This bold Stormy Petrel proudly throws itself between the lightning above the roaring sea; then the prophet of victory screams:
- Let the storm break out stronger!
M. Gorky. Song of the Petrel.
18 June 1938, 80 years ago, the great writer Maxim Gorky passed away. The great Russian, and then the Soviet writer Maxim Gorky really had a very difficult and complicated fate.
Maxim Gorky (real name - Alexey Maksimovich Peshkov) was born (16) 28 in March 1868 of the year in Nizhny Novgorod in the family of Maxim Savvatyevich Peshkov with Varvara Vasilyevna Kashirina. According to the official biography, his father was a cabinetmaker (according to another version, the manager of the Astrakhan shipping company, I. S. Kolchin), and his mother was the daughter of the owner of the dye-house. The marriage did not last long, soon my father died of cholera. Alexey Peshkov fell ill with cholera in 3, his father managed to get out of him, but he himself became infected and did not survive. The boy hardly remembered his father, but the stories of relatives about him left a deep impression - even the pseudonym "Maxim Gorky", according to the old Nizhny Novgorod, was taken in memory of his father. Mother did not want to go back to her father and remarried, but she soon died from consumption. Thus, at an early age, little Alexei was orphaned and his grandfather and grandmother raised him.
Grandma Maxim - Akulina Ivanovna replaced the boy's parents. Alexey spent his childhood in the house of his grandfather Kashirin in Nizhny Novgorod. Vasily Vasilyevich went bankrupt by the end of his life, but he taught his grandson. For the most part, Alexey read church books and got acquainted with the biographies of saints. At the age of eleven he became acquainted with the cruel realities of working life, since he was left completely alone. Alexey worked as an assistant on the ship, in the shop, as a baker, learned to paint icons, etc. Gorky never received a full education, although he studied at a local vocational school. Already in this period, Alexey Maksimovich became interested in literature, and wrote the first works.
1878 began his life "in people". He lived in slums, among the tramps; wandering, interrupted by day wise. In 1884, Gorky entered the university in Kazan, but he was not enrolled. However, Maxim in his sixteen years was already quite a strong personality. He stayed in Kazan and started working. Here he first met Marxism. The life and work of Maxim Gorky, subsequently, were imbued with the ideas of Marx and Engels, he surrounded the image of the proletarian and revolution with an aura of romance. The young writer zealously joined in the propaganda and in 1888, he was already arrested for connection with the revolutionary underground. The young writer was given strict police oversight. Working at the train station, he wrote several short stories as well as poems. To avoid imprisonment Gorky smog, having gone on a journey through the country. Don, Ukraine, Bessarabia, Crimea, then the North Caucasus and, finally, Tiflis - this is the travel route of the writer. He worked a lot and led propaganda among his colleagues and peasants. These years of life of Maxim Gorky marked the first works of "Makar Chudra" and "The Girl and Death."
In 1892, Alexey Maksimovich returned to Nizhny Novgorod after a long journey. "Makar Chudra" is published in the local newspaper, after which a number of his feuilletons, as well as reviews are published. His original pseudonym was the strange name Yehudiil Chlamyda. Maxim Gorky himself in his biographies and interviews remembered him more than once. His "Essays and Stories" soon turned the almost unknown provincial writer into a popular revolutionary author. The attention of the authorities to Aleksei Maksimovich’s person has grown significantly. During this period, the works “Old Woman Izergil” and “Chelkash” - 1895 year, “Malva”, “Spouses Orlovy” and others - 1897 year saw the light, and in 1898 a collection of his works was published.
This period will be the heyday of his talent. In 1899, the famous "Song of the Falcon" and "Thomas Gordeyev" appeared. In 1901, the Song of the Petrel was released. After the release of the Song of Thunderbirds: “Storm! Soon the storm will break out! This brave Petrel flutters proudly between lightning bolts over a roaring angry sea; the prophet of victory shouts: “Let the storm break out stronger! ..”. He also wrote a proclamation calling for the fight against the autocracy. After this, the writer was exiled from Nizhny Novgorod to Arzamas.
From 1901, he turns to drama. During this period, Maxim Gorky, characterized as an active revolutionary, a supporter of Marxism. His speech after the bloody events of January 9 1905 was the reason for the arrest and imprisonment in the Peter and Paul Fortress. However, Gorky was at the peak of his popularity at that time. In his defense were well-known artists, including representatives of the creative and scientific world from Germany, France, England and Italy. And they let him go. Gorky was directly involved in the revolutionary struggle 1905 year. In November, 1905 joined the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party. Due to the threat of reprisals, he was forced to leave for America. For the first time abroad, the writer did not stay long.
