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Maxim Gorky: a political history Calder, Loren David 1956

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MAXIM GORKYt A POLITICAL HISTORY by LOREN DAVID GALDER A THESIS SUBMITTED IK PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of Slavonic Studies We accept,this thesis as conforming to the standard required from candidates for the degree of MASTER OF ARTS Members of the Department of THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October, I956 In presenting t h i s thes is i n p a r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibra ry s h a l l make i t f ree ly ava i lab le for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thes is for scholar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s representat ive. I t i s under-stood that copying or pub l i ca t ion of th i s thes is for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my wr i t t en permission. Department of S 1<M^ -<~C. Sf^M^kL^ The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver #, Canada. ABSTRACT. Maxim Gbrky was born i n 1868. At nine he was thrown out into the world to fend for himself. Even as a boy he protested against the ugliness of l i f e and refused to submit to the forces of circumstance. At sixteen he found himself i n an intellectual and emotional quandry. He longed to activate leaden Russia and i n desperation went to the University of Kazan. Unable to finance an education, he worked as a stevedore and experienced for the f i r s t time the joy of group labour. At Kazan he became involved i n the incipient Populist movement and was excited by their determination to build a new l i f e . At twenty-one he was arrested on suspicion of revolutionary a c t i v i t i e s . His f i r s t story was published i n 1892. The f i r s t edition of his collected short stories appeared i n I898. The whole cycle of these early stories, written with a revolutionary purpose, revolved around the central ideal of personal liberty, exuberant strength and fierce rebellion. In this he announced a new attitude of energy and courage which won him universal acclaim. The young Marxists were quick to appreciate the revolutionary significance of Gorky's work and soon involved him actively in their movement. After I898 he was forced to live under police surveillance. His significance both as a symbol and participant i n the revolutionary movement increased rapidly. Ey 1902 he was a close collaborator of the Social Democratic Party and an important financial power behind the movement. After the s p l i t of 1905 he showed a decided preference for the Bolsheviks. In the revolution of 1905 he played a conspicuous role as a fund raiser and propagandist for the insurgents. In I906 he went into exile. In 1907 he reached the peak of his efforts to put literature to work for the revolution with the publication of Mother. As the Bolsheviks most f e r t i l e source of funds, he rendered an invaluable service to the Social Demo-cratic Party Congress of 1907. During this period his acquaintance with Lenin deepened into a mature friendship, and he became a tireless ex-ponent of democracy and unity within the warring Social Democratic Party. He also wrote essays on p o l i t i c a l and social consciousness. In 1909 he helped to organize a workers' school on Capri. In 19^5 he returned to Russia, where he devoted himself increasingly to educative work. In 1914 he voiced his instinctive opposition to the war and sided with the Zimmerwald Left. Gorky was gloomy about the eventual outcome of the revolution i n 1917, and played the role of a spectator rather than an actor. In the spring he founded a daily newspaper in which he campaigned against Bolshevik tactics and opposed Lenin's scheme for a rigorous proletarian dictatorship. He worked for the unity of the whole Social democracy. In August he became the leader of a small p o l i t i c a l party, the United-Internationalists. Foreseeing the eclipse of culture, he opposed the Bolshevik seizure of power in October and assailed Lenin with bitter invective. In 1919 he became reconciled to the Bolshevik order and concentrated his attention on salvaging and preserving Russian cultural values. In 1922 he went abroad. In I929 he returned to the Soviet Union, where he was already applauded as i t s greatest moral and cultural authority. By this time he was convinced that the working class was one of the most v i t a l forces i n Russia and that the working class together with the soc i a l i s t intelligentsia could and would create a new society based on justice and equality. He f e l t that i t was his duty to contribute to the building of the U.S.S.R. and gave unflagging public support to the regime. His great prestige, bolstered by his friendship with Stalin, made a powerful force of his capacity to mould public opinion. From 1950 to 1956, he gave his attention to reorganizing Soviet Literature and wittingly or unwittingly helped to turn literature into an instrument of state policy. Gorky died i n 19?6. The circum-stances of his death were later used as a weapon i n the inner-Party struggle for power. TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE Introduction i i i I Historical Background 1 II Childhood, Adolescence and Youth . . . 55 III The Tyro 59 IV The Stormy Petrel 7^ V The Emigre 95 VI In The Revolutionary Turmoil . . . . . 118 VII The Last Phase l4A VIII Conclusions 168 Bibliography I69 INTRODUCTION This project started from a literary interest i n the works of Maxim Gorky. The frequent mention of his name and the commanding position which he seemed to occupy i n the history of Russian literature placed him near the top of the writer's reading l i s t . In looking about for a suit-able thesis topic, the treatment of an aspect of Gorky's work suggested i t s e l f as a promising subject for study. Preliminary investigation quickly revealed that Gorky's remarkable status was not due solely to lite r a r y merits. It was apparent that his l i f e and personality, his p o l i t i c a l and cultural a c t i v i t i e s , and the part that he had played i n the revolutionary movement had a l l contributed to his towering reputation. Closer examination revealed that Gorky had known intimately the outstand-ing leaders of the Russian Revolutionary Movement, and further, that his p o l i t i c a l biography seemed to be the history of his relations \vith the Communist Party. The question aroset "Would an examination of Gorky's p o l i t i c a l associations contribute to an understanding of Soviet Russian History?" The question was intriguing, and with further study the writer was able to formulate a number of basic hypotheses suitable for examin-ation i n a project of this kind. The general hypothesis i s that an examination of Gorky's p o l i t i c a l history w i l l contribute to an understanding of Soviet p o l i t i c a l and cultural history. Specific hypotheses are: (1) that Gorky's p o l i t -i c a l a ctivities were of considerable importance; and further, that his i v exceptional prestige was consistently exploited by the Communist Party to i t s p o l i t i c a l advantage; (2) that an examination of Gorky's p o l i t i c a l history w i l l reveal a number of the key problems facing the Russian revolutionaries and hence contribute to an understanding of the character of Russian Communism; (5) that a study of his p o l i t i c a l associations w i l l provide valuable insights into the respective characters of Lenin and Stalin, the key figures of Soviet P o l i t i c a l History; and (4) that a knowledge of his p o l i t i c a l history is of crucial importance to an appre-ciation of his literary work. In essence this thesis is an attempt to open a momentous his-t o r i c a l theme by studying the p o l i t i c a l biography of a great man. In approaching this subject, the writer has applied the "historical method" as outlined by F.M. Fling i n his short book The Writing of History, and has done a l l of his research i n the University Library. He has been restricted to the use of English sources except i n two very minor instances: (1) a brief biography of Gorky by I. Gruzdev; and (2) the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, second edition. The Library has an almost complete collection of Gorky's works, including his short stories, novels, plays, autobiographical works, reminiscences, and a selection of his p o l i t i c a l essays and pamphlets entitled Culture and the People, edited by International Publishers, 1959. The writer was able to augment this collection by the purchase of an English edition of Gorky's journalistic writings selected and edited i n Moscow i n 1952 under the t i t l e Articles  and Pamphlets. The Library's resources of periodical literature are quite extensive, and the careful perusal of numerous articles by and about Gorky has yielded valuable historical material. Other references V used have been general histories of the Soviet Union and Russia, and biographies of Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky and, of course, Gorky. In this respect, the writer feels he should single out the biography of A.H. Kaun, Gorky and His Russia, which pays especial attention to the p o l i t -i c a l and social aspects of Gorky's l i f e . In addition, much useful material has been found i n studies of contemporary Russian literature by such men as Gleb Struve, Marc Slonim, and Prince D.S. Mirsky. Further information on the materials consulted i s contained i n the Bibliography. Lastly, the writer would like to thank the members of the Library staff for their kind assistance, and particularly Dr. C y r i l Bryner for his patience and for his pertinent criticisms. CHAPTER I HISTORICAL BACKGROUND The era i n which Maxim Gorky played his role grew largely out of social, p o l i t i c a l , and economic alignments which developed i n Russia between 1860-1900. These decades were roughly coincident with Gorky's formative years; although he took no active part i n them they l e f t their mark on his character, and set the stage for his exceptional performance. For this reason, there follows a survey of the salient features of that period. The reign of Alexander II (1855-1881) i s known to Russian History as the "Era of Great Reforms". This is because Alexander had the wit-to perceive that the socio-political conditions existing at the time of his ascension to the throne demanded adjustment i f tsardom was to endure. Although conservative by nature and conviction Alexander accepted the challenge and initiated a far reaching series of reforms. By and large the succeeding decades of the 19th century Russian History were con-vulsed by a struggle for the practical embodiment of these reforms. Alexander faced his greatest challenge i n the condition of serfdom, which had reached i t s peak during the reign of Catherine the Great (1762-1796). Since this problem absorbed the attention of a l l thinking men the government could not claim to be ignorant of the danger lurking within the state. Indeed, a constant stream of warnings had come from government o f f i c i a l s to the effect that this iniquitous 2-condition must be abolished. However, i t was not unti l the country was f i r s t shaken by insurrection and then badly mauled i n the Crimean war that the government recognised the bankruptcy of i t s system. The revolu-tio n of 1848 had i t s distant echo i n the hearts of the Russian peasant folk and from the year 1850 insurrections of revolted peasants began to assume serious proportions. When the Crimean war broke out and con-scription was levied everywhere, these revolts spread with unprecedented violence. They became so serious that whole regiments, with their a r t i l l e r y , were sent to quell them. Again, i n waging war this country which depended for i t s prestige at home and abroad on i t s military strength was fought to a standstill on i t s own territory. In general i t s services were grossly inadequate. Peculation i n the rear and troublesome transport problems combined to produce acute shortages of essential military supplies and equipment at the front. Medical supplies and services were quite insufficient, and as a result disease was rampant. Above a l l i t was shown conclusively that the Russian serf i n arms, sapped of i n i t i a t i v e and resource by his social status, was no match for the freeman of Western Europe.* This combination of circumstances made the abolition of serfdom imperative. In the meantime the war dragged on. As neither side seemed able to win a decisive victory and as the enormous burdens of waging war made further conflict f u t i l e , peace negotiations were initiated. The r i v a l powers, England, France and Russia reached agreement on terms 1 Pares, Bernard, A History of Russia, Alfred A. Knopf, 1950* Pares i s particularly thorough on this period by comparison with other available sources like Vernadsky and Kirchner. For this reason his work forms the backbone of this chapter. - 5 -formalized i n the Treaty of Paris (March 50, 1856"). Despite the terms of a humiliating agreement Alexander seems, i n view of his larger problems, to have welcomed the peace settlement as a substantial achievement. At any rate he very quickly catered to the universal mood by taking the in i t i a t i v e in reform. About the time of the Paris agreement he called on the landowners to abolish serfdom i n the interest of justice and mercy. Simultaneously he granted Russian citizens the right to travel abroad and abolished the obscurantist restrictions introduced i n the universities since 18^ *8. A new epoch began. Alexander's intention that the i n i t i a t i v e for emancipation should come from the nobility and serf-owners was received coldly, with the result that his work went slowly against determined opposition. It was 1858 before the government could either outline the premises upon which to base i t s program or create an o f f i c i a l department for emancipation. When f i n a l l y established, the new department worked from the general posi-tion that the peasants must be given both freedom and land, that they must retain the allotments they already occupied, that the gentry must be compensated for both land and labour losses, and that the state must bear the financial burden thus incurred. A year later (1859) a drafting committee was formed. Its work was finished i n the early part of March 1861, and the momentous "Edict of Emancipation" was published and read out i n a l l the churches of the Empire on March 17 of that year. Peter Kropotkin, who was i n St. Petersburg, on that great day describes scenes of unrestrained enthusiasm and rejoicing. In the opera house where the Italian opera was appearing for the last performance of the season, the public went wild. "When i t played the hymn 'God Save the Tsar'. . . the -4-band of the opera was drowned immediately in enthusiastic hurrahs coming from a l l parts of the h a l l . . . . I saw the fiddle-bows moving, the musicians blowing the brass instruments, but again the sound of voices overwhelmed the band. . ., and i t was only by the end of the third repetition that isolated sounds of the brass instruments pierced through the clamour of human voices." In the streets enthusiastic crowds of peasants and educated men " . . . stood . . . shouting hurrahs, and the Tsar could not appear without being followed by demonstrative crowds . . . ." However, Kropotkin finishes his short sketch on a prophetic note. "Herzen," he says, "was right when, two years later, . . he wrote, 'Alexander Nikolaevich, why did you not die on that day? Your name would have been transmitted i n history as that of a hero." 1^ T.b appreciate the p o l i t i c a l atmosphere at the turn of the century when Maxim Gorky made his f i r s t appearance on the historical stage, we must examine some of the effects of emancipation and i t s accompanying reforms. The land settlement was comprised of sixteen acts dealing, va r i -ously, with administrative, judicial and economic aspects of the whole. Under i t s terms the peasants were set entirely free, beginning February 19, I865 - four years before the abolition of slavery i n the United States. As a class, however, they s t i l l constituted a separate and distinct group 2 Kropotkin, P., Memoirs of a Revolutionist, New York, Houghton M i f f l i n , 1950, P. 155. Kropotkin was the Prince of Anarchists and his opinions must be treated circumspectly for their left-wing bias. At the same time he must be valued as an important primary source. In this chapter his work has been used to i l l u s t r a t e general conditions agreed upon by authorities. i n society. At the same time the peasant community, which had i t s roots i n the distant past, was made a lower and i n some respects autonomous unit of the administrative structure. It continued as was the custom to assign communal lands and to levy i t s own taxes and special rates for religious education and social needs. In addition the government i n -creased the community's authority over the individual peasant by deposit-ing with i t certain elements of control formerly exercised by the Gentry. In future the community was responsible for local policing and was harnessed with certain obligations of service to the state. Such things as the repair and upkeep of roads, and the quartering of troops and o f f i c i a l s were rendered to the state as duties - a form of taxation with-out remuneration. Additional government taxes were levied directly on the community and the peasants were held collectively responsible for their payment. The old passport system which made i t impossible for the peasant to leave his village without the authority of i t s elders was re-tained. In effect these arrangements forged an unseverable link between the village community and the peasant. By the land distribution i t s e l f the peasants were given one-half of the cultivated land area, on condition that they redeem i t over a period of forty-nine years by payments directly to the state. The injustice lay i n the fact that the state guaranteed immediate compensation to the gentry for i t s losses and at the same time placed an impossible burden upon the peasantry. Although the government's purpose i n carrying out the emancip-ation was good, i n practice i t s program served only to aggravate an already d i f f i c u l t situation. In effect the peasant emerged from emancipa-tion with less land to cultivate than ever before. In many cases he -6-found himself with land of poorer quality, and often he was discriminated against by the situation of his land i n relation to forest and stream, elements of v i t a l importance to a peasant economy. To f i l l up his cup of woe the peasant found himself shouldered with exorbitant obligations, on the one hand to the state, and on.the other to his traditional organization, the Commune, to which he was now bound more tightly than ever.5 It was some time, however, before the f u l l implications of the land settlement became apparent. The f i n a l adjustment between the . peasants and their squires required a succession of agrarian measures. The process of redemption by agreement moved very slowly. In 1881 s t i l l f i f t e e n per cent of the peasantry remained outside the redemption scheme. By this time the situation had deteriorated considerably. On the one hand government bonds which had been issued to the gentry as an i n -demnity sank to seventy per cent of their par value; on the other, the peasants were found seldom able to make their down-payments which had been placed at one f i f t h of the redemption fee. There were as well inevitable conflicts over the accuracy of surveys. In an effort to end the mounting f r i c t i o n between peasant and squire, Alexander III effected a new series of adjustments. On December 28, 1881, he limited the amount of redemp-tion payments and decreed the obligatory redemption of both homesteads and allotments. In addition he made the redemption of tenanted land com-pulsory for the crown peasants. In December, 1895» government action i n 5 Robinson, Geroid, Rural. Russia Under the Old Regime, New York, MacMillan, 19^9, p. 88, -7-the matter was completed by a law which made the sale or mortgage of land to anyone outside the village community i l l e g a l . At the same time, the community's authority was increased by making i t an administrative unit of the Ministry of the Interior. The effect of this new legislation was to give the community " . . . an economic authority over each individual member which was i n practice overwhelming."^ Again the peasant emerged shackled i n onerous serfdom, a situation which boded i l l for the future. Looking back on 1861 and observing other consequences of the emancipation, we find that Alexander II's work had destroyed the base upon which the whole state structure was erected. Having gone so far, the regime had no alternative but to reconstruct i t s administrative system from the bottom. But the regime was already weary, i t had come a long way since the Crimean war; and Alexander, a conservative and autocrat of deep conviction, was alarmed by the momentum which his program was gathering.^ To cap the situation, the Tsar was forced to proceed against hostile opposition i n every quarter: no reform was big enough to pacify the exuberant radicals, while the gentry, whose deepest instincts had been offended by the abolition of serfdom, resisted at every turn. With no alternative, but with a flagging s p i r i t , the bureaucracy proceeded 4 Pares, A History of Russia, p. 555. 