The Inspector General (Paperback)
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Nikolai Gogol's classic and hilarious satire of bureaucratic ineptness and corruption in a first-class translation by Laurence Senelick. "The emperor deigned to attend the premiere with the heir apparent: he was extremely pleased and laughed heartily. The play is very entertaining but an intolerable insult to the nobility, the civil service, and the merchantry." -Khrapovitsky's diary, 1836 "Everybody got his and me first of all " -Tsar Nicholas I (allegedly), 1836 "The audience, struck by the novelty, laughed enormously, but I expected a better reception ... One of my friends explained the reason jokingly. Says he, 'How can you expect them to give a better reception to this play, since half the audience is made up of those who are 'getting it, ' and the other half those who are 'giving it.'" -Mikhail Shchepkin, 1838 "The comedy was accepted by many people as a liberal manifesto ... a political bombshell flung at society under the guise of a comedy." -Prince Pyotr Vyazemsky, 1836 "I decided to gather into one heap everything in Russia that I was aware of at the time, all the injustices committed in those places and on those occasions where justice is especially required of humanity, and, at the same time, to laugh at it all. The effect, as everyone knows, was astonishing. Behind the laughter which had never before spurted from me with such force, the reader can notice sorrow ..." -Nikolay Gogol, 1847.