A comedy in five acts translated by Thomas Seltzer. Show Excerpt ature may be said to have had its beginning with the Inspector-General. Before Gogol most Russian writers, with few exceptions, were but weak imitators of foreign models. The drama fashioned itself chiefly upon French patterns. The Inspector-General and later Gogol's novel, Dead Souls, established that tradition in Russian letters which was followed by all the great writers from Dostoyevsky down to Gorky. As with one blow, Gogol shattered the notions of the theatre-going public of his day of what a comedy should be. The ordinary idea of a play at that time in Russia seems to have been a little like our own tired business man's. And the shock the Revizor gave those early nineteenth-century Russian audiences is not unlike the shocks we ourselves get when once in a while a theatrical manager is courageous enough to produce a bold modern European play. Only the intensity of the shock was much greater. For Gogol dared not only bid defiance to the accepted method; he dared to introduce a subject-matter that unde
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Nikolai Gogol was a Russian novelist and playwright born in what is now considered part of the modern Ukraine. By the time he was 15, Gogol worked as an amateur writer for both Russian and Ukrainian scripts, and then turned his attention and talent to prose. His short-story collections were immediately successful and his first novel, The Government Inspector, was well-received. Gogol went on to publish numerous acclaimed works, including Dead Souls, The Portrait, Marriage, and a revision of Taras Bulba. He died in 1852 while working on the second part of Dead Souls.
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