"... introduced by Pushkin, considered by Belinski as a "master of a school of though", soon after the publishing of the first volumes of short stories and the comedy The Inspector-General, translated in French by Merimeé, promptly remarked by the important critic Saite-Beuve... Belinski, in his study entitled "Too much thinking doesn't help by Alexaksandr Griboedov", was the first one to see the Inspector-General's poetics as belonging to the line of masterpiece series containing Aristophanes - Shakespeare - Lope de Vega - Molière... The sentence "I have called you together, gentlemen, to tell you an unpleasant piece of news" (English version translated by Thomas Seltzer, Ed.'s note) works as a plot opener. Until then, traditionally, the plot was developed in the first few scenes of the play, as the playwright was giving the characters pretexts to enter the stage, one by one. Gogol, through one line, expressed in the company of all the characters, quickly connects the audience to the tension of the moment - a moment that will last five acts, an ascendant tension which, every five minutes, will accelerate its rhythm, with turn-overs, both natural and comical. The climax makes us the witnesses of a 180 degrees turn-over through Khlestakov's letter, while, in the eng, the author finds another genius solution in its concision, also condensed in one line: "Gendarme: An official from St. Petersburg sent by imperial order has arrived, and wants to see you all at once. He is stopping at the inn." ** Then comes the resolution without words, a nonverbal scene - a scene of pure theatre, shock reduced to essence, without words, pantomime. Is there somewhere such a strong artistic expressivity? Maybe there is, but not stronger...
Albert Kovács, Gogol's Posterities,
in N.V. Gogol, Teatru, Fundaţia culturală Est-Vest Publishing House, Bucharest, 2002
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