5 Kropotkin mentions a conversation with Alexander at this time. When asked by the Tsar i f he was afraid to go to Siberia as a military officer, Kropotkin warmly replied, "'No, I want to work. There must be so much to do i n Siberia to apply the.great reforms which are going to be made.' He looked straight at me; he became pensive; at last he said, 'Well, go; one can be useful everywhere;1 and his face took on such an expression of fatigue, such a character of complete surrender, that I thought at once, 'He i s a used-up man; he is going to give i t a l l up. 1" Kropotkin, Memoirs of a Revolutionist, p. 166. -8-with i t s reconstruction. Between the years 1861 and 1874 i t introduced a number of important reforms. One of these reforms, and one which gave rise to great hopes, was the experiment initiated by the Tsar i n local self-government. The law introducing this new system was announced on January 1J, 1864. From this date Zemstva councils were gradually organized i n the purely Russian provinces of the Empire. The guiding genius of what became the Zemstvo system was Nicholas Milyutin, a man who had also performed an outstanding role i n developing the emancipation program. Briefly, Milyutin believed that the class principal should be destroyed i n local government and that the provincial committees which had assisted i n the abolition of serfdom should be turned into effective government agencies i n the country dis-t r i c t s . He planned to replace broken gentry authority i n this way. The bureaucracy accepted his opinion and acquiesced i n the creation of repre-sentative councils at the d i s t r i c t and provincial levels, (These councils represented the three separate estates (curiae) - landowners, village communities, and townspeople.) In operation the d i s t r i c t councils elected permanent executive bodies and also representatives to a govern-ing provincial council. The provincial Zemstvo was directly responsible to the senate, the highest legal organ i n the country. Although repre-sentatives of the gentry presided,over Zemstvo councils, they were not allowed to head the Zemstvo executives. These councils met i n yearly sessions and their competance included the levying of rates for local needs, the administration of state laws, hospitals and food supply, education, medical aid, veterinary services, public welfare, the upkeep of roads, the levying of state and local taxes, and the collection of land payments. The Zemstvo reform was important because i t created a rallying point for the s t i l l infant forces of Liberalism. Russia had lived up to this time i n an economic backwater. Much of her trade was run by for-eigners, and her few industries were operated by the Tsar or other land-lords. Russia's middle class was very slow i n developing, i t s dealings were on a small scale and i t s p o l i t i c a l independence was n i l t ^ so that Liberalism, the philosophy of the ri s i n g bourgeoisie i n the Vest, had no social roots i n Russia. The period of economic and p o l i t i c a l reforms of which the Zemstvo councils were a product gave the Bourgeoisie and Liberalism i t s f i r s t chance. Public-spirited men, whose only ambition was to serve, found here an opportunity for a constructive contribution to the general well-being. They regarded Zemstvo work as a high mission and prepared themselves for i t by serious studies i n economic and social problems. Fortunately the bureaucracy kept police and military control i n i t s own hands, so that the Zemstva were spared the taint that usually accompanies the exercise of police power. Although the government was soon trying i n every way to deprive the Zemstva of a l l meaning and v i t a l -i t y , they continued to grow i n reputation and influence and eventually became the authorized spokesmen of public opinion. Through this program the Zemstva served as a school for future p o l i t i c a l leaders and as a training ground i n responsible government. From the outset the Zemstvo 6 H i l l , Christopher, Lenin and the Russian Revolution, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1947, p."~C -10-system stood as a counter-foil to the absolutist government at the centre, and although many were repelled by their f i r s t contact with the actual government machinery, i t continued to serve as a rallying point for men of Liberal inclinations. A third set of reforms was applied to the judiciary. The squire had formerly served on the local level as a magistrate. Now, he was re-placed by a justice of the peace elected from the d i s t r i c t Zemstvo. In future permanent judges were appointed to the national courts and guar-anteed adequate remuneration. The law was placed above class distinctions and o f f i c i a l interference i n judicial agencies was drastically curtailed. Secret t r i a l s were abolished and a jury system based on the English model was introduced. The standards of justice established during this period continued to stand before the courts as a model of legality even during the period of reaction which followed the death of Alexander II (1881). The s t r i c t conditions of censorship were reduced by a fourth reform. But the government was smarting under the stings of a too li b e r a l press, and hesitated to give public opinion free play. When completed the press reform permitted the major papers of Petersburg and Moscow to publish material without undergoing preliminary censorship. The government, however, kept the whip i n i t s hand by assuring i t s e l f unrestricted punitive power - papers towed the line or were shut down. By this device the press was effectively muzzled. With the above reforms accomplished (186*1-1865) the government's work of reconstruction was essentially over. Two other important changes were, however, completed during the period of reaction which set i n after - l i -the Apraxin f i r e and the Karakozov a f f a i r . The municipal reform of 1870 provided for a town administration modelled after the Zemstvo system. The mark of reaction is apparent i n an election arrangement which gave a decisive majority to the wealthy classes. In the other case the s i t u -ation was different. From the disasters of the Crimean war the govern-ment could have no doubt that a wholesale reconstruction of i t s armies was necessary. Needless to s ay» the army reform of 1874 was completed without compunction. Again class privilege was abolished so that service i n the new army became the equal obligation of a l l . As i n the past, the army was to be based on conscription, but the burdens of conscription were greatly reduced by cutting the years of compulsory service. One of the outstanding accomplishments of this reform was achieved by the com-plete reorganization of the army's training program. The new system was designed so that education would play an important part i n the soldiers' training; as a necessary outcome, the reconstituted army did yeoman service i n the struggle against i l l i t e r a c y . "The tragedy of Emancipation was that i t came late. . . . Of a l l the European states, Russia was economically and socially the most backward. Agriculture, and agriculture of an extremely primitive sort, dominated the country's economy. It was only natural that the great con-cern of Russia should be the peasant and his destiny. Yet the government made no real attempt to satisfy the needs of this great majority u n t i l the nation faced catastrophe. This o f f i c i a l unconcern for a question of 7 Pares, op. c i t . , p. $66, -12-8o v i t a l importance to the nation's well-being had a profound effect upon the growing Russian intelligentsia.® Educated society, beginning with the reign of Catherine II, had been steadily Europeanized from the top downwards. During the dark years of Nicholas (1825-1855)* influenced by the impact of the French Revolution, this movement of thought and c r i t i c -ism reached down to the embryonic middle class. More important, the young men admitted to the universities began to chafe under the knowledge that the cost of their education was borne entirely by the peasantry. More and more the peasant question became the students' preoccupation. I t was clear that a new world must be created, and i n the exceptional circumstances of their era and environment, the students were quick to form their own ideas of what that world should be. Faced by the momentous 8 Wolfe, Bertram D., Three Who Made a Revolution, New York, Dial Press, 19*8, p. 55. "The Russian intelligentsia i s a specific formation of nine-teenth century Russia, not to be identified with the "educated and professional classes" of the Western lands, or with the o f f i c i a l s , technicians, and managers of present day Russia. It was extruded out of a fixed society of medieval estates into which i t no longer f i t t e d , an<* ideological sign that that old world of status had been outgrown. It was recruited simulta-neously from the more generous sons of the nobility, and from the plebeian youth;. . . Its members-were held to-gether. . . by a common alienation from existing society, and a common be-l i e f i n the sovereign efficacy of ideas as shapers of l i f e . They lived precariously. .. . , between an uncomprehending auto-cratic monarchy above and an unenlightened mass below. . . . They anticipated and oversupplied i n advance the requirements of a world that was too slow i n coming into being and sought to serve a folk that had no use for their services. In the decay-ing feudal order they found neither scope nor promise; i n the gross timid, and backward mercantile bourgeoisie neither economic support nor inspiration; i n the.^ slumbering people no echo to their ardent cries. Even while they sought to serve the unre-ceptive present, at heart they were the servants of the future. With a l l their being they longed for i t s coming." See also« Marie, Grand DucheBS of Russia, Education of a Princess, "A Memoir", New York, Viking Press, 19J1, pp. 225-226, where she says essentially the same thing. -15-issue of serfdom, their thought was concentrated on p o l i t i c a l and economic theory.9 The new generation of students after 1855 « a 8 unanimous i n i t s demand for an era of wholesale p o l i t i c a l experiment. When the sub-structure of the state was destroyed by the emancipation, the f i e l d was open for discussion. The students were united i n both their opposition to the government and their sympathies for the peasant. Repelled by bureaucratic tradition and uninfluenced by Slavophil or conservative opinion, their p o l i t i c a l problems revolved around a single issue - the choice between gradual and revolutionary change.10 During these years there was an astonishing increase i n the number of young thinkers who demanded that the whole existing system, together with i t s conventions of morality and religion be scrapped. The intrigues and delays which blocked the progress of emancipation had a decisive effect on young men like Ohernyshevsky, Plsarev, and Dobrolyubov, who played a prominent role i n the new radical movement. A government already alarmed by the demands of a liberal journalist and romantic^ like Herzen, for c i v i l equality, independent justice, police reform, ministerial responsibility, public controlled finance, public controlled legislation, free conscience, free press and free trade could not but see a great danger i n the numbers and enthusiasm of these radicals. Fearfully i t began to whittle away i t s concessions. 9 Pares, op. c i t . , p. 566. 10 Ibid., p. 556. -14-Kropotkin is of the opinion that the Polish insurrection of I865 marks the "definitive close" of the reform period. He bases his argument on these factst the Zemstvo law and the Judiciary reform, although promulgated i n 1864 and 1866, were ready i n 1862; N. Milyutin was dismissed as a "Red" and replaced by Valuev of the reactionary party; public opinion took a "sharp step backward"; and that Katkov, the leader of the serfdom party "carried with him" most of the St. Petersburg and Moscow society. "After that time those who dared to speak of reforms were at once classed by Katkov as 'Traitors to Russia. At any rate, the old nobility waxing stronger after emancipation concentrated i t s attention on obtaining a postponement of the reforms. The f i r s t com-mittees, which had worked out the scheme of emancipation, were dismissed and new ones appointed to revise the whole work i n the interest of the landowners - allotments were reduced - redemption payments increased, etc. They soon discovered an effective way to curtail the spread of learning and at the same time shore up the gentry classes' tottering authority. In 1864 classical and modern schools had been created and a regulation adopted which restricted university training to students graduated from the classical schools. The reactionary Count Dmitri Tolstoy, the new Minister of Education, was able to use this situation advantageously. In 1871 a law was introduced requiring the classical schools to devote forty-seven hours a week to Latin and thirty-six to Greek, with special attention devoted to grammar. The same law excluded natural science, history and geography from the curriculum of these 11 Kropotkin, op. c i t . , p. 179. -15-schools and reduced the study of foreign languages. The pernicious effect of this legislation was to stif£Le> the growth of practical know-ledge and to re s t r i c t university training to the gentry class. At the same time, s t r i c t school discipline was introduced and a severe system of student inspection was established. Although i t provoked student disorders, Tolstoy's system of inspection was accomplished and eventually extended to include the primary schools. Not content with this, Tolstoy, attempted to wrest the administration of schools from ZemBtvo jurisdiction. The reactionary forces were equally successful i n their campaign to muzzle the press. The circulation of certain papers was restricted to regular subscribers, magazines were required to undergo preliminary censorship, and the Ministry of the Interior was empowered to forbid a l l discussion of controversial issues for a period of three months. The Zemstva too suffered. They were denied publicity and their funds were severely limited with the result that they could spend l i t t l e on public welfare and education. Even the courts received their share of tampering. In this way the principal reforms of Alexander II's reign were either mutilated or destroyed. The peasant;1 s lot was deplorable and continued to deteriorate. Inequities were apparent on a l l sides. Including their many obligations to the Commune the peasantry bore an exclusive poll tax of 42 million roubles. The diabolical law of minimum, introduced when the serf-owners were allowed to revise the emancipation law, provoked new distress. The obligations of peasants formerly attached to the landowners were three times those of former crown peasants. Many families were without horses to t i l l their f i e l d s , etc. It was evident, even at this time, that the -16-f i r s t serious crop failure i n Middle-Russia would result i n a terrible famine - and the famine came, i n 1876, i n 1884, i n I89I, and once more i n 1898. Again, no group was so much appalled by this ruinous condition as was the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a . 1 2 Speaking collectively, i t saw clearly that Alexander II*s reform i n i t i a t i v e was dead and turned i t s attention to organizing the socialistic&nd philosophic revolution, which had i t s climax i n 1917* The object of i t s revolution was to liberate the muzhik (peasant). The peasant became the motive and focal point of i t s radical aspirations for justice and liberty - "Narodnichestvo. muzhikophilism, was characteristic of Russian socialism"*? during this period. I t was not u n t i l some twenty years later that the proletariat and Marxism became important influences i n the socia l i s t movement. In the summer of 186l the f i r s t secret society of the new reign sprang up. Called the "Great Russian" society, i t lasted only a few months, and did nothing but print and circulate a few inflammatory procla-mations, however, i t pointed the direction like a straw i n the wind. Gradually small underground groups for self-education and self-improvement 12 After emancipation the Russian intelligentsia had begun to divide into two opposing groups. The Liberal wing was inclined to go slow, the reform movement having achieved so much. They sought employment i n the Zemstvo system or drifted into union with the conservatives. "The s p l i t i n the intelligentsia, . . . declared i t s e l f almost immediately after emancipation. . • ; from the summer of 1862 there was open and implacable warfare between the two parties." Garr, E.H., The Romantic Exiles, Penguin Books, 1949, p. 259-260. 15 Masaryk, T.G., The Sp i r i t of Russia, Trans. Eden and Cedar Paul, London, George Allen and Unwin, 1919, vol. 2, p. 288. -17-began to crop up a l l over Russia.*^ The members of these groups read and discussed endlessly the philosophers and economists for the sole purpose of finding how best to help the masses. Lavrov and Bakunin seem to have been their most outstanding t e a c h e r s L a v r o v , the gradualist, who argued that the world could be changed by education and persuasion; and Bakunin, the revolutionist, who called for armed rebellion and the de-struction of the state. At f i r s t the teachings of Lavrov prevailed and that great movement "to the people" began. Young men went into the villages as doctors, teachers, blacksmiths, clerks, farm laborers, and so on; young g i r l s followed the same road, as nurses, midwives, teachers, -a l l with the same purpose, to help the people i n their darkness and misery. For a l l their enthusiasm and devotion, the propagandists, for this i s what the followers of Lavrov were called, f a i l e d miserably. The Bakuninists also went to the peasants, but with the intention of rousing them to rebellion. They were equally unsuccessful. Towards the end of the sixties, that i s about the time of Gorky's birth, a significant s p l i t began to appear between these two groups. While the propagandists continued with their efforts to educate the peasantry to p o l i t i c a l action, the insurrectionists gravitated to the larger c i t i e s . Here they immersed 14 These were the years of the N i h i l i s t s - r e a l i s t s , opposed to a l l hypocrisy and sham. Exponents of social justice, who believed i n the rights of the individual. Depicted most aptly i n Chernyshevsky's "What i s to be Done", and somewhat negatively in Turgenev's "Fathers and Sons." They were materialists by religion and revolutionaries by precept and practice. 15 Pares, op.cit., p. 572. -18-themselves i n heated discussions over policies. Some were i n favour of continuing to carry on radical and so c i a l i s t i c propaganda among the educated youth; others thought that their program should be to train cadres of activists capable of arousing the inert labouring masses, and that their main work should be among the peasants and workers of the towns. Gradually as their attention foc,used on the need for p o l i t i c a l action they began to organize themselves into close-knit revolutionary societies. The "Land and Liberty" organization and the "Chaikovsky" group are only two of many such societies. "Land and Liberty", which was particularly powerful, was founded i n St. Petersburg for the express purpose of organizing a violent revolution. It managed to create a dis-ciplined national organization with a Central Committee stationed i n the capital, a unified program and a vigorous propaganda machine. Plekhanov and many others served their revolutionary noviciate with "Land and Liberty". Just at this time, when the revolutionary movement was appear-ing with new strength and cohesion, the government suffered a major diplomatic and military defeat i n the Balkans. Here, the government was defeated i n a war which Russian public opinion regarded as a ". . , Slav-crusade for the complete liberation. . . " o f i t s Orthodox brethren. 1^ Alexander thus lost the support of the strong nationalist elements, particularly the Slavophils, his last support i n public opinion, at a time when he most needed i t . In these years the general disaffection 16 Pares, op. c i t . . p. J85» -19-reached alarming proportions. Among the revolutionaries, the extremist elements more and more insistently preached the efficacy of individual te r r o r i s t acts as a p o l i t i c a l weapon, and as public demands and personal liberties were consistently ignored by the government, events moved steadily to that end. On September 7, 1880, an extremist group calling i t s e l f "The People's Will" published the Tsar's death sentence, and tragically enough they succeeded i n their mission. Alexander was assassinated on March 15, 1881. The murder of the "Tsar Liberator" made a tremendous impression on autocratic Russia. Subsequent events were to reveal that the assassins struck a f a t a l blow at the cause of reform by their precipitous act. The p o l i t i c a l reaction was far reaching and decisive. Now thoroughly repelled by Liberal policies, the bureaucracy sought refuge i n repression, which seemed i n the circumstances to offer i t s only hope of salvation. The impact on dissentient opinion was equally momentous. The nationalist element epitomized by the Slavophils r a l l i e d to the throne, and the Liberals, themselves severely shaken by the outcome of a cause to which they had given their undivided support and i n which they had viewed the Revolutionaries as their colleagues, reacted i n a similar manner. The Radicals, on the other hand, were encouraged by their success to new acts of violence. It is not surprising that the new Tsar, Alexander III, who was a man of strong w i l l but narrow outlook, should have based his policy on the absolute rights and power of autocracy. In this uncompromising mood the reforms projected by Alexander II during the last years of his -20-l i f e i n a desperate effort to pacify the country were rejected.17 Men of Liberal sympathies were replaced i n a l l important posts by strong men of reaction. Some of the effects of this reactionary upswing have been noted i n connection with the land program, some more of i t s important features are noted i n the following paragraphs. One of the government's f i r s t acts was to smooth out and strengthen i t s control i n the country d i s t r i c t s . In I889 a revised Zemstvo law was issued to reestablish gentry class authority i n the country. In 1890 a new system of peasant control was added. At the centre of this new system stood a government o f f i c i a l called the "Land Captain". He was chosen by the government from the poorer gentry and functioned under the direct control of the Ministry of the Interior. He was empowered to supervise every detail of peasant l i f e - he administered justice, collected redemption payments, interfered i n local and communal af f a i r s , etc. - an exceptional power which in appearance and practice suggested a revival of serfdom. Unsatisfied with i t s past efforts to prevent the spread of education and s t i f l e the expression of public opinion i n the press, the government embarked on a new round of repression i n these f i e l d s . In 1884 the University Statute of -'.Alexander II was replaced by another which took a l l autonomy from the Universities, In 17 Alexander (1879-80) placed General Loris-Melikov at the head of a supreme commission to draft a reform program which would r a l l y dissen-tient opinion to the government's support. Melikov determined to cleanse the administration and to complete the reforms introduced at the beginning of Alexander's reign. Taking an unprecedented step, he prepared to use the advice of public representatives (Zemstva o f f i c i a l s ) to realize his purpose. On February 9, 1881, he presented a program to the Tsar incor-porating and extending this very principle. It was a cruel blow to the cause of reform that the Tsar was k i l l e d on the very day or closely thereto that he accepted Melikov*s program. -21-the same statute student clubs were forbidden, the children of the lower classes were excluded from the secondary schools, and i t was established that in future bursaries would be awarded on the basis of p o l i t i c a l trustworthiness.