Updates, Live

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Maxim Gorky

A friend of mine who passed away about twenty years ago used often to speak with great admiration about Gorky, about his novels and plays, and especially about his short stories. He was fascinated by the Gorkyan  universe, all those miserable people with so unexpected reactions in unexpected situations, that profane sainthood revealed in a world so humbled while so extraordinary - the world of his heroes, all those beggars, and thieves, and drunkards, townspeople and peasants, each one with his peculiar weirdness, with his past of smaller or bigger sins, often unknown to everyone else, while rotting in some hidden small corners of the soul.

Firstly I was a bit surprised that my friend admired Gorky at such extent, much more than any other Russian or non-Russian literary master. This friend had spent sixteen years in jail, as a political prisoner, condemned for anti-Communist activities. Actually he had spent in prison all his youth. He had been arrested by 1948 or 1949, and was freed only in 1964, when the Communist regime in my country decided a general amnesty for all political prisoners. A few years later we became friends, we were working in the same place.

And my friend explained to me that in his last years of prison, the regime had started to prepare the political prisoners for the amnesty that was to come. Among other things they were allowed to go to the prison library and read the books from there. This allowance was granted two or three years before the amnesty. And among the great authors, the only one present in the prison library was Gorky.

(Жизнь в Kнигах)



Post a Comment

<< Home