Too Clever by Half or the Diary of a Scoundrel
Alexander Ostrovsky - trans Rodney Ackland
Published by Applause Books
Gloumov, (the protagonist) has not only become an enduring character on the Russian stage, but the abstract noun derived from his name, gloumovshchina (or gloumovism), has entered the language. As long as ambitious young men with brains and talent can most readily achieve success by selling themselves and betraying their better natures, gloumovism will thrive
Transitional societies have a special need of Gloumov to keep things moving - as well as to maintain equilibrium - since the actor-opportunist will further any cause, switch positions overnight, defend opposite sides of the same issue, and turn his coat with every wind until he almost becomes the coat.
From the Afterword by Daniel Gerould