3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Is there somebody like this in your life?,
This review is from: The Village of Stepanchikovo (Paperback)
When I first read The Village of Stepanchikovo I saw Foma Fomich Opiskin as a detestable character and I could hardly turn the pages fast enough to see whether he would get this just deserts.
However, with the passage of time, my judgement of Foma mellowed and I became more sympathetic towards him. I thought the book could do with a second reading to check out this revised opinion. Foma Fomich is a caricature and to some extent I think we all have similar characters in our own lives. It is somebody we initially respect for fulfilling a specific role in our lives. Perhaps it's a schoolmistress or headmaster, a pop star, a football manager, a university language teacher or even an ex-prime-minister. It's somebody with whom our initial contact is quite straightforward, in a clearly defined role, but then we put him or her up onto a sort of pedestal of reverent respect. They let it go to their head and become pompous and arrogant and start making pronouncements well outside their original remit. A sort of surrogate parent-child relationship develops. If we're not careful such people can start to dominate our lives, unless we take a firm stance and let them know their limits.
Well worth a second read. Thanks to Ignat Avsey for his translation.