Tales from M. Saltykov-Shchedrin
Saltykov, Mikhail Evgrafovich
. Foreign Languages Publishing House . Moscow
PG3361.S3 S43 1965 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Here are nineteen tales, for which the Russian title-page uses the term Skaski rather than Basni. They overlap with a number of stories in the edition of Fables listed under 1941/76. Generally, the stories are five to ten pages long. One might describe them as expanded fables. They are of course wonderfully witty and satirical. On this trip through I tried Bears in Government (56), which mocks heavy-handed authorities who think bloodshed solves any problem, and The Deceitful Newsmonger and the Credulous Reader (70), which spreads its criticism liberally on both sides of the title's relationship. Though the reader ends up an unfortunate victim, the newsmonger still wonders whether the best way to cheat the reader is to tell him the truth or to tell him lies. The two or three pen-and-ink illustrations for each story are helpful. In fact, they are just right for this kind of literature, which is very close to everyday journalism.