In the early twentieth century, Maxim Gorky was one of the main writers, not only in Russia but also abroad. After the revolution he became the chief Soviet writer, a classic of “socialist realism”. He argued and reconciled with Lenin, was in relationship with Yagoda and Beria, praising the Soviet “project of the century” and wrote with satisfaction about the reformation of new people on the Solovki. However, he supported the intelligentsia, has opened a new publishing house, launched the book series and kept very much to write his legacy is enormous. March 28 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Maxim Gorky. However, in addition to the anniversary celebrations, a special activity around his work is not seen. About why the main writer of the twentieth century is now not popular with the public as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, or Bulgakov, a columnist for “the Tape.ru” Natalia Kochetkova talked to the historian of literature, senior scientific employee of faculty of journalism of Moscow state University Mikhail Edelstein.
??”Tape.ru”: I know plenty of people who from time to time purely for myself, I re-read Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Chekhov, Bulgakov. Have you read ever bitter for your own pleasure?
Edelstein: For fun — no. Rather to fill the gaps in education, before the lecture, for example. Semi – pleasure, semi – to refresh your memory, I reread his plays. I generally like bitter-playwright: “the lower depths”, “barbarians”, “children of the sun”. Although love is probably a strong word. Rather, it is what I from Gorky can read. But we must understand that as a historian of literature I read most of the text somehow, for something, some purpose. More or less for myself, I recently re-read Goncharov and Ostrovsky — I wanted something long, boring and pleasant.
Simply there is a common formula that the value of the writer time-tested. Recently, the British again filmed “Anna Karenina” and “War and peace”. In Russia over the past time series on Dostoevsky, Gogol, A. N. Tolstoy, Sholokhov, even! Ernst is producing the next re-filming of “Master and Margarita”, as we know. In my humble opinion, Bitter now very few people need. Well, put it in the theater sometimes. And most often, not the most popular platforms. Does that mean he so belonged to their time outside of it to exist can not? Or is it now a time, antivaricose?
Ursulyak made of the “Summer people” on the play “summer residents”.
It was in the mid-1990s.
Well, Yes, it is certainly not lyubimovskogo the play “the Mother”, which was once at the Taganka Theater.
that is, relatively speaking, Bitter man, who literally with his own hands made the Russian literature of the twentieth century, supported the intelligentsia, argued and reconciled with Lenin, was in a relationship with a senior Soviet officials, was organized by several publishing houses, launched a famous book series, including the now Zdravstvuy “Life of remarkable people” — did not survive its time and now especially do not need anyone, except historians of literature?
I would be interested to think about how many of his contemporaries, Gorky, together with him went to major world stars relevant now? Romain Rolland was so Bitter French of his time. When Stalin was important to be recognized as European intellectuals, one of the first targets was precisely Rolland: was wondering how to lure him and to make he said respectful words about the Soviet Union. He was a world authority. So often he is filmed now? I’m not sure he was terribly popular in France. Or Anatole France. Barbusse does already deactualization. Of the English at this time was Galsworthy, Shaw.
show, with sense of humor, and Galsworthy thanks to cozy serialnet just consistently popular, contemporary culture including.
Yes, but it’s the Brits, they are all cute. And if we remember the German, the American “generals” of the time, they are also not very readable, or put. Many of the stars of this period was completely extinguished.
largely because it was a different approach to literature. I think the point of obsession with group portrait, sociality. Despite all the romanticism in Gorky, he had the confidence that the writer has to describe society and man in society. And linguistic inventiveness, for example, thus can be neglected. The modern reader wants the portrait of the individual. If it is to sharpen and generalize the wording. Play “At the bottom” to the greatest extent is psychological, and she is still, she is alive.
And if you talk about the reputation of Gorky as a writer now, who is he?
More revered than read the classic, which is a shadow of ambiguity to his reputation in those circles of the late Soviet intelligentsia that form today’s Canon, conditional sixties-seventies. For them, a Bitter hopeless Soviet writer, one of the most despicable characters of “the GULAG Archipelago”, the founder of the Union of Soviet writers socialist realism, the main writer of the Stalin era, the author of the essays on Solovki, “If the enemy does not surrender he will be killed”, the man who hunted Alexei Losev, wrote articles about the building of communism, was a friend and near relative of Berries and stuff. All this has allowed to withdraw from the bitter lines in which he seems must naturally be present: Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Gorky. The result of Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Chekhov — Yes, but Bitter no, because “Stalin’s henchman”.