*® It should be noted that while the government sought to regiment the universities and schools, i t was forced by the modern development of trade and industry to establish experimental institutes for the study of medicine, pedagogy, forestry, agriculture, commerce, and industry. The press too was burdened by new controls. In 1882 extra-ordinary procedures were adopted which made i t impossible for papers once suspended to resume publication again without f i r s t submitting to preliminary censorship. From this date the government could ruin a paper at w i l l . Only a single paper, the European Messenger, was able to survive these years and give any real reflection of public opinion. Looking, lastly, at the judiciary and the administration of justice, we fi n d that the government steadily subverted the work of the law courts by the simple expedient of using exceptional laws. Indeed the government went so far as to codify i t s system of exceptional procedures during this 18 Student disorders i n rebellion against Tsarist oppression were a continuous occurrence during this period. In 1882 student troubles broke out at the Universities of Kazan and St. Petersburg, and i n 1887 at those of Moscow, Odessa, Kharkov and Kazan. Gorky was at Kazan during this period and was acquainted with student circles. Troops were used to suppress them and exiles followed. In I896 St. Petersburg students were; forbidden to keep their usual anniversary, and those i n Moscow, who came out to demonstrate their sympathy, were driven off the streets by armed cossacks. The students came out on the streets again on the next day and kOO of them were arrested, of these 150 were exiled and 26 expelled. In 1899, 15,000 students went out on strike i n Moscow. In 1900 a meeting of 1000 students i n Kiev was broken up by cossacks, 500 were arrested, of these 185 were sent to the army and the rest were expelled. In the same year there were troubles i n Moscow, Kharkov and St. Petersburg. On February 27, 1901, Bogolepov, the reactionary Minister of Education, was assassinated by a revolutionary Karpovich, but more of this later. -22-period. However, repressive autocracy on the side of government repre-sents only one side of the picture. The country was growing up swiftly and i t s great area could no longer provide r e l i e f for the developing land pressure as i n the past. The tremendous forces which had made serf-dom obsolete continued to work beneath the surface of Russian society; the emancipation, i t s e l f , only served to accelerate the process of change. The peasant's urgent need for land had been the basic reason for his un-rest and the land settlement, because i t shouldered the peasant with heavy redemption payments and subjected him to the oppression of his historical community, only served to aggravate the situation. To satisfy his needs and to meet his obligations, the peasant was driven to acquire more and more land, and this he did through rent or purchase from the gentry. As a corollary to this, those members of the gentry who proved unable to operate their lands at a profit, mortgaged or sold them and settled i n the towns.^ Obviously a system of government tutelage based on the privileges of the gentry class would soon be impossible i f this process continued. The authorities tried i n various ways to stop the movement, but only embittered the situation. The government, because i t 19 Volkhov-Muromsev, who was himself a noble, gives this general picture of the landowning class of about 1874» the nobles very rarely thought to train their sons i n the techniques of modern agriculture. They cared nothing for new breeds of cattle or of agricultural machinery, etc. Their younger sons Bought after careers i n the government service, rather than accept their responsibilities to the land. In the main the landlords were indolent. They lacked enterprise, w i l l power, and energy - i n short they neglected their duties to the land inherited from their fathers. Volkov-Muromzov (A.N. Roussow), Memoirs of Alexander Wolkoff-Mouromtzofft London, John Murray, 1?28, p. k^2. -25-would not accept the idea of individual peasant property, would only permit the sale of gentry land to the peasant community. In this situ-ation the individual peasant could only improve his lot by leasing land from the gentry, which meant an additional burden plus his obligation to the community. His other alternative was to flee from the land i n search of another livelihood. As a result a steady movement from the land de-veloped, some peasants moved southward and others moved into Siberia i n search of land, and s t i l l others moved to the c i t i e s or towns in search of employment. But even in this the peasant was opposed by government law, for no individual could leave the community without i t s consent and this consent would not be given unless the individual guaranteed to pay his share of the village tax burden. Again we see the peasant hedged around by arbitrary restrictions which could only inflame his mind to revolt. In the meantime, Russia had begun to be industrialized; and as i n the case of England a century before the consequences were to have a profound effect on the organization of society. Because of her enormous unworked mineral resources, mining was destined to play an important role i n the burgeoning development. The vast deposits of coal and iron found i n the south of RusBia, particularly i n the Don Basin, begged to be ex-ploited. After 1886 the output of pig-iron increased rapidly. Factories grew apace. Moscow was soon the centre of an important textile industry/. North European Russia as quickly became the hub of a thriving flax industry. In 1850 there was hardly a private trading company i n Russia; by 1875 there were 227 > : After 1892 new direction and impetus was given to the whole process of industrialization when Witte became the Minister - 2 ^ of Finance. He sponsored the growth of railways and i n line with Tsarist financial policy created conditions which would encourage the largescale investment of foreign capital i n Russia's industrial development. One of the most important bi-products of Russia's industrial-ization was the birth of a young and vigorous working-class. From the 1870'8 the workers began to organize themselves f i r s t on a professional and later on a p o l i t i c a l and ideological basis. The direction which this organization took is a logical development of certain national phenomena. The Russian proletariat was created from a largely i l l i t e r a t e and pauper-ized peasantry s t i l l bound i n many cases to the village communities, a factor having important consequences for the future. Industrial develop-ment came late to Russia so that many industries moved from the handicraft to the factory stage at one leap. This rapid change offered exceptional opportunities for many rough and ready capitalists to exploit. As a result the peasant-worker was grossly underpaid and hurled into the factories and mines to labour under the most primitive industrial con-ditions. Witness: casualties each year were heavier than i n the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-78; i t was 1882 before children between the ages of twelve and fi f t e e n were guaranteed an eight hour day; 1885 before night work was outlawed i n the textile factories for children under seventeen and also for women; 1886 before inspectors were appointed to see that the regulations were carried out. Characteristically, the in i t i a t o r of these regulations was driven from office on charges of Socialism i n 1887. At the same time the employers, many of whom were foreign investors interested i n quick returns, had the regulations destroyed and won a partia l return to laissez-faire capitalism. The decisive result of the -25-rapid growth of industry and i t s concentration i n particular areas was to throw great masses of workers together i n conditions ideal for the cre-ation of a mass revolutionary movement - there were massed numbers representing a single class (class-solidarity), there was an overwhelming sense of exploitation, and by this time there were organizers trained i n the v i t a l ideology of revolutionary Marxism at hand to capitalize on the s i t u a t i o n . 2 0 As suggested above, the growth of Russian Capitalism and the appearance of an urban proletariat was accompanied by a growth i n the influence of Western Socialism. The Russian intelligentsia had long been accustomed to supplement i t s native cultural tradition by studies i n Germany so that i t was only a short time before the Russian Socialists came under the influence of Karl Marx. The Russian Socialists were looking for a new philosophy and ethic and this they found i n "Positivist Materialism and atheism (which) had as i t s ethical aim the creation of a new man, and as i t s p o l i t i c a l aim the bringing about of the social rev-olution, which should sweep away once and for a l l every form of injustice and inequality." 21 During the 1890's, "Marxism awakened and reinvigorated the Russian Intelligentsia." F i r s t l y , i t brought emancipation from the 20 "From i t s f i r s t beginnings the leaders of the working class movement in Russia assumed and rightly assumed, that a violent overthrow of the existing regime was a necessary preliminary to obtaining the reforms which they demanded. The words of the Communist Manifesto were almost l i t e r a l l y true of the Russian factory workers: They had nothing to lose but their chains; they had a world to win." H i l l , C., op. c i t . , p. 9. 21 Masaryk, op. c i t . . p. 288. -26-Romantic Narodnichestvo (Populist) tendencies characteristic of Russian Socialism during the 1870!s and 18801s; and, secondly, i t introduced a new note of realism into the revolutionary movement.22 "The cause of Revolution before Marx had been i d e a l i s t i c and romantic - a matter of intuitive and heroic impulse. Marx made i t materialistic and scientific - a matter of deduction and cold reasoning. Marx substituted economics for metaphysics - the proletarian and the peasant for the philosopher and the poet. He brought to the theory of p o l i t i c a l evolution the same element of orderly inevitability which Darwin had introduced i n biology." 2? It was precisely as a "fundamentally s c i e n t i f i c doctrine" that Marxism appealed to the Russian Intelligentsia - they were impressed by i t s "dialectical method" and by the conception of History as a process which 24 obeyed fixed and immutable laws. The organized Marxian movement i n Russia began with a s p l i t i n "Land and Liberty" at the conference of Lipetsk ( 1 8 7 9 ) A t this con-ference George Plekhanov, who is known today as the "Father of Russian Marxism", led a revolt against "Land and Liberty" on the issue of 22 Mirsky, D.S., Contemporary Russian Literature, 1881-1925. London, George Routledge, 1955, P. 99 . The book was written some years before he himself became a Marxist. 25 Carr, E.H., The Romantic Exiles, Penguin Books, 1949, p. 422. 24 Mirsky, op. c i t . , p. 99. 25 The more radical elements of "Land and Liberty" eventually organized themselves into the Socialist Revolutionary Party (S.R.'s). For some time they outnumbered the Marxists and were able to win support as the leaders of the peasant's revolutionary movement. Their socialism amounted to l i t t l e more than an unsystematized advocacy of land for the peasants. Many served effectively as Zemstvo employees. -27^ -individual terrorism, which he rejected as f u t i l e and irrelevant. Plekhanov's break with the populists on the question of terrorism and the obvious bankruptcy of the Narodnik movement after 1882 lead him to ques-tion the basic Narodnik belief that the peasantry was the coming revol-utionary force i n Russia.^ Beginning with a study of the economic situation i n the early 1880*8 Plekhanov observed that Capitalism was developing i n Russia at a rapid pace. On the basis of this observation, he was soon busy providing a Marxist foundation for the revolutionary movement in Russia. He argued that Capitalism as i t developed .would create a Russian proletariat, and that this proletariat and not the peasantry would provide the driving force and the ideological j u s t i f i c a -tion for the Russian revolution. "The Russian Revolution," said Plekhanov, "w i l l triumph as a proletarian revolution, or i t w i l l not triumph at a l l . " 2 ^ After 1882 small Marxist study groups began to appear i n the major centres. The new Marxists were soon engaged in a heated controversy with the Narodniks. On the basis of Plekhanov's b r i l l i a n t conclusions, they argued that the Russian peasant was non-revolutionary, that the peasant Commune could only evolve into petty bourgeois capitalism, and that the revolution would culminate i n a seizure of power by the industrial workers. However, the new ideas made slow progress and i t was not un t i l 1889 that the Marxists succeeded in interesting the factory workers. An interesting development occurred i n I89I when an attempt was made to combine the Liberal and Socialist movements. From the Marxist 26'Garr, Studies i n Revolution, p. 106. 27 Ibid., pi 125. -28-point of view, there was a sound ideological basis for such a combination. Plekhanov and his cohorts believed i n line with orthodox Marxism, that the Proletarian Revolution could only succeed i n a Bourgeois Democracy. Thus their immediate revolutionary goal became the creation of a Bour-geois Democratic state i n Russia. To this end they were prepared to cooperate with the middle-class i n winning a democratic constitution -freedom of conscience, press, speech, and assembly. The attempt f a i l e d . By 1894 Russian Capitalism was growing by leaps and bounds. In this year the new Tsar Nickolas II took his stand by autocracy. In the same year Vladimir Lenin appeared on the scene with a vigorous polemic against thee Narodniks. This was the period of Legal Marxism, when a l l but the most provocative Marxian publications were s t i l l permitted, a period, when the government, fearing most the Narodniks and the terrorists, fondly hoped to s p l i t the revolutionary movement by encouraging a new sect. The next, significant development i n the History of Russian Marxism occurred i n I898, the year i n which Maxim Gorky rocketed to fame on the strength of a two volume edition of his collected short stories. In March of that year a congress of nine Marxists, representing local organizations of Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, Ekaterinoslav, and the Jewish General Workers organization, the Bund, met i n Minsk. This small congress founded the Russian Social-Democratic Party (ancestor of the Ail-Union Communist Party (Bolshevik)). The adoption of a name W B B the one concrete achieve-ment of the congress. Before i t could do more than elect a Central Committee, and authorize the publication of a Manifesto the police broke up the congress and effectively s t i f l e d the organization by arresting i t s principal delegates. Although a decision was made to issue a party -29-organ,, this project was not taken up u n t i l three years later when a fresh - attempt to coordinate Marxian act i v i t i e s was made by Lenin and his associates. Despite the, vigorous organizational a c t i v i t i e s of the Marxists, Liberalism seems to have been the prevailing tendency during this decade.' Gut short by the death of Alexander II, Liberalism was already picking up the tangled threads of i t s work within the Zemstvo framework by the early 1890*8. The years 1891-95 were marked by severe famines i n the major grain producing areas of the Ukraine. As the stagnant government proved powerless to act i n this moment of national calamity a great voluntary r e l i e f organization was formed from the Zemstvo and professional classes to f i l l the gap. From this date the Zemstvo work gathered new enthusi-asm and energy. Despite strong government opposition the Zemstva went about the constructive work of bringing adequate school and hospital services to the under-equipped country. By the turn of the century Zemstvo work had become so important that i t s chairmen were being called to semi-official conferences i n order to coordinate their common a c t i v i t i e s . As the best Zemstvo members were Liberals i t was but a short step for them to move beyond the Zemstvo system to organize a f u l l -fledged p o l i t i c a l party with a mild but definite program. Catching up the temper of the age the Liberals called attention to social inequal-i t i e s , opposed arbitrary interference with the Zemstvo program, suggested a long overdue revision i n financial policies, stressed the advantages of a free press, and unsuccessfully petitioned for a constitution. 28 Pares, op. c i t . , p. 401. -50-The Ruling Class comprises the one influential sector of Russian society s t i l l to be examined. This select group, beginning with i t s p o l i t i c a l and spiritual head, the Tsar, was distinguished by a pecu-l i a r ineptitude reminiscent i n many respects of the court c i r c l e of Louis XVI and his meddling wife Marie Antoinette. Tsardom received what proved to be a mortal blow i n the death of Alexander III (1895). His masterful personality had served at least as a rallying point for con-servative and autocratic opinion. His shoes were f i l l e d inadequately by his characterless son Nicholas II. The young Emperor, who has been likened to a weathercock, was woefully deficient i n w i l l . When he mounted the throne (1894) the Tsardom lost a l l semblance of purpose and r i g i d i t y at i t s very pivot. Nicholas had neither the character to embark upon a program of reform nor the determination, which,barring reform, could alone have maintained the ruling class i n power. The Tsar's personality was an enigma to his courtly associates. Theywere appalled by his indifference to the possession of power, he made no effort to wield i t himself nor would he tolerate the least infringement of his sovereignty. "He f e l t i t a mystical and sacred duty to keep intact the heritage of autocracy handed down to him by his forbears."^ In the twentieth century his government was an anachronism, yet he continued to believe i n the divine origin of his power and of his responsibility to God alone. Society and popular opinion meant nothing to him, indeed a l l opinion outside of his own milieu was irreverent, circumspect, and i n -supportable. Through generations of autocratic rule, the Tsar and his -29 Marie, Grand Duchess of Russia, Education of a Princess, "A Memoir", New York, Viking Press, 1951, p. 225. -51-administrators had become completely isolated from the country. They had a messianic conception of Russia as the bearer of pure and lofty ideals which the West could neither understand nor hope to attain. To their narrow minds Russia was superior even in her backwardness. The bourgeois world of the West was repulsive to them. Nicholas, even seems to have had a fanciful conception of the Russian muzhik as a . . primitive and undefiled repository of a l l Christian and Holy Russian virtues. A l l that Lenin called backward, Asiatic, Barbarous i n Russia, was sacred to this Romantic on the throne. The "dark peasant" whose entry on the stage of history inspired terror i n Plekhanov, Miliukov, Martov, even i n Maxim Gorky, was to Nicholas the guarantor of the throne and the source of Russia's strength and peculiar mission.50 A l l this was i l l u s i o n , but Nicholas and the Ruling Class couldn't seem to r i d themselves of the dream. In practice the authority of the Tsar was flimsy and insecure. The Tsar, himself, was incapable of giving leader-ship and constitutionally opposed to any kind of change. The additional fact that he was supported by a bureaucracy which could not bend or adapt i t s e l f guaranteed a collapse of the whole system of which he was the centre. 51 It was no accident that pushed Gorky forward as the "Stormy Messenger" of revolution. At the turn of the century Russia presented a forbidding picture. The peasant, despite his emancipation, was s t i l l 50 Wolfe, B.D., Three Who Made a Revolution, p. 552. 