Hieronymus Bosch, Dutch, 1450-1516 CE

Chekhov on Lackeyism

“What writers of the gentry had free from birth, we the underclass have to pay for with our youth. Why don’t you write the story of a young man, the song of a serf, a former shop boy, chorister, schoolboy, and student, brought up on deferring to rank, on kissing priests’ hands, submitting to others’ ideas, thankful for every crust, thrashed many times, who tormented animals, who loved having dinner with rich relatives, who was quite needlessly hypocritical before God and people, just because he knew he was a nonentity — write about this young man squeezing drop by drop the slave out of himself and waking one fine morning feeling that real human blood, not a slave’s, is flowing in his veins.”