john_j_enright (john_j_enright) wrote,

The Inspector General

is a play by Gogol, actually the Russian title may be closer to "The Government Inspector." I finished it today, as part of my project of understand Gogol a bit more after reading his Taras Bulba, which I didn't care for much.

But I enjoyed this play just fine. I chuckled aloud on the train, which is where I mostly did my reading.

The play is set in a crooked provincial town. The leading figures in the play are the crooked mayor, and a minor government clerk who is passing through the town but who gets mistaken as the dreaded inspector general.

There's a Hollywood movie adaptation, from 1949, with Danny Kaye. I remember it from long ago as funny, but it takes liberties with the story, and shifts the focus to Danny Kaye's clowning.

There are no heroes in the original play; the entire town appears to be conniving in one way or another. The chief focus is on government corruption, but a couple of the town merchants also come in for criticism for "shortchanging" and other dishonest practices. It's a good town to get out of

Rhyme of the day:

The mayor and his friends
Reach a bad, but funny, end.

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