, May 1, 2005
- 540 pages
1923. Odets writes in his introduction that the brutal censorship imposed upon the great Russian Empire of Gogol's time by its feudal lords and masters is comparable in our time to only that imposed upon the peoples of certain Fascist states. Enlightenment was not then a word to utter lightly on a muddy street corner. But Gogol set out to enlighten the Russian people, and his method was curiously simple. Of his central character Tchitchikov, in Dead Souls he states, Him I have taken as a type to show forth the vices and failings, rather than the merits and virtues, of the commonplace Russian individual; and the characters which revolve around him have also been selected for the purpose of demonstrating our national weaknesses and shortcomings.