51 "The dependence of the internal policy upon the nobility was a f a t a l p o l i t i c a l error. The Russian nobility was p o l i t i c a l l y dead after the reforms of Alexander II and the beginning of the democratization of Russian l i f e . " Vernadsky, George, History of Russia. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1951, P. 175. -52-shackled in chains reminiscent of his onerous,serfdom. In his breast smouldered a grievous sense of wrong.. The aristocracy was weary. It was a defunct class and had been since the emancipation had destroyed the basis of i t s power. It had proved unable to carry through the reform i n i t i a t i v e of Alexander II, and held desperately to the seats of power by repression alone. The peasant question was a suppurating sore which focused the attention of Russia's unique intelligentsia on economic and p o l i t i c a l questions. This group was determined to create a new world of justice and equality and had aligned i t s e l f with two burgeoning p o l i t i c a l forces. On the one hand i t s gradualist wing had r a l l i e d around the new bourgeoisie. It sought reform through the Zemstvo system and was rapidly evolving a Russian Liberalism. On the other hand the revolutionary wing threw in i t s lot with the working class. Like the peasantry the working class suffered from an overwhelming sense of exploitation. Organized under the Marxist philosophy and concentrated i n important industrial areas, i t constituted a potent revolutionary force. As we shall see, Obrky linked his destiny with the fortunes of this latter group. In summing up, Russia was pregnant with revolution; on the throne was a weak, inconstant Tsar bent on repression; opposing Mm.was a smouldering force of resentment and a determination for change which could be sup-pressed with only the most ruthless force. CHAPTER II CHILDHOOD, ADOLESCENCE AND YOUTHr The date moBt often given for the birth of Maxim Gorky (Alexey Maximovich Peshkov) i s March 14, 1868, seven years after the Great Eman-cipation and two years before the birth of his famous contemporary Vladimir Lenin.* There i s a good deal of uncertainty about the exact day and year of Gorky's birth; he, himself, could not say definitely whether he was born i n 1868 or I869. L i t t l e i s known about his family background. His paternal grandfather was a man of some a b i l i t y or at least bravery, for despite his peasant birth he became an officer i n the army of Nicholas I. He seems to have gone astray, however, for he was eventually exiled to Siberia for cruelty to his subordinates. Somewhere there he had a son Maxim. What with his mother's early death and his father's abuse, the boy had a d i f f i c u l t l i f e . His father died when Maxim was a child of nine, so that the child was apprenticed to his godfather i n the town of Perm (Molotov). Maxim seems to have been restless and unhappy for he soon ran away. At the age of sixteen he settled i n Nizhni-Novgorod (Gorky), where he worked as a carpenter on the river steamers of a local shipper. Ey the age of twenty he was a qualified 1 A particular problem arises when treating contemporary Russian sub-jects because the Julian Calendar, which i s thirteen days behind the Gregorian or Western Calendar, was used i n Russia up u n t i l February l / l 4 , 1918. In this project-everything occurring before this date is listed according to the Julian Calendar, and everything after according to the Gregorian. In Russia i t is customary to make this distinction by the terms "old" and "new style." -5*-cabinet-maker and upholsterer. While working i n Nizhni-Novgorod young Peshkov met and f e l l i n love with Varvara Kashirina, the daughter of a successful dyer. The dyer had high ambitions for his daughter, however, and would not counte-nance her marriage to the lowly carpenter. As a result the young people eloped. With the helpful mediation of Mrs. Kashirin the old man was pacified and i n a few weeks the newly-weds settled with their parents. Things did not go well from the outset, for the Kashirin sons, Yakov and Mdfcail, saw i n Peshkov a r i v a l claim to a share i n the parental estate. At the same time Peshkov was clean living, capable with his hands, sharp with his tongue, and clever as a practical joker. This very combination of qualities turned his brothers-in-law against him, and one day i n the early winter they lured him to a neighbouring pond and pushed him through a hole i n the ice. Peshkov survived the incident but i t was not long before he moved With his young family - Alexey Maximovich Peshkov, the future Maxim Gorky, had been born by this time - to Astrakhan at the mouth of the Volga. The Peshkov family had not lived i n Astrakhan for more than four years when the baby, Alexey Maximovich, contracted cholera. Although the boy recovered, his father contracted the disease from him and died. Gorky begins his remarkable autobiographical trilogy with his recollec-tions of this tragic event. The father's death at the hands of his son, as i t were, turned the mother against the boy. 2 As a result she could 2 Gorky describes his mother as ". . . a stern woman, who wasted no words." Childhood, p. 11. Childhood i s the f i r s t volume of Gorky's autobiography, written 1915-1914. -55-give her son l i t t l e care and sympathy, and much less understanding i n the trying years ahead. However, the family tragedy brought a new and beneficial influence into the boy's l i f e ; that of his grandmother, who was big, round, cheerful, and f i l l e d with boundless love and understand-ing. She hurried to Astrakhan to help and the five year old Alexey soon acquired an enduring attachment for her. I t was not long before the grieving family l e f t for Nizhni-Novgorod and residence with the Kashirins. It demanded a goodly supply of fortitude for Alexey to endure the grim reality of his years i n the typically lower middle class environ-ment of the Kashirin household. Except for the golden personality of his grandmother there was l i t t l e about these years that he could re c a l l happily. Old Kashirin was approaching bankruptcy brought on by the i n -firmities of old age and the savage greed and stupidity of his sons. Young Alexey's childhood was replete with severe beatings and scenes of violence and brutality. But l i f e with the Kashirins was not a l l bad; for i t was here that Alexey received his only formal instruction - two years at the primary school. He was also introduced to the traditions of his people, for his grandmother had a vast store of folk-tales which she loved to narrate and to which Alexey would listen enthralled. Even the grand-father, who despite his tyrannical qualities, was a self-made man, gave the young boy some sound advice: . . . learn to wait on yourself, and never l e t others make you wait on them. Behave yourself calm and quiet-like, but stick to your chosen path. Listen to everybody, but do what you yourself think best,? 5 Childhood, p. 519. -56-The old man performed an equally great service by teaching the boy to read and write i n Old Church Slavonic. His mother acquainted him with modern Russian by insisting that he learn to read poems and stories from the contemporary tradition. It was here too that Alexey made his f i r s t acquaintance with that breed of men that he would later c a l l his nation's finest sons. This contact was made i n the person of a chemist, who boarded for a while with the Kashirins. The chemist, who was usually shunned for his odd behavior and taste, was nicknamed "That's Fine" be-cause he used the phrase repeatedly i n his general conversation. "That's Fine" eventually befriended Alexey. He encouraged the boy to read care-f u l l y and to learn so that he could live effectively and better grasp l i f e . But these were only the more constructive aspects of a generally degrading existence. By the time he was eight Alexey was busy supporting himself and his grandmother by scavenging around Nizhni and along the banks of the Volga. His childhood came to an abrupt end with the death of his mother. Alexey was now almost ten and his grandfather, thinking him big enough to fend for himself, sent him out "Into the World. It i s not too much to say that the childhood Gorky essentially, foreshadows the grown man. In the f i r s t instance he appears as a very active and sensitive observer of l i f e . The whole of his autobiography bears testimony to the range and depth of his observations and the accuracy with which he recorded them i n a copious memory. It is widely acknowledged that Gorky achieved his greatest a r t i s t i c successes as a A This i s a l i t e r a l translation of the t i t l e of the second volume of Gorky's autobiography. It also appears i n English under the t i t l e "My Apprenticeship." -57-memoiri8t. Secondly, he reveals i n everything a rebellious independence - he is self-assertixg, pert, even cheeky, when he suspects that he i s being abused; and the slow growth of his opinions and attitudes suggests the same pert non-conformity and independence. Witness the forceful rejection of his grandfather's self-righteous puritanism on the one hand and his grandmother's primitive fatalism on the other.5 With these qualities he seems to have combined a pugnacious heroism. He derives a secret glee from facing alone his numerically superior enemies and putting them to f l i g h t with a few well aimed stones, and when he discovers his step-father kicking at his mother's breast, he attacks him with a bread knife.^ Thirdly, he demonstrates a clear-sighted realism, quite unperverted by self-defeating pessimism - he i s essentially an optimist* Paradoxically, he seems to unite a brooding disposition with a hopeful optimism. Undoubtedly i t is this s p i r i t which gave his early work i t s highly romantic; . character. Somehow he manages to maintain a belief i n the goodness of l i f e and the creative a b i l i t i e s of mankind. While he recognises his tawdry surroundings for what they are he is not blind to generosity and goodness where they exist; even his grandfather has amiable qualities and Gorky, noting them, is saved from patricidal hate. Indeed, his grandfather's Badism helps to inspire i n him a broad sympathy for li v i n g things and a strong indignation against the least manifestation of cruelty to man and beast. Lastly, he i s active i n a constructive way and resourceful, qualities foreshadowing the grown man's participation i n the 5 Childhood, pp. l4c*-l6l. 6 Ibid., p. 117 and p. 557. -38-a f f a i r s of his country. Some of the essentials of his character are re-flected i n the following quotation from his autobiography: Our l i f e i s amazing not only for the vigorous scum of beastiality with which i t is overgrown, but also for the bright and wholesome creative forces gleaming beneath and the influence of good is growing, giving promise that our people w i l l at last awaken to a l i f e f u l l of beauty and bright humanity.7 As a last gesture Alexey*s grandfather obtained a job for him as an apprentice - as "boy" i n a s t y l i s h bootshop on the main street of Nizhni. Here he was to learn the shoe business and his f i r s t duty was to wait at the shop door s t i f f as a statue to welcome the customers. The essentials of the business were easy enough to grasp, but Alexey was soon disillusioned by the shop's seamy atmosphere. Mostly, he chafed i n i t s a i r of saccharine hypocrisy. Having enjoyed a scavenger's freedom, he found the work a drudgery and resolved to flee at the earliest opportunity. His plight was eased by a fortunate accident. The day on which he planned to run away he overturned a pot of soup and burned his hands badly. He was sent to the hospital and although i t was a dreadful experience i t ended well for him. His grandmother was sent for and she tended his wounds and took him home again to live with her. Spring was approaching and Alexey was happy. Alexey was not welcomed by his grandfather. Old Kashirin, now penniless and stingier than ever, balked at the prospect of feeding another mouth. He accepted the boy on condition that he support himself. Alexey was undismayed by the imposed conditions and resumed his old 7 Childhood, p. 3^4. -39-practice of gathering rags and bones and selling them for a few pennies. To this he added a new activity. The old folks were now liv i n g i n a suburb of Nizhni and he and his grandmother spent a happy summer gathering herbs and berries, nuts and mushrooms i n the nearby forest. The effect of forest and grandmother on the growing boy was altogether salutary. From the forest he gained strength and vigor and from his grandmother he learned the elements of woodlore and wisdom, such things ast "You have to learn everything for yourself. If you don't find out for yourself no one w i l l help you.", and again, "Pain overcome i s a battle won."® This happy interlude came to an end i n the f a l l when old Kashirin, calling the boy a "sponger", found him a job i n the heart of Nizhni-Novgorod with a distant relative, the son-in-law of his grandmother's sister. With many misgivings Alexey began his "apprenticeship" with the draughtsman. Things went badly from the start. -With the freshness of the forest s t i l l i n his nostrils, Alexey was overwhelmed by the drab r e a l i t y of city l i f e and his narrow servitude to the draughtsman. His training i n a genteel profession was cut short by the machinations of a jealous mistress. Seeing i n him a threat to her younger son's position i n the business, she forestalled Alexey's training by loading him with a l l the duties of a housemaid. On Wednesdays he scrubbed the kitchen floor and shined the Samovar and the other brassware; on Saturdays he scrubbed a l l the floors and both stairways. He chopped and brought i n wood for the stoves, washed dishes, cleaned vegetables, carried home the groceries 8 My Apprenticeship (Into the World), Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1953, PP» 3? and 85. Second volume of autobiography, written I9I6. -40-and ran errands. Gorky says that he worked hard and willingly because i t gave him pleasure to "whisk away di r t " , but that he was intensely unhappy. Everywhere he saw: . . . heartless mischief-making and f i l t h y shamelessness - i n -comparably more than on the streets of Kunavino (suburb of Nizhni where he passed the summer), which had no lack of brothels and streetwalkers. Behind the f i l t h and mischief i n Kunavino one was aware of something explaining the inevita-b i l i t y of such f i l t h and mischief: drudgery, and a miserable, half-starved existence. Here people lived i n ease and comfort, and work was substituted by senseless commotion. And upon everything lay the shadow of an insidious, i r r i t a t i n g boredom.9 Alexey showed his distaste by a characteristic impudence and he suffered the household's wrath as a consequence. Although there was l i t t l e play (indeed, there was no time for that), Alexey had one diversion which gave him the respite formerly found i n f i e l d and forest. His mistress insisted that he go to church on Saturdays and Sundays and from this he derived great pleasure. On Saturday evenings when i t wasn't too cold he would skip vespers which he normally enjoyed and walk the streets to satisfy his passion for impressions. He observed closely the movement of l i f e around him. He saw " . . . people praying, kissing, fighting, playing cards, carrying on serious soundless conversations. Before (his) eyes passed a mute fi s h l i k e panorama like those seen i n the slot-machines,"^ It was during this winter at the draughtsman's that Gorky f i r s t learned that there was such a thing as a forbidden book. This dis-covery came, oddly enough, through his passion for playing s k i t t l e s . 9 My Apprenticeship, p. I l l 10 Ibid., p. 122. -41-When spring came, Sunday usually found him playing skittles i n the street when he should have been at church. He invariably bet his col-lection money on the outcome and was not infrequently mortified at losing i t . Blurting out the whole situation one day at confession, he was dumbfounded when the father asked him i f he had ever read books by the underground press. The twelve year old Gorky did not understand the question but his curiosity had been pricked and henceforth he was on the a l e r t for an answer. Alexey was "weighed down" by his "miserable, boring existence", and finding himself one day - i t was spring and the , a i r was warm and fresh - on the bank of the Volga with 20 kopeks i n his hand he decided to leave his "mouse hole" for good.** He hoboed along the river's bank for a few days and then found himself a job as a dishwasher on a river steamer, the "Dobry". As the 8teamsr moved between Nizhni and Kazan the young Gorky continued his first-hand study of the Russian people and their native land. Again his hypersensitive eye distinguished between the tawdry, the sordid and the genuine. Already he was beginning to formulate questions on the basis of his observations. He ". . . wondered whether people were inherently good or bad, meek or menacing. Why they were so cruelly, ravenously vicious, and so shamefully s e r v i l e . " 1 2 It is quite clear that his spon-taneous idealism was repeatedly outraged by what he saw, but this fact i s not relevant to the moment. A far more important experience developed i n an unexpected quarter. The cook of the "Dobry" was a stern but good 11 My Apprenticeship, p, 156*. 12 Ibid., p. 175. -42-natured giant called Smury. This disillusioned ex-corporal of the guards gruffly introduced Gorky to reading and laid the foundations for his li t e r a r y education. He had many books i n his black trunk, mostly of an occult or technical nature which he insisted the boy read and reread to him. Smury seems to have had an unlettered belief i n the secret creative power of books, for he believed that the right ones - books on black magic or like subjects - made men clever, and he insisted that they should be read over and over again until they were thoroughly understood. This dry pabulum seems to have bored even Smury after a time, for one day he turned up with Gogol's Fearful Vengeance. Although the two differed over Gogol's quality as an author, the event initiated an exciting period for them. In the next few weeks they read Gogol's Taras Bulba, Scott's Ivanhoe, and Fielding's Tom Jones.*5 As the summer wore on Gorky says that he quite unconsciously formed the habit of reading; but, as yet, books only satisfied his yearning for romance and offered him an escape from reality. The fact that Smury's interest in reading also grew had an unfortunate consequence for Alexey. Smury began to c a l l him away from his work to read and to push the extra burden onto the other kitchen helpers. It wasn't long before they got their revenge by framing Alexey for thieving. They succeeded i n having him f i r e d , and four months after beginning his adventure on the "Dobry" Alexey was again i n Nizhni. His last recollection of the steamer was of the cook's parting admonishment Ho read." 1 4 15 My Apprenticeship, p. 153. 14 Ibid., p. 177. -43-Although there was very l i t t l e change i n colour or tone during the next four years of Gorky's l i f e , they were years distinguished by two essential phenomenal (1) the persistence with which he continued his self-education through personal observation and analysis, and (2) the powerful impact that onmivorous reading made on his actively groping mind. Gorky was soon back living with his grandparents. This time he supported himself by catching birds and selling them in the market. When winter came he returned, at his grandfather's behest, to the draughtsman's where he resumed his old labours. In this distressing household he found everything unchanged, with the sole exception that his work was heavier and more irksome. The smug complacency of his employers and the absurd monotony of words and events oppressed him with a "stupefying m i s e r y . H e much preferred the company of washerwomen and soldiers to that of his relatives, who on top of everything else had an irrational hatred of books. They fought tooth and n a i l to prevent him from reading. Cajolery, beatings, and even attempts to inspire him with fear by t e l l i n g him terrible tales about "readers" who tried to k i l l the tsar by blowing up trains, proved f u t i l e . T h e youngster con-tinued despite insult and injury to indulge his newly acquired passion for reading. The dead of night would usually find him huddled over a smoky homemade candle pouring over the pages of illustrated magazines and journals. Out of his labours came an expanded view of the world and 15 My Apprenticeship, pp. 205-208 16 Ibid., p. 227. -44-a higher conception of l i f e . * ? sG too came a higher type of companion-ship. For instance, i n an effort to find who or what the Huns were, he made the acquaintance of a well-educated chemist " . . . who knew the simple meanings of a l l the learned words." From the chemist he acquired a more serious attitude towards books.*® Then he found a friend i n the tailor's wife who lived next door. Up to this point his reading had consisted mostly of magazines, journals, newspapers, and trashy Russian adventure stories - anything he could get his hands on. The "China Doll", as he called his new friend, introduced him to the novels of Duma "The Elder", Ponson du Terrail, Montepin, Zaccone, and so on, stories which made him happy but soon bored him for their monotonous similarity. Among the host of bad literature with which she supplied him, he came upon the odd story by f i r s t rate authors like Hugo, Scott, and Balzac. Balzac's Eugenie Grandet sent him into ecstasies - with this novel he f e l t that he had at l a s t discovered the "right books."