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#33 - JRL 2009-113 - JRL Home
From: "Robert Bowie" <bowierobert@bellsouth.net>
Subject: Response to Roy article/ JRL #112 [re: Gogol and Russian attitudes toward humor] 
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009

I just read Sergei Roys jeremiad on JRL, in response to my recent article about Nikolai Gogol and Russian attitudes toward humor (JRL-2009, #103, Item No. 37). Well, I skimmed it. I got tired in the middle of the lengthy business and went out to buy myself a chocolate bar.

What can I say? Doesnt such an over-the-top response prove one of my main points about the way Russians often relate to irony and wit? And this guy dares accuse ME of writing a RANT?

Yeah, I knew that Akhmatova was a woman. Duh. What I need is a good copy editor. The ever-vigilant Roy failed to notice a horrible typo in the very first sentence of my article. What was supposed to be satirizes came out satires. Argh. I also realize that there are a lot of funny, witty Russian writers, even Soviet writers: Yuri Olesha, Ilf and Petrov, Mayakovsky, probably a lot more whom Richards missed.

Im sure I know reams more about Russian literature that gospodin Roy does. Cant prove that though, because I dont know what he knows. He sounds, however, like one of these Russians who thinks hes read Gogol but never really has. Im sure he enjoys Saltykov-Shedrin.

Bad news for Roy. He may not have noticed that this piece on Gogol was No. 1 under the heading Russian Attitudes Toward Humor and Irony. I have A WHOLE LOT MORE to say about these things.

In the meantime, while hes up on his high horse and has his heavy cannons rolled out and loaded (awful mixing of metaphors there), I would like to refer the irascible Roy to something he apparently missed on JRL. It was posted on #62, Item No. 23, March, 2009, and its called The Russian Game of Yell.