Gorky Maxim (1868-1936), Russian writer, publicist. Great resonance had a collection of “Essays and Stories” (vol.1-3, 1898-99), where the bearers of the new, “free” morality were depicted (not without the influence of Nietzscheanism) so-called. tramps. In the novel “Mother” (1906-1907) sympathetically showed the growth of the revolutionary movement in Russia. Identifying the different types of life behavior of the inhabitants of the doss house (the play “At the bottom”, 1902), raised the question of freedom and appointment of a person. In the Okurovsky cycle (the novel The Life of Matvei Kozhemyakin, 1910-11), passivity, inertness of the uezd Russian life, the penetration of revolutionary sentiments into it. In the journalistic
Gorky Maxim (current name Alexei Maksimovich Peshkov) [16 (28) March 1868, Nizhny Novgorod June 18, 1936, Gorky near Moscow], Russian writer, publicist, public figure. One of the key figures of the literary milestone of the 19-20th centuries (the so-called “silver age”) and Soviet literature.
Origin, Education, Worldview
Father, Maksim Savvatievich Peshkov (1840-71), the son of a soldier, demoted from officers, a carpenter-cabinet maker. In recent years he worked as a steamboat manager, died of cholera. Mother, Varvara Vasilyevna Kashirina (1842-79) from the philistine family; early widowed, second time married, died of consumption. The writer’s childhood was held in the house of his grandfather Vasily Vasilyevich Kashirin, who in his youth harphed, then got rich, became the owner of a dyeing establishment, went bankrupt in his old age. Grandfather taught the boy in church books, grandmother Akulina Ivanovna attached her grandson to folk songs and fairy tales, but the main substitute for her mother, “saturating”, according to Gorky himself, “a strong force for a difficult life” (“Childhood”).
Gorky did not receive real education, having finished only a vocational school. The thirst for knowledge was self-satisfied, he grew up “self-taught.” Hard work (a steamer on a steamship, a “boy” in a shop, a pupil in an icon painting workshop, a foreman at fairgrounds, etc.) and early deprivation taught a good knowledge of life and inspired dreams of a reorganization of the world. “We came to the world to disagree…” the surviving fragment of the destroyed poem of young Peshkov “The Song of the Old Oak.”
Hatred of evil and ethical maximalism were the source of moral torment. In 1887 he tried to commit suicide. He took part in revolutionary propaganda, “went to the people,” traveled through Russia, communicated with tramps. He experienced complex philosophical influences: from the ideas of the French Enlightenment and the materialism of IV Goethe to the positivism of JM Guyot, the romanticism of J. Ruskin and the pessimism of A. Schopenhauer. In his Nizhny Novgorod library, near the “Capital” of Karl Marx and “Historical Letters” by P. L. Lavrov were books by E. Hartmann, M. Stirner and F. Nietzsche.
Roughness and ignorance of provincial life poisoned his soul, but also paradoxically generated faith in Man and his potential opportunities. From the clash of contradictory principles, a romantic philosophy was born in which the Man (the ideal entity) did not coincide with the person (real being) and even entered into a tragic conflict with him. The humanism of Gorky was rebellious and god-struggling in himself. His favorite reading was the Bible book of Job, where “God teaches a man how to be God-like and how to stand beside God” (Gorky’s letter to VV Rozanov, 1912).
Early Gorky (1892-1905)
Gorky began as a provincial newsman (printed under the name of Jehudiel Chlamyd). The pseudonym M. Gorky (letters and documents were signed by the real name A. Peshkov, the designations “AM Gorky” and “Alexei Maximovich Gorky” contaminate the pseudonym with the real name) appeared in 1892 in the Tiflis newspaper “Kavkaz”, where the first story was printed “Makar the Miracle”. In 1895, thanks to the help of VG Korolenko, published in the most popular magazine “Russian Wealth” (the story “Chelkash”). In 1898 in Petersburg there was a book “Essays and stories”, which had a sensational success. In 1899 a poem appeared in prose “Twenty-six and one” and the first great story “Foma Gordeev”. Glory Gorky grew with incredible speed and soon equaled the popularity of AP Chekhov and LN.
From the very beginning, there was a discrepancy between what Gorky wrote about the critic and what the ordinary reader wanted to see in him. The traditional principle of interpreting works from the point of view of the social meaning contained in them as applied to the early Gorky did not work. The reader was least interested in the social aspects of his prose, he sought and found in them a mood in tune with time. According to the critic M. Protopopov, Gorky substituted the problem of artistic typification with the problem of “ideological lyricism.” His characters combined typical features, behind which stood a good knowledge of life and literary tradition, and a special kind of “philosophy”, to which the author provided heroes on his own, not always consistent with the “truth of life.” Critics in connection with his texts did not solve social problems and problems of their literary reflection, but directly “the question of Gorky” and the collective lyrical image that he created, which he began to perceive as typical of Russia at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries. and which criticism compared with the “superman” Nietzsche. All this allows, in spite of the traditional view, to regard him as a modernist rather than a realist.
Gorky’s public position was radical. He was repeatedly arrested, in 1902 Nicholas II ordered to cancel his election as an honorary academician in the category of exquisite literature (as a sign of protest, Chekhov and Korolenko left the Academy). In 1905 he joined the ranks of the RSDLP (Bolshevik wing) and became acquainted with Lenin. They were given serious financial support for the revolution of 1905-07.
