On Sunday August 27th, Mayflower Bookshop’s Great Books series will feature Nikolai Gogol’s play ‘The Government Inspector’ (In Dutch: De Revisor) as the third lecture in this series. Gogol (1809-1852), a Russian writer of Ukrainian origin, is known for his ingenious and often absurdist work. To this day, ‘The Government Inspector’ is successfully performed all over the world.

Louis Smit, who studied Slavic languages and literature in Leiden and Prague and collaborated on a translation of the play, will talk about Gogol’s work, which is full of satire, grotesque antics, bizarre sidetracks, and intriguing details. A retired government communications consultant, Smit will also comment on the interaction between the characters, the hypocrisy and misunderstandings that make the play timeless and hilarious. A scene from the play is performed by The Mayflower Theatre Company. Both lecture and performance will be in Dutch.

After Alexander Pushkin’s death in 1837, Gogol became known as Russia’s greatest author. He was born in Ukraine, then officially called ‘Little Russia’. He wrote in Russian. For part of his life, he lived in St Petersburg, then the capital of the Russian Empire. He also lived in Germany, France and Italy for more than a decade.

Some of his work has a Ukrainian setting, such as the stories under the title ‘Evenings on a farm near Dikanka’. Another part is set in Russia: the novel ‘Dead Souls’, the story ‘Nevsky Prospekt’, ‘Diary of a Madman’ and ‘The Government Inspector’. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to get acquainted with Gogol’s work or renew your acquaintance with this great author!

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