*? In stories of this 17 "Ever broader grew my view of the world, adorned with fabulous ci t i e s lofty mountains and beautiful seashores. Life became wonderfully/ expanded, and the earth waxed fairer as I was made aware of i t s multiplicity of towns and peoples and interests." My Apprenticeship, p. 242. . "They (books) showed me a different l i f e , a l i f e f i l l e d with great desires and emotions, leading people to crime or to heroism. I observed that the people about me were incapable of crime or heroism; they lived apart from a l l that the books wrote about, and i t was d i f f i c u l t to dis-cover anything interesting i n their lives. One thing I knew I did not want to live as they did." Ibid., p. 245. -*5-calibre he glimpsed the contours of a better l i f e with a higher sense of values. 2 0 In the meantime, events i n the national l i f e were moving rapidly toward a climax; but as p o l i t i c a l developments of national impor-tance s t i l l revolved indistinctly around the edges of the boy's con-sciousness, the background developments - the setback to national ambitions in the Balkans, the reintrenchment of reactionary forces i n government, the failure of the Narodniks to reach the people - which set the stage for the more spectacular assassination of Alexander II (March 15, 1881) passed unnoticed. But the event i t s e l f made a distinct im-pression on the boy's mind. Gorky describes how the cathedral bells began to ring late one night, the i n i t i a l alarm, and then the dismay and the hushed guarded silence which accompanied the knowledge of what had happened. "For two days people continued to whisper and to go vi s i t i n g and to receive visitors and to recount everything i n detail."21• Alexey couldn't find out exactly what had happened and a l l his efforts to find out were cut short either by evasion or silence. The whole a f f a i r was 20 It i s interesting to notice how these stories affected his moral and intellectual development. "Without preventing me from seeing the reality of l i f e , and without lessening my desire to understand living people, the chaos of this book world formed a transparent but impenetrable v e i l protecting me from the poisonous f i l t h and innumerable contagions lurking i n the l i f e about me. The books .made me invulnerable to many things; a knowledge of how people loved made i t impossible for me to enter a brothel. The cheapness of such debauchery roused my repugnance for i t and contempt for those who found i t sweet. Rocambole taught me to stoically resist the force of circumstances. Dumas,!: heroes f i l l e d me with the desire to dedicate myself to some great and significant cause." My Apprenticeship. pp. 321-322. 21 Ibid., p. 248. I -46-soon forgotten under the pressure of daily l i f e , and the most important object of his daily l i f e at that moment was the search for books like Eugenie Grandet. What amounted to a dilemma was solved when the woman he calls "Queen Margot", named after the heroine of an historical romance, moved into a neighbouring f l a t . She proved to be the source of much encouragement and numerous good volumes. F i r s t l y , she introduced him to the poetry of Pushkin, then urging him to know Russian literature and l i f e well, she encouraged him to read Aksakov's Family Chronicle, and then his Notes of a Huntsman, and then several volumes of Grebenka and Sollogub, and the verse of Venevitinov, Odoyevsky, and Tyutchev. Gorky says that these books "purged" his soul and freed i t from the "chaff of bitter, beggarly reality." They convinced him that good books were "essential" to him and perhaps, most important, they taught him that he was not the only person on earth and that he would surely be able "to make his way."22 In the spring Alexey l e f t the draughtsman's. After spending the summer on a Volga steamer, he returned to Nizhni-Novgorod where he apprenticed himself to an icon-maker. Here he came into contact for the f i r s t time with the peculiar Russian Merchant class "as autochthonous and Eurasian as the peasantry" i t s e l f . 2 ? At this time he was oppressed by the greed, the coarse sto l i d i t y , the deceitfulness, and the malicious 22 My Apprenticeship, p. 28J. 25 Kaun, Alexander, Maxim Gorky and His Russia, New York, Jonathan Cape & Harrison Smith, 1951, p. 101. -47-cruelty which was so mach a part of their l i v e s . 2 ^ His attitude to the icon-makers who inhabited the shop was entirely different, these crafts-men won his respect because they maintained themselves with dignity despite their wretched liv i n g conditions. Alexey enjoyed very pleasant relations with them and even came to occupy a special position i n their favour as reader and storyteller. Through this pastime he discovered just how provincial the majority of his countrymen were. He was dis-turbed by their g u l l i b i l i t y , and especially by their taste for the fanciful i n preference to the real. He found them unconcerned with re a l i t y and he was amazed by this especially as he had such a "sharp sense" of the difference between truth and f i c t i o n himself , 2 5 A naively humorous and interesting experience from the point of view of this pro-ject grew from a reading of Lermontov's Demon. The poem made such a profound impression that Zhikharev, the head icon-maker took Alexey aside and warned him not to talk about that book because i t was almost certain to be a forbidden one. Alexey was overjoyed for a moment to think that he had discovered one of those forbidden books which the priest had asked him about i n confession long ago.20* 24 Gorky the biographer asked himself why these people behaved as they did and tried to explain their behavior as an attempt to escape l i f e ' s oppressive tedium. Alexander Kaun says that this i s the typical Gorky approach, to quote: "The observer depicts l i f e ' s seamy side and is followed at his heels by the ratiocinator who seeks to explain and justify and rehabilitate l i f e , i n which e v i l i s conditioned but not i n t r i n s i c . " Kaun comments that, " . . . the reader is more convinced by the observation than by the explanation." Maxim Gorky and His Russia, p. 105. 25 My Apprenticeship, p. 389. 26 Ibid., p. 594. -48-During these days he rejected out of hand his grandmother's attitude of patient endurance. He met her now and again, and his appreciation for her many sterling qualities continued to grow, but he began to fee l that she lived i n a dream world and was, as a result, blind to the bitter r e a l i t y around her. When Alexey protested vehemently about the dreary ugliness of l i f e and the suffering of people she could only beg him to endure i t a l l patiently, and this Alexey could never do, as the grown man puts i t , . nothing cripples a person so dreadfully as endurance, as a humble submission to the forces of circumstances ," 2 7 This episode reveals a good deal about the character of Gorky. He demonstrates, as i n numerous other instances, a pugnacious independence of mind. He demonstrates his gloomy preoccupation with the material world and his categorical rejection of ugliness and f i l t h as unbefitting the human personality. The episode foreshadows the meliorist and reveals him as an individual pledged to face issues actively and squarely.2® Life with the icon-makers was a melancholy a f f a i r despite the pleasant companionship; so that the lure of spring caught Alexey in a restive and f r e t f u l mood. In a desperate effort to escape, he projected a t r i p to Persia via Astrakhan* whither he could go easily on the river steamers. His plan didn't mature, however, as a chance meeting with the draughtsman offered him the prospect of a new job. The draughtsman had 27 My Apprenticeship, p. 4j0. 28 Gorky himself says that the icon-makers praised him for his straight-forward attitude towards l i f e . My Apprenticeship, p. 4l6. H.H. Erikson makes the following observation! ". . . Gorky had always been sensitive and impressionable, and his basic, sentimental sadness was counteracted only by his determination to "grasp" l i f e almost to force i t to give him fai t h . " Childhood and Society, New York, W.W. Morton, 1950, p. 5^9. -49-made some big contracts at the Nizhni fairgrounds and needed a checker to supervise the arrival of material and prevent stealing. He offered the i job to Alexey who was won over to the idea. For the next two winters and three summers, Alexey worked for the draughtsman, doing household chores through the winter and checking at the fairgrounds during the summer. These years, just like a l l the others since his entry "into the world", were important formative years for Alexey. During them his storehouse of impressions was augmented through daily intercourse with the peasants whose work he supervised. He saw them at work and play, joined them in their endless conversations, struck up friendships among them, and was i n the end baffled by their changefulness. For a short period he spent hours i n Millionaire Street, centre of the c i t y slums, hob-nobbing with the prototypes of tramps and vagabonds, whan he describes so strikingly i n Ex-Men and Lower Depths. In his spare time he continued his habit of voracious reading and even began to keep a notebook for verses and versifying. He especially enjoyed reading Russian books ". . . i n them (he) always sensed something sad and familiar, as though the Lenten chimes were imprisoned within their ages, and one had only to open the covers to release the faint music. Gogol and DostoevBky with their Dead Souls and Notes from a Dead House, however, created a vague antipathy i n him. On the other hand, he was very fond of Dickens and Walter Scott whom he read two and three times over. He says that Scott reminded him of a ". . . holiday mass held i n a splendid cathedral - a bit long and tiresome, but always festive." Dickens was an author 29 My Apprenticeship, p. 447, -50-whom he continued to admire as one who had " . . . attained mastery i n that most d i f f i c u l t of arts - the art of loving people."5° Another ex-perience ofshis summer evenings was to gather with a student and his privileged young friends to discuss books and poetry. This experience was notable because i t represented Gorky's f i r s t contact with the sons • and daughters of Russian o f f i c i a l s and wealthy middle-class merchants. 51 These experiences multiplied f i l l e d out the last years of Gorky's "Apprenticeship". By the end of his third summer with the draughtsman - he was sixteen years old - Alexey found himself in an emotional and intellectual quandry, and the step which he took in a desperate effort to remedy the situation marks an important turning point i n his career. In the f i r s t place, he found l i f e "disjointed, incongruous - obviously senseless." As an example of this senselessness, he describes how the spring floods des-troyed buildings and sta l l s on the fairgrounds causing enormous damage and how year after year the people rebuilt in exactly the same places. He asked himself " . . . how people could go on revolving round and round 30 My Apprenticeship, p. 447. 31 Gorky probably draws on this experience to create the boyhood of Klim Samghin. Samghin i s the son of a wealthy middle-class merchant. Gbrky uses him as the hero i n his monumental effort to draw a compre-hensive: piature of pre-revolutionary Russia (1880-1917). See Klim  Samghin, "Forty Years", t r . A Bakshy, New York, Jonathon Cape and Harrison Smith, and D. Appleton, 4' vol., I926-I936 ( s t i l l unfinished at his death). -51-i n such a vicious c i r c l e . S e c o n d l y , he f e l t that he was lost i n a ". . . labyrinth of the incomprehensible.11 He describes his mental state as follows: . . . L i f e was like an autumn woods with the mushrooms gone, leaving me with nothing to do i n an emptiness where every nook and cranny was only too familiar. I did not drink vodka or court the g i r l s - these two means of intoxicating the soul were substituted for me by books. But the more I read, the harder i t became to go on living i n the empty, senseless manner i n which most people seemed to l i v e . . . . there were times when I f e l t old. My heart seemed to have grown swollen and heavy with a l l I had lived through, a l l I had read and pondered so distractedly. The reservoir of my impressions was like a dark lumber room stuffed with a mul-t i p l i c i t y of things I had neither the strength nor the a b i l i t y to sort. And the weight of these impressions, despite their number, did not make me firm, but rocked and unsettled me like water i n a shaky vessel. I despised complaints, misery and unwholesomeness, while the sight of brutality - blood, blows, even oral abuse - aroused i n me an instinctive repulsion. . . . I would fight like a wild beast, . . . to this very day I am overwhelmed by grief and shame on recalling these f i t s of despair born of impotence. Two beings dwelt within me: one of them having seen too much of f i l t h and loathsomeness, had become chastened. Life's dreadful humdrum had made him sceptical and suspicious, and he looked with helpless compassion upon a l l people, including him-self. This individual longed to lead a quiet retired l i f e away from cities and people. He dreamed of going to Persia, of entering a monastery, of living i n a forester's hut or the 32 My Universities, p. 537. Alexey.posed this question and many like i t t t o Ossip, a sharp-tongued old carpenter at the fairgrounds. Ossip apparently f e l t that Alexey's mind was f u l l of brazen ideas for he began to t e l l the draughtsman about them. I t i s informative to record the answer he gave when Alexey asked him why he carried tales. Ossip answered,, "So he'll know what harmful thoughts you have; i t ' s up to him to teach you; who'll do i t i f your master don't? It's not out of malice I t e l l him, but out of pity for you. You're not a stupid lad, but there's a demon st i r r i n g things up i n that head of yours. If you steal something I ' l l keep mum about i t ; i f you go with the g i r l s - s t i l l I'm mum; and I ' l l not say a word i f you get drunk. But I ' l l always t e l l your master about those brazen ideas of yours, so you may as well know i t . " My  Apprenticeship, p. 5^ 0. •52-lodge of a railway guard or becoming a night-watchman somewhere on the outskirts of town, the fewer the people and the more remote, the better. The other individual, baptized by the holy s p i r i t of wise, and truthful books, realized that l i f e ' s dreadful humdrum ex-erted a ruthless power which might easily lop off his head or crush him under a grimy heel. And so he summoned a l l his strength i n self-defence, baring.his teeth, clenching his f i s t s , ever ready for a fight or an argument. His love and his pity found expression i n action, and, as became the gallant hero of a French novel, he would unsheath his sword and strike a fighting pose at the slightest provocation. 55 Thirdly, his intuitive rebellion against misery and brutality provided a f e r t i l e ground for the i d e a l i s t i c conceptions conjured by his readings, which once planted ripened into an insistent hope that a better, more purposeful l i f e was possible. Fundamentally active, he longed to give Russia, himself included, a good kick so that everything as he says, ". . . would spin about i n a joyful whirl, i n the rapturous dance of people who are i n love with one another and with l i f e , this l i f e , con-ceived for the sake of another l i f e , more honest, courageous and beautiful."?^ Virtually overwhelmed, Alexey desperately concluded that he must do something or else he would be lost. In a mood of mixed determination and frenzy, like a lost man who plunges into the heart of the wood i n a last frantic attempt to find his way, he set out for Kazan, hoping that he would find some way to study at the university there. 55 My Apprenticeship, p. 5^2. 54 Slonim, Marc, Modern Russian Literature, New York, Oxford University Press, 1955, p. 126. Slonim says that a sense of ". . . social and moral duty, was deeply rooted i n Gorky the writer and Gorky the man. . . i n rationalizing his emotional reactions, he aspired to deeds that would transform the world of cruelty, poverty, and ignorance he had to face daily." 55 My Apprenticeship, p. 558* -52-Alexey had already made passing acquaintance with Kazan while a dishwasher on the river steamers. His new home was a ci t y of mixed Tartar and Russian culture. By virtue of i t s renowned theological academy, i t s museums, i t s university, and i t s other educational i n s t i -tutions, Kazan became the intellectual centre of Eastern Russia. For this reason alone i t i s not at a l l strange that Gorky should have looked to Kazan when he began to think of l i f t i n g himself from the surrounding morass. Things went against his plans from the very beginning. The i l l u s i o n that a university education could be had for the asking was quickly shattered as the youth was forced to work long and hard just to keep from starving.5^ f o r a while he kept himself by stevedoring on the wharves where he broadened his acquaintance with the outcasts who later became his stepping stones to celebrity. I t was here that he experienced i n a new way the joy and exhilaration of labour, which he romantically describes as a force " . . . which could work miracles upon the earth, could cover a l l the land overnight with wondrous palaces and c i t i e s , . . . " 5 7 At the same time his acquaintanceship with the volatile gymnasia 56 Gbrky takes this opportunity to reflect on a significant habit which he had already acquired and seems to have practiced throughout his l i f e , to quotet "I had, . . learned to dream of strange adventures and prodigious deeds. This was a great help to me i n l i f e ' s hard days; and,, hard days being many, I grew more and more proficient at such dreaming." Continuing, he says, ". . . That I looked for no outside assistance, and set no hopes on luck or chance. But I was gradually developing an un-yielding obstinacy of w i l l ; and the more d i f f i c u l t l i f e became, the stronger, even the wiser I f e l t myself to be. I realized i n very early l i f e that a man is made by the resistance he presents to his surroundings." My Universities, p. 13, the third volume of his autobiography written i n 1925. 277Ibid., p. 41 -54-students was growing and this led him into contact for the f i r s t time with the Narodnik and incipient Marxist movements.?® His f i r s t con-spiratorial act was to deliver a message to a printer of the underground press and his second was to join a small study group. But without an adequate background, Alexey found the studies of John Stuart M i l l and Chernyshevsky boring. His f i r s t thoughtwas to get away ". . . and wander about the Tartar section."?? It was a beginning, however, and Alexey soon came under the influence of a professional Narodnik, Andrei Derenkov. Derenkov supported his anti-government act i v i t i e s by the i n -come from a small grocery store. He also had Kazan's finest library of forbidden books which he distributed freely among the students and others of revolutionary bent.^ 0 In the company of Derenkov and his associates Alexey discovered a s p i r i t of solicitude and anxiety for the future of the Russian people which had a companion echo i n his own heart. Although he was lost by the profusion of their words and arguments he was excited by their determination to build a new l i f e . ^ * Alexey himself, was looked 58 See above, Chapter I, pp. 25-26. This was a time (1884) of stag-nation and readjustment i n the revolutionary movement. George Plekhanov was applying the Marxian theory to the Russian scene, thus setting the revolutionary movement on a practical s c i e n t i f i c basis, and tying i t s hopes to the rising working class. 59 My Universities, p. 56. 40 Gorky describes some of these books as ". . . hand-written copies, i n thick notebooks. Such were Lavrov's Historical Letters, Chernyshevsky*s What i s to be Done?, several articles by Pisarev, King Hunger, . . . Intricate Writings. A l l these manuscript copies were crumpled and worn -read almost to tatters." My Universities, p. 44, 41 Ibid., p. 49. Cf. Chapter 1, pp. 11-12. -55-upon as a "native talent", a "man of the people", which is not at a l l strange when we consider that i t was a characteristic of the Narodniks to bestow fulsome praise on anything of peasant origin. " There was a sharp point of difference between Alexey and his mentors on this particular point. He had had too much experience of the people to see i n them the embodiment of wisdom, justice, etc. In contrast, he saw what there was of truth and beauty i n the Narodnikl and their w i l l , as he expresses i t : ". . . to live, to build l i f e freely i n accordance with new canons of love for humanity."^5 During the next year Alexey obtained a job i n a pretzel bakery where he worked fourteen hours a day. As a necessary consequence he had l i t t l e time for reading and less for his c i r c l e . In the meanwhile, how-ever, Derenkov was finding i t d i f f i c u l t to finance his revolutionary enterprises on the small income from his grocery. In order to increase his funds he decided to establish a bake shop. Alexey, because of his bakery experience and genuine interest i n the revolutionary movement f i t t e d very nicely into Derenkov's plans, and was soon established i n the new business as a baker's helper and policeman. One of his duties was to prevent the baker from pilfering flour, eggs, butter, etc.; another was to distribute books, revolutionary proclamations, and pamphlets 42 Gorky says that they examined him like a "cabinetmaker" examines "a piece of wood," and showed him off with the same "pride with which a street urchin shows off to his comrades a copper coin found i n the gutter," My Universities, p. 50. 