As I told one of the people involved in Mayakovsky, when in the late Soviet, but the years of perestroika he said to some of the classics of the informal literary criticism that he wrote a book about Mayakovsky, he responded: “Oh, the boy decided to sell the Bolsheviks?” Although it would seem: Mayakovsky and the futurist, and the international avant-garde classic, a puppy with a good pedigree. And Bitter from the same category, but only more dull socialist realist. Unlike Mayakovsky, it does not save the Khlebnikovs and burlyuks edges. Modern literature partly emerged from the Soviet, and partly from the anti-Soviet. And that powerful line that inherits the anti-Soviet history of Soviet literature, Gorky dislikes. It’s not Pasternak and Mandelstam. Thus written about him, maybe as much, but other people, heirs of the Soviet literary institutions.
the Strange thing is, when I, still a student, in the late 1990s I read a particular book about Mayakovsky, which you now allude, already in my picture of the world he was not a Soviet poet. For me he was a great poet of the twentieth century, regardless of his relationship with the Soviet authorities. Why Mayakovsky was easily able to overcome his coming in and being so, and Gorky no?
Though mind you, Mayakovsky percentage of applied art.-Soviet higher than that of bitter. Bitter wrote verses about the Soviet passport and miles of advertising slogans. But with Mayakovsky understand why it happened: it avant-garde, and keep the lines of Russian poetry, which canonized. Relatively speaking, the spirit of Pasternak and the spirit of Khlebnikov pray for him in the intellectual consciousness. How early were allowed to check Khlebnikov because he was a friend of Mayakovsky, so now Mayakovsky washed Khlebnikov, a key figure of Russian poetry in noticiasnew version.
And with a Bitter, this is not. It is surrounded in the best case, Leonid Andreyev, who is also not that a top figure in the view of the modern reader. Who else? Ivan Volnov, Cheremnov, Boris Timofeev, MAV — that’s the environment Gorky. Who are they? No. Zeros. Not only in the mass, but also in professional literary-historical consciousness. And Gorky, a key figure of his era, paradoxically, is in isolation. It is not necessary to mention in research about other “generals” of the era. Even Pasternak, who had tremendous respect for, as we know. Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, Mandelstam, Mayakovsky, Khlebnikov, Sologub Gorky easily eliminated from this series. As said George Bengal: “I live in the other half!” Gorky was at a disadvantage from a modern point of view, half of the literature.
this Bitter is very individual and not a Soviet writer. After all, when we explore some novel “Hydrocentral” some of Marietta Shaginyan, we examine not the work of the author, and the formulae of Stalinist literature as a new folklore, we can decompose this text in Propo. We are interested in how Stalin myth was implemented in the literature, as it changed from 20 years to 30-m, the formation of new genres: “Pedagogical poem” Makarenko, or “SOT” by Leonid Leonov. And in that sense Bitter, in fact, outside of the Soviet literary process. He’s not a classic production of the novel, the novel about the re-education of youngsters, not a classic of Soviet science fiction, as the same or Leonov Belyaev, it is not decomposed formulas Soviet novel of the 1930s. It is too individual, he is different. He is very involved in traditional realism, of the earlier, pre-revolutionary tradition of Russian literature, great Russian novel.
But in the end it turns out a paradoxical picture: it is taken from the pre-revolutionary tradition, because “Soviet” and “Stalin’s henchman”, but cannot be examined as Cement Gladkov, because it is not a matrix of Soviet literature. Soviet literature we are interested in as the process, no names — we don’t care who wrote it. And Bitter is the author of his works. For him in a very small degree, wrote the era. And if the era — not this one.
Then why was the main Soviet classic?
the Answer is simple: because he agreed. Well, he was really the main writer of pre-revolutionary Russia: at the fame, the fees, around. New culture needed people with that name in the world, with such a reputation. Therefore, the Soviet government strongly lured. And lured.
your point of view, it was a deal with his conscience, or sincere faith in the Soviet state? All these essays about Solovki, white sea canal.
on the one hand, all Nietzscheans, Mayakovsky, for instance, became Soviet. Much of the pre-revolutionary Gorky said that he will be Soviet. But, on the other hand, paradoxically, it means nothing. Very much in pre-revolutionary Images, too, about this is said. But he became anti-Soviet to the extent that he was ready to bless Nazism. All of it individually. But the Soviet project was to bitter very tempting as a writer. From the very beginning, and in the 1930-ies, and reforging on Solovki, and the birth of the new man, and the triumphant tramp, and contempt for the peasantry and contempt for the average person in General, the idea of what the strugatskys call “progressorstva”, having a right covering my heart the way the crowd behind him, all very logical. It was his faith and a natural extension of his way. More of a regurgitation of the classical tradition was the fact that he is in this moment broke with the Bolsheviks and was in exile.
so there was never any internal disorder?
I’m Sure partly was. Can not stand the excessive brutality of the Russian intellectual in him also lived. Bitter at all was, on the one hand, sentimental, with the other inhuman, such a paradox. The post-Nietzschean anti-humanism and together with the “Forgive me — I’m sorry ladies, but this is my only drawback,” wrote Mikhail Svetlov. Something is happening in Gorky in the Soviet Union resisted, and until the end, as we understand the evidence about his last years.