It must be said that Gorky, like other prominent creative figures, had not only an active social, but also a stormy personal life. He was married to Catherine Volozhinoy, he had concubines and mistresses, as well as many relatives and adopted children. So, Gorky left the family, and the famous Moscow actress Maria Andreeva became his common-law wife.
In emigration, the writer writes various satirical pamphlets about the “bourgeois” culture of France and the USA (“My Interviews”, “In America”). Returning to Russia in the fall, he writes the play “Enemies”, creates the novel “Mother”. Barely returning to his homeland, Alexey Maksimovich again travels abroad. By the 1910 years, Gorky's name became one of the most popular in the Russian Empire, and later in Europe, his work caused a huge critical literature: for 1900-1904. published 91 book about Gorky; From 1896 to 1904, the critical literature on it has been more than 1860 titles. The performances of his plays on the stage of the Moscow Art Theater had an exceptional success and were accompanied by anti-government performances by the public.
Until 1913, he lives in Italy due to health problems. The illness of the mother passed on to his son, he suffered from consumption. Gorky returned to his homeland, taking advantage of the amnesty. From the first days of the First World War he took an anti-militarist, internationalist position. The February 1917 revolution of the year, Maxim Gorky, greeted enthusiastically, seeing in it the victory of democracy, the insurgent people. His apartment in Petrograd in February-March 1917 of the year resembled a “headquarters”, where various political and public figures, writers, writers, artists, artists, and workers gathered. Gorky became the initiator of a number of sociocultural undertakings, paid great attention to the protection of cultural monuments and, in general, was very active. He wrote a number of articles, indignant at the mass export of artistic values from Russia to "American millions", and protested against the robbery of the country.
In order for society to fulfill the task of spiritual revival and moral purification of the country, Maxim Gorky believed, it was necessary first of all to combine “the intellectual forces of the old experienced intelligentsia with the forces of the young workers and peasants”. And for this it is necessary to “rise above politics” and direct all efforts towards “immediate intense cultural work”, involving the working and peasant masses in it. Culture, he believed, must be instilled in the people, brought up for centuries in slavery, to give the proletariat, the broad masses systematic knowledge, a clear understanding of their worldhistorical mission, their rights and duties, teach democracy. One of Gorky's most important scientific and educational endeavors these days was the creation of a “Free Association for the Development and Dissemination of Positive Sciences”.
According to the great writer, “there is no future without democracy”, “a strong person is a reasonable person”, and therefore it is necessary to “arm yourself with exact knowledge”, “instill respect for reason, develop a love for him, feel his universal power”. Gorky noted: “The source of our misfortunes is our incompetence. To live well, you have to work well, to stand firmly on your feet, you have to work hard, learn to love work. ”
The most active literary and social work of Gorky received at this time in the newspaper he founded, "New Life". It was published in Petrograd from April 18, edited by Gorky, and co-editors were V. A. Bazarov, V. A. Desnitsky, N. N. Sukhanov, A. N. Tikhonov. The newspaper actively opposed the continuation of Russia in the imperialist war (World War I), for uniting all the revolutionary and democratic forces to hold on to the social and political gains of the February revolution, developing culture, education, science to follow the path of further socialist transformations in Russia under the leadership of Social Democratic Party. In addition to the new cycle of Russian Fairy Tales, short stories, essays, Maxim Gorky published over 80 articles in a newspaper (58 of them in the series “Untimely Thoughts”). Publicism in the "New Life" has compiled two complementary writer's books - "Revolution and Culture. Articles for 1917. ”And“ Untimely Thoughts. Notes on revolution and culture. ”
At this stage of his life, the first contradictions arose with the views of Lenin, with whom he was personally acquainted. So, Gorky condemned the “senseless slaughter”, denounced the desire of the Provisional Government to bring the war to a victorious end (in response, representatives of the bourgeois camp of Gorky were accused of “espionage, treason”). On the other hand, Gorky opposed the July 4 uprising which began under the influence of socialist propaganda. Defending the social gains of the February revolution, speaking out against reaction, conservative forces, bourgeois parties and the policies of the Provisional Government, the Gorky newspaper very soon entered into controversy with the Bolsheviks, who put forward the question of an armed uprising and a socialist revolution. Gorky was convinced that Russia was not yet ready for socialist transformations, that the rebellion would be sunk in a sea of blood, and the cause of the revolution was thrown back decades ago. He believed that before carrying out a socialist revolution, the people should “work hard to gain the consciousness of their personality, their human dignity”, that at first they “must be calcined and cleansed from slavery, nurtured in it, by slow fire of culture”. In his opinion, “the most terrible enemy of freedom and law is within us,” “our cruelty and all that chaos of dark, anarchic feelings that has been brought up in the soul of our shameless oppression of the monarchy, its cynical cruelty.” And with the victory of the revolution only begins the process of intellectual enrichment of the country. Russia was not yet ready for social revolution. Culture, science, art were, according to Gorky, the very force that "will allow us to overcome the abominations of life and tirelessly, stubbornly strive for justice, the beauty of life, for freedom."