43 Ibid., p. 54. among the students while he was delivering buns and r o l l s . w Although anything but dull, events i n Alexey's l i f e were rapidly precipitating a c r i s i s . Despite his new environment and experiences, the combination of physical strain and mental anxiety which had prompted his f l i g h t from Nizhni-Novgorod continued unrelieved. He was particularly oppressed by the senseless contradictions between ideals and r e a l i t y as he Baw them. He observed that the Derenkov's bakery, which had been established, was being ruined by the carelessness and abuse of the students. He was not only disillusioned, but his work also became point-less. He was repelled by the fact that those very students who were most enthusiastic i n their praise of him as "a native talent" were the quick-est to scorn his opinions, as a result, he was without the friendship he craved. On the one hand he observed that compassion for humanity per-meated everything that he read and heard, and on.the other he saw that the l i f e around him was f u l l of bitterness, enmity, and cruelty. To com-plete the picture, he was baffled by the p o l i t i c a l developments taking shape around him. Oddly enough, Lenin was at the Univeristy of Kazan i n that year (1887) and was expelled for his act i v i t i e s among the students. Alexey"s l i f e became more and more a vacuum. He could see the action but he couldn't understand the underlying motives, and he f e l t that he was being buffetted here and there powerless to control his fate. In December (1887) he resolved on suicide and, purchasing an old army revolver he put a bullet into his chest. By a quirk of fortune the bullet 44 This period of Gorky's l i f e served as the inspiration for his short stories» "The Master", "Konovalov", and "Twenty-six and One". "Twenty-six and One" i s , perhaps, his most powerful short story. -57-missed i t s mark and within a month Alexey had sheepishly resumed his work at the bakery.^5 The young Gorky seems to have been very fortunate i n making the acquaintance of people capable and willing to help him at c r i t i c a l moments i n his l i f e . This moment was no exception. A shopkeeper from a small village on the Volga had become acquainted with Alexey through Derenkov/, and when he saw the youth's dilemma he held out the hand of friendship to him. Romas, the shopkeeper, was a Narodnik. 4^ His shop, li k e Deretfkov's was no more than a blind for specific revolutionary aims. His immediate object was to encourage the growth of small buyer co-operatives among the poorer peasants. His ultimate object was one with which Alexey was already familiar - the awakening of the peasant mind; but, the shopkeeper's practical realism suffused the whole concept with a new significance. In him the romantic idealism and ardour of youth 47 was tempered by sound common sense and the patience of long experience. ' Alexey was invited to join him i n the village and there he regained his balance - found again the joy of useful labour and the security of a solid friendship. Romas, also had a good library, and Alexey was once again able to indulge his passion for reading. He says that he was introduced, specifically, to Hobbes and Machiavelli: he l i s t s as repre-sented on the shelves Borne of the most outstanding thinkers of the age -45 See pp. 152-142. Gorky has tried to describe the background to his attempted suicide i n the short story "An Incident i n the Life of Makar". In his opinion the story was a failure - i t was clumsy and lacked internal truth. My Universities, p. 145. 46 Cf. Chapter I, pp. 16-17, 26. 47 My Universities, p. 155. -58-among the English were Buckle, Ly e l l , Lecky, M i l l , Spencer and Darwin; among the Russian were Pisarev, Dobrolybov, and Chernyshevsky.^® However, his country sojourn did not last for more than seven months. Perhaps naturally, Romas had earned the enmity of his rivals i n the village. In the early f a l l he was burned out, and was forced as a result to leave the community. Nothing remained for Alexey among the villagers with the shopkeeper gone, so he l e f t , as usual i n a depressed state of mind. He was burdened down by reflections about the peasants' capacity for malice, s e r v i l i t y and elemental violence. Fortunately, he carried as well the shopkeeper's timely admonishment against the too hasty and blind condemnation of his fellows.^9 So ended the youth of Maxim Gorky. His next stop was Samara. 48 My Universities, p. 158 49 Ibid., p. 254. CHAPTER III THE"TYRO Alexey's stop i n Samara was very brief. From there he slowly worked his way down the Volga to the Caspian Sea where he f i r s t joined an artel of fishermen. He then became a night-watchman on a branch line of the Volga railroad. In the spring of I889 he was transferred to a small town on the Volga-Don line where he became a freightweigher. In May he set out on the long tramp back to Nizhni-Novgorod i n order to report for his period of compulsory military service.* Alexey's grand-parents were both dead by this time so that when he arrived i n Nizhni towards September he very willingly accepted the shelter of a former Kazan acquaintance who had just recently returned from a period of exile i n Siberia. Here i t was that Alexey had his f i r s t brush with the law, for his friend was arrested i n October and Alexey was detained for questioning on the grounds of possible complicity. The police officer i n charge of the investigation has l e f t a very relevant comment on Alexey at that time. "In answer, to my inquiry," he says, "the Chief of the Kazan Gendarmerie has informed me concerning Peshkov1s record i n Kazan, supporting my long established opinion that Peshkov presents a 1 The bare outline for Gorky's act i v i t i e s during this period are taken from Kaun, Gorky and His Russia. His Biography contains by far the most detailed account available and i t s accuracy i s substantiated i n essentials by isolated facts gleaned from other sources. In most cases Kaun depends for his facts on autobiographical materials published by Gorky (about I898). The originals are not available. -60-canvenient B o i l for co-operation with the p o l i t i c a l l y unsafe elements of the population. I learned from that reply that at Kazan, Peshkov worked i n a bakery, set up for disloyal purposes. . ," 2 It is significant that Alexey was already under suspicion. As soon as he was released he stood for his medical examination but failed to pass because of his perforated lung and an extended vein i n his l e f t leg (he had apparently strained himself stevedoring). V/ith the army closed to him Peshkov adjusted himself to l i f e i n Nizhni, where he remained for the next year. Job followed job un t i l he f i n a l l y obtained work i n the office of A.I. Lanin, an attorney. Lanin became a fast friend and proved his worth by helping Alexey to f i l l the blanks i n his schooling. Gorky placed Lanin high among those who had i n -fluenced his educational development. But now about a fact of equally great importance to his future development: For some years past Alexey/ had been keeping a copy'" book for l y r i c s , notes and observations. One of the book's latest additions was a long poem i n prose and verse which he called the "Song of an Old Oak". Into this poem he had squeezed the essentials of his thought and experience to date. After much vacillation he set out with his poem to v i s i t Vladimir Korolenko (1855-1921), who was then liv i n g i n Nizhni-Novgorod. Korolenko, who was a famous Populist, and one of the most talented authors of his day, had settled i n Nizhni (1885) after his return from a long period of exile to northeast Siberia. Korolenko*s influence on Russian letters was great and he was noted for 2 Quoted by Kaun from Police Records published i n 1918 and 1921. Cf. Kaun, op. c i t . , p. I95. -61-his Interest i n young authors, so that Alexey was probably hoping for advice and encouragement.? He was pleasantly received by the famous man, but his poem which was weak i n form and had many s t y l i s t i c defects was c r i t i c i s e d severely. The novice l e f t i n a dismal frame of mind. Discouraged by his apparent failure, he either hadn't the heart or re-fused to write another line for the balance of his stay i n Nizhni. It i s significant that Alexey was caught up i n the growing interest i n Karl Marx which swept over Russia i n the 1880's and 1890's. During this period he joined a small study group where Marx's theories were discussed. Despite the involvement, he continued to remain un-committed between the Marxists and the Narodniks. There was much about his new Intelligentsia companions that disturbed him, both i n their be-havior and attitudes. As at Kazan, he fai l e d to resolve the contradic-tion between re a l i t i e s as he saw them and re a l i t i e s as they were expounded by them. I t seems clear that he wasn't so much disturbed by points of theory as he was by the gulf which separated the intelligentsia from r e a l i t i e s - i n his opinion they were a foreign element i n their own country. He was appalled because this particular group made light of their responsibilities and at the same time ridiculed what he called the "legatees of the heroic epoc" (Narodniks) whom he valued greatly as high-minded social i d e a l i s t s . ^ In a gloomy and confused state of mind, he 5 Korolenko was a great humanitarian. He believed i n human progress (evolution) and had a deep concern for Russian suffering and social i n -justice. His moral authority was great among Russian intellectuals. Gorky describes this incident i n his reminiscences. Of. Kaun, op. c i t . , pp. 200-201. A Kaun, op. c i t . , p. 205. Quoted from Gorky's autobiographical notes. sought r e l i e f i n flight.-' This time he began a long journey through Southern Russia. Starting at Nizhni-Novgorod, he moved slowly down the Volga to Tsaritsyn (Stalingrad), and then turned sharply to the west and wandered through the Ukraine to Bessarabia, from there he tramped through the Crimea to the North Caucasus, and f i n a l l y , i n the f a l l of I89I arrived i n T i f l i s . Here, he was employed as a clerk on the T i f l i s railroad, a comparatively genteel work which allowed him to devote his leisure time to reading and discussion. The rather large basement f l a t where he lived with two others was turned into a "commune", a sort of study group, where Narodnik literature, mostly f i c t i o n , was studied. Although Marxian elements were present, the discussions were rarely of a social or p o l i t i c a l character. After a very short time the "commune" broke up and Alexey went to live with Alexander Kalushny, who had once been a member of the People's Will and was now l i v i n g out an exile i n Georgia. Kalushny was impressed by Alexey's narrative a b i l i t y and urged him to write the tale of Gypsy love called Maker Chudra. The story was fir s t -published i n a September (I892) issue of a local daily "The Kavkas (Caucasus)" under the pen-nape Maxim Gorky (Maxim the Bitter). This event formally launched Alexey Peshkov, now twenty-four, on a l i t e r a r y career. t 5 Gorky makes an observation about this habit of his i n Konovalov, p. 598* In his opinion one had to be born i n "Cultivated Society" to l i v e i n i t without wanting to escape i t s ". ... oppressive conventions sanctioned by the small insidious lies that have become habitual. ..." Its " . . . vanities of vanities that dulls the Senses and corrupts the mind." He says that he was born outside of i t and could only take small doses of i t at any one time. -65-Ih the winter of I895 Gorky was back i n Nizhni-Novgorod, working again i n the office of Lanin and writing i n a l l of his spare moments. His stories and sketches which began to appear i n a Kazan daily, the "Vblzhsky  Yestnik (Volga Messenger)", soon attracted the attention of Valdimir Korolenko who contacted the young author and offered to tutor him. From now on Gorky's work appeared more and more frequently i n the Volga news-papers. Their quality improved steadily and Korolenko was soon urging him to write a story for Russkoye Bbgatetao (Russian Wealth), a literary review edited jointly by Korolenko and Mikhailovsky.^ Since these two figures, particularly Mikhailovsky, dominated the literary world of the 1890's, Gorky's appearance i n their review vi r t u a l l y assured his literary success. His famous Chelkash, written for Korolenko, was published i n June 1895. In the meantime, Gorky had become feuilletonist on the Samarskaya Gazeta (Samara Gazette) and was experiencing for the f i r s t time i n his l i f e the security of an adequate financial income. In his column "Among Other Things", he discussed local themes - accidents, brawls, public entertainments, the local administration, etc. At the?, same time he wrote numerous unsigned sketches and draughts. Gorky was not very well received i n Samara. His lack of restraint and hiB far too bitter exposes of dishonest officialdom and economic exploitation turned 6 Mikhailovsky (1842-1904) was a sociologist. He became the theoreti-cian of Populism and after I889 "the grand old man of Russian radicalism." He was a great journalist and c r i t i c . In the s p i r i t of his times he judged a literary work by i t s "social message and i t s practical u t i l i t y . " He had an acute c r i t i c a l insight. See Mirsky, Contemporary Russlan  Literature, 1881-1925, London., George Routledge, 1955, P» 44» -64-influential opinion against him. As a result he was fired from the Gazette. 7 In May I896 he moved back to his birth place to work on the Nizhegorodsky Llstok (Nizhni-Novgorod Leaf), which had a reputation for being the most progressive paper on the Volga. It counted Korolenko and his group among i t s supporters and tried as a policy to stay within the limits of the ubiquitous censor. Gorky conducted a column "Rambling Notes" i n which he was free to discuss questions of local and national importance. He campaigned against administrative abuses, smugness and complacency whenever he found i t , campaigned against the rootless i n -telligentsia, championed the poor and urged the enlightenment of his ex-men (themes very close to his heart), and wrote much about art and literature.® In the f a l l of I896 Gorky f e l l i l l from a combination of over-work and incipient tuberculosis. The disease was checked by rest and a t r i p to the Crimea in the early part of 1897. In the meantime, however, Gorky's work had caught the attention of a young Marxist, Vladimir Posse, who wrote what was the f i r s t note on Gorky i n the Russian press. The 7 Ivan Bunin, a contemporary of Gorky's and a Nobel Prize winner for; literature (1955) gives us the description of Gorky that circulated at that time: "A wonderfully picturesque figure: a great big hefty fellow with the widest cloak you can imagine, a hat with a brim as wide as this, and a huge knotted stick i n his hand. . . ." Bunin, Ivan A., Memories  and Portraits, New York, Doubleday, I95I, p. 70. 8 It is very d i f f i c u l t to f i x Gorky's p o l i t i c a l attitude. Kaun hazards the opinion that i n I896 he supported Korolenko's view that auto-cracy was an old but 3 t i l l firm tooth and that many decades of legal action would be required to loosen i t . Kaun, op. c i t . , p. 245. -<S5-Marxists were quick to appreciate the revolutionary significance of Gorky's stories and immediately began to negotiate for them. Gorky re-ceived their overtures coldly as he had some very definite reservations about Marxism. In an early letter to Posse he expresses the opinion that Marxism "lowered one's individuality", and concluded by urging Posse not to join the "counsel of the wicked."9 His reservations must have been allayed because his "Konovalov" soon appeared i n the Marxist Journal Novaye Slovo(New Word) (1897)*^ and when this journal was closed down i n December he accepted a position on the editorial board pf a new Marxist venture called Zhizn (Life). In the early part of I898 Gorky's editorial companions prevailed upon him to publish a collected edition of his short stories and Posse was commissioned to find a publisher. In March a two volume edition of his Sketches and Stories appeared on the market and from that time his fame and influence increased at a phenomenal rate. The appearance of these volumes won immediate recognition for their author and established his reputation as a writer of f i r s t rate importance. The substance of his stories and the s p i r i t i n which they were told give the clue to his career and deserve careful study^ on that, account. While his sketches and stories present a f a i r l y broad picture of Russian l i f e during the 1890's, i t i s clear that Gorky's personal experience of peasants, tramps, sailors, fishermen and workers up un t i l 9 Kaun, op. c i t . t p. 255. 10 New Word had been a journal of right Narodniks 1894-1897. It was taken over by the legal Marxists i n A p r i l , 1897 but was banned in December. Gbrky was listed as one of i t s contributors, along with Lenin, Martov, Struve, and Zasulich. See H i l l , E". and Mudie, D,, The Letters of  Lenin, New York, Harcourt Brace, 1957, p. 51• -66-the publication of his f i r s t story Maker Chudra (I892) provides the focal point: of his interests and the source of his inspiration and material. His treatment of subjects reveals an almost pathological preoccupation with the question of humanness - the nature of man, the purpose of man's l i f e and the parallel question of how man can best f u l f i l l himself in. society. The strong note of sympathy which pervades his stories suggests that Gorky rated man's intr i n s i c worth very high, " . . . i n the very act of describing a kind of f a l l from humanity (he) expresses a sense of the strangeness and essential value of the human being."** Hence, the moral outrage inspired i n him by the tragic waste of human potentialities i n his native Russia. Confronted on every hand by overwhelming evidence of stagnation, moral indifference, apathy, spiritual poverty and brutalized l i f e , Gorky protested vigorously - i t i s this note of protest, combined with a firm conviction that man could and must be better, that gives Gorky's stories their peculiar flavour. His f i r s t tales, of which Maker Chudra, the Song of the Falcon, and Old Woman Izergil provide excellent examples, are replete with the s p i r i t , of romantic, heroism - the courageous man sacrifices himself for freedom and light. Ey 1895 his themes have broadened, the romantic element is greatly reduced, and a quiet note of realism pervades the whole. In his sketches he i s very frank, but his tone i s sympathetic and warm. In his stories, however, i t is becoming clear that his favorite type i s the type of the social rebel as represented by his "Chelkashes" and "Konovalovs". Through them he voices his protest against drabness 11 Chesterton, G.K., "Introduction" to Twenty-six and One, p. x i . -67-and injustice and their s p i r i t and philosophy provide important clues to Gorky's own.12 The whole cycle of these stories revolves around the central ideal of personal liberty, exuberant strength and fierce rebellion as embodied i n types like Konovalov.*5 Gorky's Konovalov i s a fascinating personality, with anarchistic and rebellious tendencies which condemn him to a l i f e of social vagabondage. Gorky seems to have been excited by the v i t a l i t y , the s p i r i t of self-reliance, the sense of personal responsibil-i t y , and the love of liberty and truth which were dominant characteristics of the tramps with whom he came i n contact during his wanderings. At ' the same time he was intrigued by the deep spiritual unrest which he detected at the bottom of their vagabondage. Konovalov is a good example. He is a skilled tradesman, a baker, who w i l l or cannot accept the yoke of permanent employment and refuses, with a defiant gesture, to become part of any order. At the bottom of his rebelliousness i s an inner turmoil caused by an excessive preoccupation with the purpose and aims of l i f e . Konovalov is an intellectual among his fellows, a searcher, and because he can find neither an inner line nor his place in l i f e he must live i n turmoil.*^ I t i s clear that Gorky's hero sees to the root of his trouble, 12 Lavrin makes the following shrewd observation: "Untrammelled by any taboos, traditions, and conventions he chose characters most l i k e l y to express the same attitude towards l i f e : tramps and roamers whose only home was the endless expanse of the steppes. . . . " Lavrin, Janko, An  Introduction to the Russian Novel, London, Metheun, 19^7, p, 159* 15 Dillon, E.J., "Art and Ethics of Maxim Gorky", Contemporary Review, London, vol. 81 (1902), p, 246. 14 Gorky, Maxim, "Konovalov", Selected Short Stories, 1892-1901, Moscow Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954, p. 419, -68-Konovalov, for instance, " . . . did not blame fate or accuse others. He alone was to blame for the mess his l i f e had become, and the harder (one) tried to prove. . . that he was 'a victim of circumstances and environ-ment, 1 the stronger he insisted that he alone was to blame for his fate. . . . He found pleasure i n chastising himself; i t was pleasure that: gleamed i n his eyes as he cried out i n his resounding voice: 'Every man is his own master and nobody but me is responsible i f I am a r a s c a l J 1 h 1 5 The exuberance and strength with which Konovalov defends his personal responsibility strikes that note of v i t a l i t y which was another character-i s t i c of Gorky's hero. By creating types who refused to whine and com-plain, Gorky brought a ". . . refreshing new attitude of energy and courage to Russian literature."*^ By refusing to bow before fate or circumstances, they voiced a brave new demand for a higher type of action. "What's a l l this talk about fate?" Gorky rmaikes Old Izergil say, "Every-one makes his own fate! I see a l l sorts of men - but the strong ones ** where are they? There are fewer and fewer noble men!"*7 Like their creator Gorky's heroes hunger after eternity.!® I f they are unable to find this then they want nothing more than "to burn brightly" at least for the moment.*9 ^"Konovalov", p. 555. 16 Kropotkin, P., Russian Literature: Ideals and Realities, London, Duckworth, 1905, p. 275. 17 Gorky, M., "Old Woman Izergil", Selected Short Stories. 1892-1901. Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954, p. 104, 18 Dillon, E.J., op. c i t . , p. 244. 