But there is another important point. What separates us from the person of the 1920s? What we don’t understand? We are the children of a generation of janitors and watchmen. As Grebenshchikov sang: “We could go down in history — we didn’t go there”. We prefer large discourses to hide in the boiler room. A man of the 1920-ies thought otherwise. Remember “Envy” Olesha. Why the hero is jealous of my Savior? Not because he is a loser, and he is rich and lives in an apartment with a warm toilet. But because that coincides with his age demanded it. Why Babel is a favourite of bitter, by the way — sitting in the konarmia, although he is not a reservist? He hated Cossacks, they are all disgusting to him, but he was with them, he wants to be one of them, because they make history. The revolution speaks through them, not through Babel — good, nice, intelligent Jew from Odessa. And if he leaves the Army, you will find yourself on the wrong side of history, outside of this powerful flow.
And Gorky could not be a feeling that the Soviet Union is an ambitious project. A Grand is not good and not bad, and self-worth. What should be inside where we should be. The story is written with a capital letter. “If you don’t agree with the era — Ojai”, then said. You’re in a miserable situation. Modern man would say, “If you don’t agree with the age—***”. Then I thought the opposite way. The Maverick Mayakovsky’s poem produces “150 000 000” and does not put his name on the cover.
And that sense of grandiosity — not “Stockholm syndrome”, as is sometimes said. It’s the same feeling to have all of the European intelligentsia: Rolland, Feuchtwanger. They come to the USSR and then write: we do not understand, but this is huge. And they have all the boring bourgeois life, measured, Yes, crises, Yes, between the two world wars, but Parliament meets, and everyone I spoke. Remember most feared Unit, listening to the music of the revolution? That music will disappear and come back boredom, ordinariness, uneventfulness, a bourgeois talking shop with Miliukova. But the library was burned in the manor — it’s good! And how will Russian poetry to rebel against the NEP! Pianos, Canaries, sausage — these are the main negative characters of Russian literature of the 1920-ies.
Epic story sweeps away everything in its path, including you. You have to be in it, coincide with it. This charm global historical upheaval common to the 1920-ies. And Bitter was the emblem of this way of thinking. By the way, hence the admiration of European intellectuals Mussolini, partly even Hitler. But that is another topic.
You recently stated that Gorky is a great writer without great works. Isn’t that one of the reasons why Bitter now not as popular as other classics? What to take to read interested person — early romantic stories? All these sugar “old Woman izergil”, “Chelkash”, “Makar Chudra”?
They’re pathetic, baby, yeah.
“Song of the stormy Petrel” has already become quotes and anecdotes.
“Smart safely gets” — of course!
in relation to the novel “Mother” recall the lines of Opera arias, “Paul, your mother was taken away,” where the Soviet students usually hysterical laugh. And “Klim Samgin” is unsupportable. So advise?
“At the bottom”. The play is no worse than “thunder-Storm” Ostrovsky. Maybe even “Town Okurov”. I understand that these texts give an idea of the strong writer, but nothing more. It doesn’t explain why two or three generations of Russian writers prayed for him. Yes, of course, he’s not Tolstoy, not Dostoevsky and Gogol not — it seems to me self-evident. But a very good writer.
in General, let’s think about who was left out of the generation of writers 1910. It was the time of the writers-stars. Russia — a country literaturotsentrichna, Newspapers much, they need something to write, the journalists slept on the mats at the doors of famous writers to the morning first time to ask them about future plans. One of these people with their fancy fees are there now? Balmont? Leonid Andreyev? Kuprin? Artsybashev, God forbid? Can I reread for my own pleasure, “the Small demon” Sologub? Nightmare! Or “Sanin” Artsybashev?
left baby Kuprin “the White poodle”, “Garnet bracelet” and adolescence “the Pit.”
That is Bitter wrote better than all his literary megazvezda of the era.
do we come thus to the conclusion that most of the “classics of the XX century” — the authors who entered the history of literature not so much because of the lyrics, but because of the context? He was replaced that needed names. And they appeared. And now most of them forgotten.
I would say not all XX century, namely the beginning. If you really want to generalize, if there was such a prejudice against pathos, which we have. One of the reviews of the book of Balmont’s “Poetry as magic” in 1915 was called “Boredom capital letters”. At the moment it is already beginning to be felt. And these writers wrote a lot of it in big letters. “The life of man” Andreyev, the hit of the era: “Here will pass before you the whole life of Man, with its dark beginning and dark end,” “In the corner still stands Someone in Gray” — now even school theater would be ashamed such to put. Or word, which has very good poetry. But his textbook samples is unbearable rhetoric: “O death! I am yours. Everywhere you see One…” We now appreciate the muted tones and such things out in the area of adolescent literature. In 14 years I can imagine the book the boy who revels in the poetry of Sologub.
In the 14 years I loved Leonid Andreyev.
Here! And I loved! And didn’t understand why he was not given the Nobel prize because he believed that “human Life” is the best work in the world literature.
Bitter against this background, a good and quite modern novelist, playwright bright. Most of his main things (except the earliest) do not cause acute embarrassment. So it can be considered a normal writer of the second row. Although I collection of letters, Gorky is much more interesting than the collection of his writings. There I distinguish the color and flavor of the era better than his art things.