Therefore, the writer met the October Revolution coolly. Even a week before October in the article “You can’t be silent!” He urges the Bolsheviks to abandon the “performance”, fearing that “this time the events will take on an even more bloody and pogrom character, and will inflict an even harder blow to the revolution”. After October, New Life, led by Gorky, still held opposition seats and became an opponent of the new government. The newspaper criticized the “costs” of the revolution, its “shadow sides”, the forms and methods of implementing social transformations in the country - the cultivation of class hatred, terror, violence, and “zoological anarchism” of dark masses. At the same time, Gorky defends the high humanistic ideals of socialism, the ideas of democracy, human values, rights and individual freedom, forgotten in the whirlwind of revolution. He accuses the leaders of the Bolsheviks, Lenin and his "minions" in the destruction of press freedom, "adventurism", "dogmatism" and "nechaevshchina", "despotism", etc.
It is clear that such a position of Gorky sharp criticism of the authorities. Arguing with him, the Bolshevik Party and official press wrote that the writer turned from a “petrel” into a “loon”, “who cannot afford the happiness of battle”, that he acts as a “whimpering man in the street”, that “he lost his conscience”, that “he changed revolutions, ”etc. 16 July 1918 with the consent of Lenin, the newspaper was closed (before this publication was temporarily suspended several times).
Gorky sharply, hard perceived this criticism. For Gorky, socialism was not a utopia. He continued to believe in his ideas, he wrote about the "difficult torment of childbirth" of the new world, the "new Russia", noting that, despite all the mistakes, crimes, "the revolution, nevertheless, has grown to its victory", and expressed confidence that the revolutionary whirlwind, shaking “to the very depths of Russia”, “will cure us, make us healthier”, and revive “for construction and creativity”. Gorky also pays tribute to the Bolsheviks: “The best of them are excellent people whom Russian history will be proud of over time ...”; "... Psychologically, the Bolsheviks have already rendered the Russian people a favor, having moved all of its mass from a dead point and aroused in the whole mass an active attitude towards reality, an attitude without which our country would perish."
Despite his particular view of the revolution, Gorky continued his creative activity and presented many more patriotic works to the young Soviet state. After the attempt on Lenin, Gorky again became close with him and the Bolsheviks. Subsequently, Gorky, evaluating his position on 1917-1918, recognized them as erroneous, explaining that he underestimated the organizing role of the Bolshevik Party and the creative forces of the proletariat in the revolution. Gorky became one of the organizers of the literary and public. and publishing initiatives: publishing houses World Literature, House of Writers, House of Arts, etc. As before, he called for the unification of the old and new intelligentsia, defended it from unreasonable persecution by the authorities. In December, 1918 was elected to the Petrograd Soviet, 1920 was re-elected in June. The writer worked at the Petrograd Commission for the Improvement of the Life of Scientists founded on his initiative, became its chairman. He spoke out against the military intervention of the Western powers, called on the advanced forces of the world to defend the revolution and help the starving.
In the year 1921, on Lenin’s insistent recommendation, Gorky traveled to Italy. The public was informed that he was forced to undergo medical treatment abroad. He came to the Union in 1928 – 1929, and finally returned to Moscow in 1931 and in the last years of his life received official recognition as the founder of socialist realism. In 1932, the writer's hometown, Nizhny Novgorod, was renamed Gorky on the occasion of the 40 anniversary of his literary activity (the city was called Gorky after 1990 year).
In the last years of his life, Maxim Gorky wrote his novel, which remained unfinished - “The Life of Klim Samgin”. 18 June in 1936, he unexpectedly dies under strange circumstances. He was buried in Moscow's Red Square near the Kremlin wall.