19 "Konovalov", p. 421. -69-There i s l i t t l e doubt that Gbrky created his "Konovalovs" for a revolutionary purpose. It seems clear that his overriding ambition was to inspire i n his compatriots the w i l l and determination to build a re-modelled l i f e abounding i n beautiful and decent forms. One of the f i r s t clear statements that Gorky was ambitious to play an active part i n Russia's reorganization is voiced i n one of his early sketches called "Once i n Autumn" (1894). "At this time I was already preparing myself to be a powerful and active force i n society", he says, "I dreamed of p o l i t i c a l resolutions, and social reorganization, 1 , 2 0 Thirty years later i n an a r t i c l e on Lenin, Gbrky says that -he began his own career " . . . as an instigator of the revolutionary s p i r i t with a hymn to the madness of brave men", an obvious reference to his "Song of the Falcon" (1894). That he continued to think i n the same vein is clear from a letter written to Anton Ghekhov (1900). Here he outlines the germ of his think-ing (as an established author his approach is more directed and definite:) Truly, at this moment one feels the need of heroics: There is a common desire for stimulating b r i l l i a n t things, for l i f e , better, more beautiful. It is absolutely necessary for present-day literature to begin embellishing l i f e a bit, and soon as i t begins to do so, l i f e w i l l take on colour; I mean men w i l l begin to live a quickened, a brighter l i f e . 2 * The f u l l e s t expression of this line of thought appears i n a significant story called "The Reader" (1898). In this story Gorky re-veals how deeply the s p i r i t of the seeker and the reformer was imbedded i n his personality. The scene is a winter night. After the reading of 20 "Once i n Autumn", Chelkash and Other Stories, t r . R. Nisbet Bain, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1914, p. 95. 21 Lavrin, op. c i t . , p. l4o. -70-a highly successful story, Gorky i n a jubilant mood i s accosted i n the street by his conscience. In the ensuing argument, or better, lecture delivered by his conscience Gorky reveals his social and literary aims. In essence he believed man had f a l l e n from his high station on earth, and as a result the heart and form of contemporary l i f e had turned to dry rot. Optimistically Gorky believed that man could rebuild l i f e and through a sort of renascence find his proper place. He was convinced that l i t e r -ature must play a big role i n this reconstruction and rebirth, for i t was the duty arid obligation of literature to make men and society b e t t e r . 2 2 In his scheme the author was a teacher whose duty i t was by means of his imagination to inspire i n men the w i l l to create new forms. It waB at this point that his poise was shaken by a mighty doubt, for Gorky having defined his task could not find the unifying principle which would t i e his whole system together. He was like his "Konovalovs" who could not find a constructive ideal, a f a i t h , an inner line. "How could he teach without a message?" that was the question that perplexed him, and on this troubled note the story ends. Gbrky continued to write despite his mis-givings, and the fact that he had not yet found a unifying principle did not seriously affect his popularity for he had other characteristics which young Russia was eager to acclaim. To a society fed on the s p i r i t of "Chekhovian Gloom", a phrase used by the c r i t i c s and historians to describe the despondence and stagnation of the 1880's and LSQO's, the v i t a l i t y , vividness, and power 22 In Russian tradition, literature was supposed to give leadership and guidance. of Gorky's rhetoric came like a breath of fresh a i r . 2 5 Russian l i f e was i n ferment; to recapitulate, the famine of 1890-1891 had roused the i n -telligentsia to a pressing realization of the country's backwardness, to the need for a dramatic change i n the system of absolute autocracy. The rapid industrialization fostered by Serge Witte had given a tremendous new impetus to the revolutionary movement. The working class which had developed as an adjunct to industrialization constituted an energetic new force i n Russian society with new aims and the ambition to play i t s part, i n the social and historical destinies of the country. The c r i s i s i n agriculture had produced a steady movement of peasant labour from the land to the cities where they helped to swell a vast floating population where students, tramps, and workers mingled freely. These people were cut off from established social canons and provided a f e r t i l e ground for revolu-tionary.- doctrines , This upsurge i n revolutionism was accompanied by a violent polemical struggle between the Marxists, who wanted to create an organized class movement with the new proletariat as i t s base, and the Narodniks, who continued to pin their hopes on the peasantry. Gbrky responded to the new moods, and his message seemed to please everybody. For the Marxists he was " . . . annihilating the peasant and singing hymns to the "Ohelkashes" whom (they) i n their revolutionary hopes and Oil plans were so heavily backing," For the Narodniks his stories proved the degenerating influence of the city and once more enshrined peasant. 25 The conditions outlined here are taken from such diverse c r i t i c s as Miliukov, Kropotkin, Dillon (assistant to Serge Witte), Ivan Bunin, and a number of other figures writing i n reviews and journals of the time. 24 Bunin, Ivan A,, Memories and Portraits, New York, Doubleday, 1951» P. 75. -72-i n s t i t u t i o n s . 2 ^ p o r the new intellectuals arising among the submerged elements, Gorky, who had come from among their ranks, could speak with the authority of a spokesman " and l i t t l e , by l i t t l e , he became their champion and interpreter of their hopes."26 During this period of f e r -ment!: even conservative opinion hailed Gorky's f i r s t stories and went so far as to dub him the "intellectual leader of.the e r a . " 2 7 They praised him for having revealed the intellectual poverty and beastliness of the masses, thus sanctioning their policy of repression. The nation was atuned to Gorky's note and devoured his sketches and stories with unpre-cedented enthusiasm. The applaud of conservative opinion was only momentary, however, for Gorky soon l e f t no doubt that he stood by rising Russia and i t was among the revolutionaries that the real foundation for his reputation and influence was bu i l t . The following statement by one of his reviewers seems to sum up the situation f a i r l y well - i t contains the essential features of Gorky's thought, and at the same time points out the reason for his popularity:2® Gorky suffers miseries inherent i n the mere fact of exist-ence, but he has found no remedy; he looks for consolations i n the cult of beauty, in the strength of free individuality, i n the f l i g h t towards a superior ideal. But he does not know where to find this superior ideal, which v i v i f i e s everything. . . . 25 Kaun, op. c i t . , p. 261. 26 Miliukov, P., Outlines of Russian Culture, Part 2, Literature, ed. Michael Karpovitch, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 19^2, p. 61. 27 Dillon, "Art and Ethics of Maxim Gorky", p. 246. 28 Persky, Serge, Contemporary Russian Novelists, London, Frank Palmer, 1914, p. 176. -75-But this enthusiasm for an ideal,' vague as i t i s , this passionate appeal for energy i n the struggle, has awakened power-f u l echoes i n the hearts of the Russians, especially the younger of them. Gorky suddenly became their favorite author, and i t is to this warm reception that he owes a great part of his renown. He has carried the young along with him, and they have put their ideals i n the place which he had l e f t empty. CHAPTER IV THE STORMY PETREL While the public was busy devouring his stories, Gbrky's p r i -vate l i f e was becoming more and more complicated by his p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s and the threat both imagined and real which the t s a r i s t administration saw in them. In May, I898 he was arrested i n Nizhni-Novgorod and transported along with his correspondence to T i f l i s . Here he was imprisoned i n the Metekh Fortress and questioned rigorously about his p o l i t i c a l associations. Gorky had been arraigned because a former roommate of the "Commune" days had been arrested for carrying on seditious propaganda among the workers and Gorky's past aquaintance with the offend-er had been discovered. There must have been insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction for Gorky was very, soon back in Nizhni-Novgorod, but the authorities were s t i l l suspicious and from that day on he was com-pelled to live under constant police surveillance.* Within the next year Gorky took a step which implicated him further i n the revolutionary movement and placed a label on his p o l i t i c s . In early I899 he paid his f i r s t v i s i t to St. Petersburg where he was introduced to the intelligentsia of the capital, among them Merezhkovsky/ a religious mystic and Paul Miliukov - an outstanding leader in the lib e r a l movement. The real importance of his v i s i t l i e s i n the fact that 1 F e l i a Holtzman, The Young Maxim Gorky, New York, Columbia University Press, 19^8, p. 105. See also Gorky's letter to Chekhov, Maxim Gorky, Reminiscences, New York, Dover Publications, 19^6, p. 11 .^ - 7 * he at last accepted the patronage of the Marxists by becoming the literary editor of Zhizn (Life). It is not clear that he became or ever did be-come a s t r i c t party member but through his close association with Zhizn he made himself vulnerable to criticism. He gave his f i r s t novels, Foma  Sordyeev (1900) and Three of Them (1901), to this journal for publication. His second important act was to join or become a shareholder i n the co-operative publishing firm Z'ganiye (Knowledge). Gorky's name and interest soon made this firm one of the most influential and popular publishing houses in the country. 2 During the next five years Gorky's main act i v i t i e s centred around Nizhni-Novgorod where he continued to l i v e . As time passed Gorky's significance both as a symbol and participant i n the revolutionary move-ment increased and the police became correspondingly more zealous i n their surveillance - his mail was intercepted, his movements were regulated, and his day to day act i v i t i e s carefully watched. But even so Gbrky began to frequent the Somorvo d i s t r i c t of Nizhni where the city's industries were concentrated. Soon he served as a focal point for the interests of revolutionary workers and students. He supplied funds, books, advice, and i n March, 1901 took the risky step of purchasing a mimeograph machine so that the workers could publish their proclamations.? In the meantime, however, more important events had occurred and 2 Lavrin, Janko, An Introduction to the Russian Novel, London, Metheun and Co., I9A7, p. I60T D.S. Mirsky. Contemporary Russian Literature  (1881-1925), London, George Routledge & Sons, 1955, P. 120. 5 Kaun, A., Maxim Gbrky and His Russia, New York, Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, 1951, p. 52^. Holtzman, op. c i t . . p. 107. -16-Gbrky was i n the thick of them. Government educational policies had been under attack by the university students for some decades past and after 1&99 student disorders increased very markedly. The government retaliated by sending cossacks among the students. Those captured were exiled, ex-pelled or forced to endure compulsory military service. The so-called policy of the Nagaika (whip) culminated i n the assassination of the Minister of Education, Bogolepov (February, 1901), and a few days later i n the famous "Kazan Demonstration". On this fateful day thousands of men and women,principally students, gathered i n front of the Kazan Cathedral i n St. Petersburg to protest against government policies, par-t i c u l a r l y the compulsory military service. The demonstration was brutally suppressed by mounted cossacks and was followed by mass arrests and exiles. Gorky was a witness and responded emphatically. That he was outraged is clear from a letter written to Bruisov the symbolist poet: 4 My mood is that of a mad, whipped and chained dog. If you, s i r , love men, you w i l l , I believe understand me. You see, forcibly to recruit students as privates into the army is an abominable and heinious crime against personal liberty, an i d i o t i c whim of scoundrels surfeited with power. My heart i s boiling. . . . In this mood he penned a bitter denunciation of the police and administra-t i o n ; 5 We assert . . . that the police and Cossacks had been secretly stationed since early morning i n private courtyards and that Prefect Kleigels was planning a trap for the students. . . . That some of the young people were lured to the cathedral by leaflets emanating from the secret police. . . . We affirm that on the 4th of March the police and Cossacks were 4 Holtzman, op. c i t . . p. 106. -77-given vodka in order to arouse their h o s t i l i t y . . . . We categorically declare. . . that the Cossacks and not the students began the scuffle. . . . That the Cossacks grabbed women by their hair and beat them with their whips. . . s p l i t the skull of a woman student. . . and an old lady was trampled under the horses' hoofs, . . . Society must protest. . . police terror and the murder of i t s children, had i t endorsed by forty-nine members of the "Writer's Union" and dis-patched i t to the Minister of the Interior,^ He also tried to incite his influential friends and acquaintances to protest and addressed another letter of the same type to Russian newspapers and magazines. Under the influence of the same episode he wrote his famous poem Song of the Stormy  Petrel with i t s patent prophecy of an impending revolutionary storm. When Zhizn was suspended for publishing i t , the Song went into underground circulation and quickly became a slogan on everyone's lips.7 Gorky's efforts served only to link his name with the revolutionary movement. For Russia, 1901 marked the readoption of terrorism as a dominant p o l i t i -cal weapon. The assassination of Bogolepov was followed by that of Sipyagin, Minister of the Interior, i n 1902, that of Plehve i n 1904 and that of Grand Duke Sergius, the Tsar's uncle and Governor-General of Moscow, i n 1905. Gorky was back i n Nizhni-Novgorod by the end of March. In the middle of April he was arrested and placed in a local j a i l . He was accused of buying a mimeograph for printing proclamations, of writing his "Denunciation" and of participating i n the student revolutionary 6 See letter to Chekhov, Reminiscences, p. I l l , 7 Hbltzman, op. c i t . , p, 126. Kaun, Maxim Gorky and His Russia, pp. 522-525. -78-movement.® He was detained for one month and then released under s t r i c t domestic arrest. Gorky had already acquired a reputation which made i t very d i f f i c u l t for the government to discipline him; he was popular with the students and the Sormovo workers, he had won the support and sympathies of some of Nizhni's most influential citizens, among them the millionaire Savva Morozov, and the sympathies of an outstanding national figure like Tolstoy, who personally interceded for him with important o f f i c i a l s .9 The upshot of i t a l l was that Gorky was compelled to live under r i g i d police supervision i n the small d i s t r i c t town of Arzamas near Nizhni-Novgorod, 1 0 proof enough that Gorky had become one of the foremost figures i n the Russian radical world. Arzamas was quiet and isolated, congenial enough for the writer but not for the tubercular, and prison had undermined his health so he petitioned the Minister of the Interior for a sojourn i n the Crimea. In answer to his request he was granted a six month stay (November, 1Q01 -A p r i l , 1902) provided he lived outside of Yalta, summer home of the Tsars. Gorky's departure became the pretext for p o l i t i c a l demonstrations along his route. In Nizhni a farewell banquet was enlivened by speeches bandy-ing about his phrases and themes, i.e., "to the madness of the brave we sing a song", etc. His departure from the station was feted, songs were sung, slogans shouted, and pamphlets passed hailing Gorky as champion of 8 See letter to Chekhov, Reminiscences, p. 111. 9 Correspondence quoted i n Kaun, op. c i t . , p. 298, and Holtzman, op. c i t . . p. 195. 10 Nemirovich-Danchenko, V., My Life i n the Russian Theatre, t r . John Cournos, London, Geoffrey Bles, 1957. Although Danchenko is a Soviet source he is not at a l l uncritical i n his treatment of materials. This fact lends his work some credence. -79-"the brave."** The police acted quickly to f o r e s t a l l further manifes-tations, Gorky's train was shunted to avoid stopping i n the station at Moscow and his itinerary carefully controlled from there to the Crimea. He took up residence near Yalta where Chekhov and Tolstoy were holidaying and during these five or six months they became the focal point of his interests. However, the real news came out of St. Petersburg, On February 8, 1902 an unprecedented event occurred i n that the thirty-four year old Gorky, a p o l i t i c a l dissenter, was elected to the Imperial Academy of Sciences, a recognition saved for the most distinguished authors. O f f i c i a l circles were infuriated by the Academicians levity and direct government intervention forced the annullment of Gorky's election. Both Chekhov and Korolenko protested to the highest authorities and f a i l i n g to right the action i n that way they resigned from the Academy.*2 As i s usual with this type of action, the government only contributed to Gorky's notoriety and prestige. To this sojourn, Gorky owes his f i r s t contact with the Moscow Art Theatre, headed by Naiarovich-Danchenko and Stanislavsky. These men were on the lookout for talented new dramatists and together with Chekhov they urged Gorky to write them a play about his tramps. Gorky was willing but the general mood was so saturated with po l i t i c s and Gorky's reputation 11 Kaun, op. c i t . . p. 528, 12 Ibid., pp. 556-559, Holtzman, op. c i t . , pp. 109-110. Trotsky spoke "vituberatively" about Gorky's expulsion i n an early contribution to Iskra, Isaac Deutscher, The Prophet Armed, Trotsky, 1879-1921, London, Oxford University Press, 1954, p. 68. -80-such that every new book of his became a p o l i t i c a l event of importance. In the situation the project had to be approached very circumspectly and Gorky wrote his f i r s t play, Smug Citizens, as a blind.*? Its tone was purposely mild and Danchenko made every effort to assure the play a quiet reception. He describes how on several evenings before the f i r s t perform-ance he climbed into the upper tiers of the theatre and pleaded with the students not to make any sort of demonstration. An orderly performance was necessary i f Gorky was to continue writing for the theatre.*^ The administration was very sceptical about letting a play by Gorky be pro-duced and before they would pass i t for public presentation Danchenko had to give i t a f u l l dress rehearsal. The special performance turned out to be a b r i l l i a n t success attended by a l l the highest families, the diplo-matic corps, etc., and with a l l , i t was received very enthusiastically. As a result the play was permitted but under very close police super-vision.*? The performance led Danchenko to an ironic reflection on the revolutionary content of art:*^ The public bedecked with gems, attired i n furs and frock-coats, applauds the splendid spectacle; i t i s charmed by art and ignores the seed of revolution secreted i n i t . This was with particular palpableness, f e l t i n St. Petersburg at the performance of Smug Citizens. . . . Gbrky himself took l i t t l e interest i n the fate of his f i r s t 15 Variously t i t l e d Philistines or Petty Bourgeois, the play mildly attacked the purposelessness of middle class l i f e and i t s unhealthy con-cern for comfortable l i v i n g . See Bakshy, A., Seven PlayB of Maxim Gorky, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1945, p. 2. 14 Danchenko, op. c i t . , p. 2J5« 15 Ibid., p. 257. 16 Ibid., p. 256. -81-play for he was already busy with Lower Depths on which he lavished a l l his talents and i n which his tramp heroes appeared for the last time. No doubt Gorky had begun to f e e l about them as Dmitri Samghin, that their anarchistic humanism was a bad sort of chemistry.* 7 There is good probability that the contemporary westerner is unable to catch the s p i r i t and implications of Gorky's play, factors of time and distance being too great. Both Danchenko and Stanislavsky have stated what the play meant to them and to the Moscow Art Theatre. Their opinion of the production should help to put the play i n focus:*® The militant tone, the whiplashing words, the fierce rev-olutionary undercurrent, found a powerful, persuasive, theatrical incarnation; while the audience, which for the most part con-sisted of the author's most malignant class enemies against whom the entire anger of the play was directed, responded with a unanimous, enthusiastic ovation. The insidiousness of art. It i s a moot point whether or not Gbrky actually joined the i n -choate Social Democratic Party i n 1902, but is quite clear that he collaborated with the party i n every way. Only the most scrupulous i n -vestigator would hesitate to c a l l him a Social Democrat.*9 j n the f i r s t place Gbrky was replete with hatred for cultured and aristocratic St. 17 The Magnet, (Klim Samgin - Forty Years, Vol. 2), t r . A. Baleshy, New York, Jonathon Cape and Harrison Smith, 19J1, p. 669. It i s inter-esting to note Lenin and Krupskaya saw Lower Depths i n Moscow and were not greatly impressed. In their opinion the play lacked concreteness and was much too theatrical. Krupskaya, Nadezhda, Memories of Lenin, New York, International Publishers, vol. 2, p. 177. 