Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol' (1809-1852) was a Russian writer of Ukrainian ethnicity and birth. Often called the "father of modern Russian realism," He was one of the first Russian authors to criticize his country's way of life. Although his early works were heavily influenced by his Ukrainian upbringing, he wrote in Russian and his works belong to the tradition of Russian literature. Gogol was one of the first masters of short prose, alongside Pushkin, Mrime, Hoffmann, and Hawthorne. The main and most persistent characteristic of Gogol's style is its verbal expressiveness. He wrote with a view not so much to the acoustic effect on the ears of the listener as to the sensuous effect on the vocal apparatus of the reciter. The other main characteristic of his genius is the extraordinary intensity and vividness of impressionist vision, sometimes skirting expressionism. The Dead Souls (1842), The Inspector-General and The Overcoat (1842) are among his masterpieces.