”The Old World Landowners" is a short story written in 1835. It is the first tale in the "Mirgorod" collection by Nikolai Gogol. The story is a vivid representation of the old-fashioned way of life in early nineteenth century rural Ukraine, а portrayal of the quiet life and the touching story of an elderly couple and their love for each other. With its dialogues and characters of Classical Russian literature, the story attempts to tell its readers how insignificant things can create a chain of unfortunate events that affect the stability of the strongest realities and completely change one’s life. The story is believed to be an ironic reworking of the Baucis and Philemon legend from Ovid's "Metamorphoses".
Nikolai Gogol (1809-1852) was a Ukrainian-born Russian humorist, novelist, and dramatist whose work played a crucial role in the direction of Russian literature. He was considered to be one of the leading figures of Russian realism. His novel "Dead Souls", a satire of the political corruption in the Russian Empire, is viewed by many literary historians as the first great Russian novel. Among his contributions to Russian and world literature are the surrealistic and grotesque "The Nose" and "The Mantle", the satirical "The Inspector General", the historical novel "Taras Bulba", the comedy "Marriage", the humorous short stories "Diary of a Madman" and "The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich". His works have influenced generations of readers and still continue to impress with their subtle psychologism and matchless style.