Once Zoshchenko was with Gorky. And so Gorky says to him: but what would you, Mikhal Mikhalych and all that, not write here in this fantastic, if I may say so, manner the whole history of mankind? To, therefore, your hero, a man in the street, understood everything and got it out of your work, figuratively speaking, to the most, excuse me, the liver. That’s how they would write: with all the introductory words, on the mixture of communal jargon and, as it were, the office clerk, in such, you know, low-artistic manner, so that without education, they all understood. Because those who are with education, they are an endangered class, but it is necessary, it says, to be explained with simple ones.
And then Mikhal Mikhalych listened to him and wrote about this. He writes with the same repetition of the same phrases, because the idea of the hero-narrator, if I may say so, is wretched. He writes with ridiculous household details, which in reality did not have a place. And he, roughly say, respected citizens and citizens, of course, suffers a collapse as an ideologist, because his reader-philistine will only laugh with such a book, but he will not gain any profit for himself, he will not be re-educated. But as an artist Mikhal Mikhalych wins a great victory, because in a ridiculous philistine language he spells out piquant facts from different world history, showing what happens to this world history and in general to any delicate matter, if it is a mulal.
So he writes about the tenant who won the money, and how this tenant went to his mistress with his money, and then the money was stolen from him, and that his house was kicked out, and he very nicely returned to his wife, whose face is from tears already plump. And does not even use the words “man” or “woman”, but only “lodger” and “lodger”. Or here he is in the section “Love” writes about how the wife of an employee, sorry, fell in love with an actor who captivated her with his magnificent game on the stage of the stage. But he was a family man, and they had nowhere to meet. And they met at her friend’s. And the husband of this lady went very well to this friend, that she was in love with the artist, and the wife of our artist went to the neighbor of this friend, as if to have tea with cakes, but in fact everyone will instantly understand, what kind of cakes they had. And then they would all have to get married and get married, but since they already had a lot of children from all of them, it was impossible and only burdensome, and all of them, quarreling and betraying their love at the root, remained, sorry for the expression, in status quo. But much blood spoiled each other, suffering like the last cabmen or shoemakers, for nothing that were artists and employees.
And so they live, for example, poets who are in love, but do not know life, or artists whose nerves are not in order. And Mikhal Mikhalych then signs a verdict to his class and himself, that they are cut off from life. But the workers do not get any better at all, because they only think how to drink beer, spit the wife in a hare, or that they do not clean out of the party. At the word “cleansing” with them, it seems as if a stroke is being made, and they cease to feel the substance of life in themselves (but this has already incurred by Platonov). And the historical events in the presentation of Michal Mihalych look more vulgar, because he sets them out in the same language as his other heroes in the train tell their accidental companion their lives.
And it turns out in him that the whole history of mankind is nothing but money, treachery, love and failure with certain amazing incidents.