Gorky quickly appeared and as a talented organizer of the literary process. In 1901 he became head of the publishing house of the association “Knowledge” and soon began to produce “Collections of the Association” Knowledge “, which printed IA Bunin, LN Andreev, AI Kuprin, VV Veresaev, E. N. Chirikov, ND Teleshov, AS Serafimovich, and others.
The top of the early creation, the play “At the bottom”, owes a huge degree to its glory staging of Stanislavsky at the Moscow Art Theater (1902, played by Stanislavsky, VI Kachalov, IM Moskvin, OL Knipper – Chekhov, and others). In 1903, at the Kleines Theater in Berlin, a performance “At the Bottom” with Richard Vallentin took place as Satin. Other plays by Gorky (1901), Dachnikov (1904), The Children of the Sun, The Barbarians (both 1905), The Enemies (1906) did not have such sensational success in Russia and Europe.
Between the two revolutions (1905-1917)
After the defeat of the revolution in 1905-07 Gorky emigrated to the island of Capri (Italy). The “Capri” period of creativity forced to reconsider the conception of the “end of Gorky” (D. V. Filosofov), which was formed in the criticism, which was caused by his enthusiasm for the political struggle and the ideas of socialism, reflected in the story “Mother” (1906; second edition 1907). He creates the story “Okurov Town” (1909), “Childhood” (1913-14), “In People” (1915-16), a series of stories “In Russia” (1912-17). Controversy in the criticism caused the story “Confession” (1908), highly praised by AA Blok. It first sounded the theme of God-building, which Gorky with A. V. Lunacharsky and A. A. Bogdanov preached in the Capri Party school for workers, which caused his divergence from Lenin, who hated “
The First World War heavily affected the emotional state of Gorky. It symbolized the beginning of the historic collapse of his idea of ”collective reason,” to which he came after disappointment with Nietzschean individualism (according to T. Mann, Gorky extended the bridge from Nietzsche to socialism). The unlimited faith in the human mind, accepted as the only dogma, was not borne out by life. The war became a blatant example of collective madness, when Man was reduced to “trench louse”, “cannon fodder”, when people were staring before the eyes and the human mind was powerless before the logic of historical events. In Gorky’s 1914 poem there are lines: “How will we then live, what will this horror bring to us?” What now will my Soul save from hatred for people? ”
Years of emigration (1917-28)
The October Revolution confirmed Gorky’s fears. Unlike Blok, he heard in it not “music,” but a terrible roar of a hundred-million-strong peasant element that escaped through all social prohibitions and threatened to sink the remaining islets of culture. In “Untimely Thoughts” (a series of articles in the newspaper Novaya Zhizn, 1917-18, in 1918 came out in a separate edition), he accused Lenin of seizing power and unleashing terror in the country. But there he called the Russian people organically cruel, “bestial,” and thus, if not justified, he explained the ferocious treatment of the Bolsheviks with this people. Inconsistency of the position was reflected in his book “On the Russian Peasantry” (1922).
Gorky’s undoubted merit was an energetic work to save the scientific and artistic intelligentsia from starvation and shooting, gratefully appraised by contemporaries (EI Zamyatin, AM Remizov, VF Khodasevich, VB Shklovsky, and others) Do not think for such cultural actions as the organization of the publishing house World Literature, the opening of the House of Scientists and the House of Arts (communes for the creative intelligentsia described in OD Forsch’s novel The Crazy Ship and the book of K. A Fedina “Bitter among us”). However, many writers (including Blok, NS Gumilev) could not be saved, which became one of the main reasons for Gorky’s final break with the Bolsheviks.
From 1921 to 1928 Gorky lived in exile, where he went after too insistent Lenin’s advice. He settled in Sorrento (Italy), without interrupting his ties with the young Soviet literature (Leonov, Leonov, Ivanov, AA Fadeyev, IE Babel, and others). He wrote a series entitled “Stories of 1922-24 “,” Notes from the diary “(1924), the novel” The Artamonovs’ Affair “(1925), began to work on the novel-epic” The Life of Klim Samgin “(1925-36). Contemporaries noted the experimental character of Gorky’s works of this time, which were created with an unquestionable glance at the formal search for Russian prose of the 1920s.
In 1928, Gorky made a “test” trip to the Soviet Union (in connection with the celebration arranged for his 60th birthday), before this, he entered into cautious negotiations with the Stalinist leadership. The apotheosis of the meeting at the Belorussian station resolved the matter; Gorky returned to his homeland. As an artist, he completely immersed himself in the creation of the “Life of Klim Samgin,” a panoramic picture of Russia for forty years. As a politician, Stalin actually provided a moral cover in the face of the world community. His numerous articles created the apologetic image of the leader and were silent about suppressing in the country of freedom of thought and art facts that Gorky could not have failed to know. He stood at the head of the creation of a collective writers’ book that glorified the construction of prisoners by the White Sea-Baltic Canal. Stalin. Organized and supported by many enterprises: the publishing house Akademia, the book series History of Factories and Plants, The History of the Civil War, The Literary Studies Magazine, and the Literary Institute, later named after him. In 1934 he headed the Union of Writers of the USSR, created on his initiative.
Circumstances of death
Gorky’s death was surrounded by an atmosphere of mystery, like the death of his son Maxim Peshkov. However, the versions of the violent death of both have not yet been documented. The urn with the ashes of Gorky is placed in the Kremlin wall in Moscow.