the techniques of surrealism and the grotesque in his works. Kornelije Kvas wrote that "the logical construction of Gogol’s The Petersburg Tales remains realistic, for the grotesque and fantastic elements fit in with the realistic matrix of events, following the logic of events that is close to the regularity of the unfolding of events in the reality that is accessible to us". According to Viktor Shklovsky, the strange style of writing that Gogol used is more like the "ostranenie" technique. His early works, such as Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, were influenced by his Ukrainian upbringing, Ukrainian culture and folklore. His later writing satirised political corruption in the Russian Empire. The novel Taras Bulba and the play Marriage, along with the short stories "Diary of a Madman", "The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich", "The Portrait" and "The Carriage", are also among his best-known works.
According to Vissarion Belinsky and Nikolay Chernyshevsky, Gogol had a huge influence on Russian and world literature.