picture

Go Wizardry

All About the Many Aspects of Go
We have millions of friends around the world... and they all play go!

Coronavirus in Japan

May 17, 2020
New cases of Coronavirus in Japan:
Total Tokyo
30 10

Satire is the most difficult form of comedy to perform with excellence. The death of Fred Willard yesterday reminds us of that. His performances in “This is Spinal Tap!” and “Best in Show” were both understated and over-the-top, not an easy combination to master. But he did it with grace and style.

In literature, Moliere was the master of satire. In plays such as “The Imaginary Invalid” Moliere commanded the stage with brilliant dialogue. A minor play of Moliere’s, “Tartuffe,” was the inspiration for Dostoyevsky’s satiric novel, “A Friend of the Family.” Neither work is well known today, perhaps because satire is not widely savored.

Dead Souls” by Nicolai Gogol might be the greatest work of satire ever written. The story harkens back to the days of Czarist Russia, when landowners were taxed by the number of serfs, or “souls” as they were called in olden times, that they employed on their estates.

But tax collectors could not traverse the immense Russian landscape more than once every two years. During that time, many serfs (souls) died without official recordings. That could lead to shenanigans. If these souls could be registered together under one owner, a fortune could be made. Or so one theory went…

The hero (anti-hero?) of Gogol’s work visits these estates and endeavors to buy these souls. They are dead, so what use is there to have them on the payroll? Some estate holders are glad to get rid of the problem, while some haggle over the price! For dead people!

Gogol got into trouble with his novel because the Church insisted that the soul was immortal, and could never die. Proving that satire is lost on the religious mentality. Which just emphasizes the point.

Leave a Reply

Books

book cover

Go on the Go Collection: Volume I

Three booklets have been assembled into the collection here.

Buy this Book at Amazon

Go For Everyone

Go For Everyone

A New Method for Learning to Play the Game of Go

Buy this book

Book Cover

Journey to the West

This is a semi-autobiographical novel that depicts a unique American success story; a rags to riches tale of a man escaping his humble origins to make millions of dollars, but then he throws it all away due to the ancient character flaw of hubris.

Buy this Book at Amazon