18 Danchenko, op. c i t . , p. 24l. Stanislavsky's opinion of the play's tone and import corresponds. See Stanislavsky, K., My Life i n Art, tr.-J.J. Robbins, New York, L i t t l e , Brown and Company, 1955, P. 59 .^ 19 Kaun, op. c i t . , p. h^k. Gorky in open letters claims seventeen years of allegiance to the Social Democrats, -82-Petersburg. As time passed i t s "bourgeois philistinism" came more and more under his bitter attack. Indicative of his attitude is the remark he made when news was brought about the assassination of Sipyagin: "Even with pleasure I could poke a finger into this wound!"20 Tlhe remark i s doubly significant because Gbrky was known for his deep compassion. It seems evident that to St. Petersburg he was an unrelenting class enemy. Secondly Gorky had by now repudiated the old Populism. At the same time he scornfully spoke of the more lib e r a l tendencies as represented by Peter Struve of the "Liberation" group. 2 1 Having done this he had no alternative but closer association with the working class movement whose new doctrine was Marxism. Thirdly, Gorky's optimistic s p i r i t , his attraction for muscular heroes and his firm belief i n progressive evolu-tionism linked him at least emotionally with the Marxists. 2 2 He gave practical expression of his sympathy for them by becoming a financial power behind the movement. By his own testimony he donated hundreds of thousands of roubles to the party between 1901 and 1917.2? His own contribution was substantial but small compared to what he funnelled into 20 Danchenko, op. c i t . . p. 255. 21 See Kaun, op. c i t . , p. 542. Peter Struve, at this time a legal Marxist, was publishing a journal called Liberation i n Stuttgart and later i n Paris. Legal Marxism evolved into Liberalism and Struve's journal became a rallying point for Liberal opinion i n Russia. 22 . . . "Gorky's sudden popularity proved that the public had accepted him as an interpreter of the new tendency which had emanated from Marx." Paul Miliukov, Outlines of Russian Culture, Part II, Literature, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1942, p. 64. 25 Holtzman, op. c i t . . p. 111. -85-the party coffers from wealthy bourgeoisie - Sawa Morozov i s perhaps the best known.24 In 1902 he pledged 5000 roubles annually to Lenin's Spark and complimented i t for i t s s o l i d i t y . 2 5 His sympathy for the Social Democratic party shows up i n his literary work through an enlargement of his themes and a deeper, more pointed criticism of society. This char-acteristic began to appear with his f i r s t f u l l length novel Foma Gprdyeev (1900). Foma i s a typical Gbrkian hero but with a significant difference 1 he i s the son of a wealthy merchant and has rebelled against bourgeois corruptibility and baseness. It i s symptomatic of Gorky's development that the one bright spot i n the novel describes a meeting between Foma and a group of workers. Foma describes his new acquaintances i n glowing terms. They were "proud, fine fellows", he liked their "broad round faces" and the "breath of merriment and warmth wafted into him" by their com-pany. 2^ In his second novel Three of Them (1901) he carries the same theme further. I l i a Lunev is the son of a peasant but he is driven from the village and grows up i n a degrading atmosphere similar to that of Gorky's childhood. He is intelligent, honest, and industrious, but he f a l l s because he seeks fulfillment i n bourgeois respectability. What this means is depicted symbolically i n Lunev's favorite picture "The Steps of 24 Danchenko, op. c i t . . p. 255. Gorky's admirers included . . . "not only the youth, his natural partisans, but also to speak precisely members of the higher bourgeoisie, his most rabid foes. The residue of the bourgeoisie, the object of the revolution, were interested i n Gorky sought him out and were enchanted with him." 25 Kaun, op. c i t . . p. 542. The Spark was founded in 1901 by Lenin, Plekhanov and others to help i n the organization of a strong revolution-ary party having workers as i t s core. 26 Gorky, M., Foma Gordyeev, Tr. I.F. Hapgood, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1901, p. 557. - 8 4 -L i f e " : 2 ? The steps of man's l i f e were arranged i n the form of an arch, under which was represented Paradise; here the Almighty, surrounded with rays of light and flowers, talked with Adam and Eve. There were seventeen steps i n a l l . On the f i r s t stood a child supported by his mother,Aand underneath i n red letters: "The F i r s t Step". On the second the child was beat-ing a drum, and the inscription ran: "Five years old - he plays." At seven years of age he began "to learn"; at ten, "goes to school"; at twenty-one he stood on the step with a r i f l e i n his hand, and a smiling face, and underneath was written "Serves his time as a soldier." On the next step he is twenty-five, he i s i n evening dress, with an opera hat i n one hand and a bouquet i n the other - "he is a bridegroom." Then his beard i s grown, he has a long coat and a red t i e , and i s standing near a stout lady in yellow, and pressing her hand. Next he i s thirty-five; he stands with rolled-up shir t -sleeves by an anvil and hammers the iron. At the top of the arch he is sit t i n g i n a red chair reading the paper, his wife and four children are listening to him. He himself and a l l his family are well dressed, respectable, with healthy, happy faces. At this time he is f i f t y years old. But note how the steps begin to go down; the man's beard i s already grey, he i s ©lad i n a long yellow coat, and i n his hands he holds a bag of f i s h and a jar of some sort. This step i s labelled "Household duties". On the following step the man is rocking the cradle of his grandson; lower down "He is led", being now eighty years old; and i n the last - he is ninety-five - he is i n a chair with his feet i n a coffin, and behind the chair stands Death, with the scythe i n his hand. Tihe contradictions between Lunev's dream and the real i t i e s of l i f e lead him to madness;; Again i t i s significant that the one creative power i n this novel i s represented by the working class, and that i f Lunev cannot. accept their salvation i t i s only because the contradictions i n his own personality are rooted too deeply for him to overcome. As the revolution of 1905 approached Gorky's literary work became increasingly p o l i t i c a l , a fact which k i l l e d his reputation among the higher intelligentsia but 27 Gorky, M., Three Men, t r . Gharles Home, London, Isbister and Co., 1902, p. 255. -85-contributed immensely to his popularity among the working masses.^8 His f i r s t dramas mark another step in his efforts to make literature work for society, beginning with Smug Citizens (1902) he attacked philistinism and he continued to develop this theme with l i t t l e change except of intensity u n t i l 1906. After Zhizn had been suspended for publishing The Stormy Petrel, Posse, i t s editor, l e f t Russia on the assumption that Gorky would soon follow and help to reestablish the journal abroad. Gorky changed his mind, feeling that he could do more in Russia, he decided to stay at least u n t i l he was exiled - as things developed he stayed another four years. His next act of any p o l i t i c a l consequence was provoked by the Jewish massacres of Kishinev, Easter week 1905, i n which the government which openly supported an anti-Jewish policy was very slow to intervene. The episode died quietly although Gorky's condemnation was printed i n Struve's Liberation and widely distributed by hectographed copies. 29 Shortly thereafter the Social Democratic party held i t s Second Congress (July-August, 1905). The most important single development of the Second Congress derived from an irreconcilable difference of opinion within the party on the fundamental principles of organization and tactics. Although attempts were made during and after the Congress to prevent a breach, i t soon became clear that henceforth Social Democratic opinion 28 See Mirsky, Contemporary Russian Literature, p. 110. Danchenko mentions a conversation he had with a g i r l student shortly after the Kazan Demonstration. Thte-girl indicated clearly that p o l i t i c a l content1-took precedence to aesthetic appeal among the students, indications are strong that this was a general phenomenon. Danchenko, op. c i t . , p. 259* 29 Kaun, op. c i t . , p. 545. -86-would be represented by two parties. The dominant faction which became known as the Bolsheviks maintained that a decisive revolutionary change was possible and even imminent. Consequently they wanted to urge the masses towards an immediate struggle. To give leadership they advocated the building of a strong centralized party around a revolutionary e l i t e so constituted that i t would provide the framework for a future central government. The minority faction or Mensheviks (as they were called in future) wanted to create a much looser organization designed to concen-trate revolutionary energies and to educate the masses to an understand-ing of s o c i a l i s t principles as a f i r s t step towards revolution. Even though the consequences of the s p l i t were not yet clear, Gorky gave some positive indication that he sided with Lenin's Bolshevik faction. In his obituary note on Leonid Krassin, an outstanding BolBhevik organizer, he mentions that he arranged a meeting between Krassin and S a m Morozov i n 1905.^ Subsequently Morozov promised to give 2000 roubles monthly to Lenin's faction.? 1 On the other hand, i t i s certainly clear that Lenin was anxious to maintain Gorky's sympathy and support.? 2 The reign of Nicholas II began with the terrible Khodynka i n -cident where over one thousand people were crushed to death during the coronation f e s t i v i t i e s i n Khodynka Square, Moscow. Under this ominous shadow the ten years to 1905 were marked by a conspicuous decline i n the 50 Krassin, Lubov, Leonid Krassin. His Life and Work. London, Skeffington and Sons, 1929 , p. 52. 51 Kaun, op. c i t . , p. 56I. 52 H i l l , E„ and Mudie, D., The Letters of Lenin, New York, Marcourt Brace &Co., 1957, p. 252. See letter to Bogdanov, Jan. 10, 1905. -87-Tsar's prestige and an alarming increase i n the number and frequency of worker demonstrations, peasant riots and student disorders. The internal situation i n Russia was an incitement to revolution and where the Tsar " could very readily have restored the situation by undertaking an energetic program of reform, he proved unequal to the task. Nicholas had nothing better to offer than a continuation "by inertia" of autocracy,55 i n actual fact his policy meant expansion in the east and repression at home. This do-nothing policy provoked a new level of p o l i t i c a l action character-ized by the creation of i l l e g a l p o l i t i c a l parties and the readoption of te r r o r i s t i c methods by the Socialist Revolutionaries. The expansionist policy resulted i n a war with Japan (1904-1905) which the Tsarist admin-istration welcomed on the grounds that a limited but successful war would r a l l y public support around the throne. This belief proved to be a horrible delusion for the war was unpopular with the Russian people from the very beginning and the new burdens and the heavy defeats suffered by the regime on both land and sea had disasterous implications for a people already consumed by deep p o l i t i c a l and social dissatisfaction. Contrary to expectations, the adventure i n the east provided the spark which was needed to ignite the F i r s t Revolution .5 4 On December 19, 1904, Port Arthur f e l l to the Japanese, with this development the regime-was com-pelled to enter the revolutionary year of 1905 hated at home and badly defeated i n war. As we w i l l see, Gbrky was an active participant i n the 55 V'ernadsky, George, History of Russia, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1951, p. 175. 54 Ibid., p. 184. -88-events of 1905.?^ The f i r s t and certainly one of the most significant events of this year occurred on the ninth of January. Since 1902 the government had been trying with some success to organize the workers under police supervision. The ostensible reason for the government's program was to win economic gains for the workers - i t s actual purpose was to preserve the Tsar's monopoly of power by Bhort circuiting their demands for po-l i t i c a l reforms.?0' The leader of the government-sponsored movement i n St. Petersburg was Father Gapon, a man of unstable temperament. When a major strike began in the Putilov factory (January 6), Gapon h i t upon the idea of. marching to the Winter Palace and there to present the Tsar, himself, with a l i s t of the worker's demands. The government had no pro-gram with which to face this emergency and brutally dispersed, with r i f l e f i r e , the workers who had come peacefully, bearing icons and singing hymns. Hundreds of men and women were k i l l e d and wounded, as with other tragic mistakes of the Tsar the main consequences of this act were far reaching, and as i t proved i n the event f a t a l to the regime. "Bloody Sunday" marked a decisive turning point i n the history of the working class movement. It shattered the workers* f a i t h i n the Tsar as no other single event could have and drove them into immediate alliance with the socialists.?7 More generally, the mystical f a i t h with which the masses 55 Gorky was also a very careful observer of the events of this momen-tous year and has l e f t a very graphic account of them in The Magnet, Vol. II of Klim Samghin. pp. 605-859. 56 Vernadsky, op. c i t . , p. 186. Movement called Zubatovism after i t s police leader. 57 Ibid., p. 187. -89-had believed i n the Tsar's benevolence was destroyed and henceforth the intelligentsia was able to assume the leadership i n the mass's struggle for "freedom and Land."58 Gbrky, who had arrived i n St. Petersburg a few days before the ninth of January, immediately became involved i n the episode. Learning i n a newspaper office about the proposed march, he suggested that a deputation of writers and workers be sent to the Minister of the Interior; to impress upon him that the workers marched with peaceful intentions; to urge the Tsar to meet the workers and to listen to their plea for just reforms; and to urge that army and police be restrained from interfering with the workers, i n order that bloodshed and other grave consequences might be avoided. The deputation of which Gbrky was a member was repulsed by the Minister. They then proceeded to the office of Witte and besought', him to intercede with the Tsar on their behalf. Their plea went unanswer-ed and after the bloody street episode Gbrky penned a declaration for. Russian and Western public opinion i n which he outlined the event as he had seen and experienced i t . He then denounced both the Minister of the Interior and the Tsar as murderers and called on the citizens of Russia to unite i n a persistent struggle against autocracy.59 Immediately after the procession had been dispersed, Gbrky helped to conceal Father Gapon 58 Kohn, Hans, ed,, The Mind of Modern Russia, New Jersey, Rutgers University Press, 1955, p. 276, "On the morning of January 9th the workers s t i l l believed that they could find protection i n the Taar, and they went to him with a petition i n their hands. By noon of the same day they were looking for arms and, not finding any, they made shift with bricks and cobble stones." Roskin, A., From the Banks of the Volga, New York, Philosophical Library, 1946, p. 99. 59 Declaration quoted i n f u l l by Kaun, op. c i t . , pp. 555-556. - 9 0 -and later accompanied him to a meeting of the Free Economic Society (on the evening of Bloody Sunday), where Gapon delivered a speech denouncing the Tsar and calling on the workmen to take up arms against him.^0 Two days later Gorky was arrested and imprisoned i n the Peter-Paul Fortress. The charges against him are undoubtedly exaggerated but they give a good idea of how gravely, the government viewed his a c t i v i t i e s . He was accused of having participated i n a provisional government which functioned on the eve of Red Sunday and subsequently agitated for armed uprising, and he was accused of delivering incendiary speeches during and after Red Sunday and of having signed a subversive proclamation printed by the Free Economic Society.^* Gorky's arrest provoked world-wide demonstrations i n his favour, demonstrations which were very li k e l y instrumental i n having him released from prison after only two months.^2 He was released on bail and was shortly deported to Riga, i l l and restless he took French leave and May 40 See The Magnet, pp. 705-710 for a description of Gapon on the after-noon of January 9. Samghin, who actually mingled with the workers during the procession described the incident and gave his reflections on the im-plications of i t to groups ranging from Socialist (Bolshevik) to Liberal after the ninth. There is good reason to believe that Gorky played the same role. 41 Kaun, op. c i t . , p. 558. 42 We find the following comment i n the Bookman, Vol. 21, March, 1905, p. 15. "Gorky should appreciate the tremendous outpouring of protest on his behalf from London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, and the United State6. . . ." We find the same Bort of thing i n the North American Review, Vol. 18J, p. H65, 1906. "When he was imprisoned i n 1905, a protest, signed by the most distinguished names in Europe, was sent to the Russian government demanding his release. . . . " found him trying to legalize a holiday in the Crimea. As for Gorky's opposition to the government there i s l i t t l e reason to doubt the opinion of an Englishman who interviewed Gorky when he was released from the Peter-Paul Fortress, that Gorky's hostility; to the Tsarist regime stemmed from the conviction that i t made progress, culture, and national unity impossible. 4 5 News of Red Sunday spread very quickly, unwittingly aided by a f o o l i s h government decision to expel from St. Petersburg a l l those who had taken part i n the procession. Everywhere the news was followed by strikes and demonstrations. The a l l but universal opposition to the government included every trade and profession and extended to embrace even school-boys. The assassination of Grand Duke Sergius, the Governor General of Moscow (February 5), made i t clear that the government would have to adopt a more conciliatory policy. Towards the end of February, the Tsar issued a manifesto reasserting the rights of autocracy but hinting vaguely at public participation i n government. His manifesto was interpreted by the public as an invitation to organize parties and draw up p o l i t i c a l programs. From this moment the Liberal movement seized the p o l i t i c a l i n i t i a t i v e from the working class which had been largely intimidated by repressions and executions. The summer and f a l l were marked by a long series of conven-tions and congresses by Zemstvo and Town Council o f f i c i a l s , professors, doctors, and teachers from which arose with new urgency the demand for constitutional government and basic reforms. In May the government was shaken by another disaster, the Russian flee t was destroyed i n the. Battle of 45 Review of Reviews, Vol. 51 (1905), p. 729. Tsushima making i t clear that victory i n the Japanese war was impossible. The government was forced to act immediately to save i t s e l f . In August the government granted a Duma. In the same month Witte contracted peace with Japan - from now on attention centred entirely on the home front. Events were moving rapidly towards a catastrophe and the symptoms of i t s approach were becoming more and more ominous. The most spectacular of these was the mutiny on the battleship Potempkin where the crew, after seizing the ship, terrorized the Black Sea and then sought internment i n a Rumanian port. Late i n the f a l l the i n i t i a t i v e slipped back to the working class. On October 7 news spread that the whole congress of the powerful railwayman's union had been arrested. Railway men throughout the country went out i n a protest strike and i n the electrical atmosphere of St. Petersburg the strike spread rapidly through the city and from St, Petersburg to the provinces, assuming the character of spontaneous general strike. From the outset i t acquired a markedly p o l i t i c a l character -everywhere the workers clamoured for a constitutional assembly and univer-sal sufferage. At one stroke their demands were linked with those of the lib e r a l s . In St. Petersburg a unique Soviet of Worker's Deputies sprang into existence (October 15) with the young Trotsky as i t s vice-president. It immediately gave direction and cohesion to the workers' a c t i v i t i e s . The Tsar was badly frightened by the general strike and hastily issued a manifesto granting a constitution, c i v i l l i b e r t i e s , and universal suffer-age. With this move the government successfully s p l i t the revolutionary movement and on December 5 w a s able to reassert i t s power by arresting the St. Petersburg Soviet. News of the arrest was followed by strikes -95-and ten days of street fighting i n Moscow, but i t was soon clear to a l l that the F i r s t Revolution had been defeated. In subsequent months the i n i t i a t i v e was again to s l i p back to the liberals who won a majority i n the Duma elections of March, 1906, In everything that transpired after October Gbrky played a con-spicuous role. He had spent the summer i n Finland and like other prominent revolutionaries he returned to St. Petersburg as the revolutionary tempo mounted towards October. There he founded a Bolshevik daily with the reminiscent t i t l e Novaya Zhizn (New L i f e ) . 4 4 His common law wife,Maria Andreyevaj was the nominal publisher and after the sixth issue Lenin was the editor. Gorky was a contributor and during the five or six weeks i n which the paper appeared wrote a series of articles under the t i t l e "Notes on Philistinism" - certainly not p o l i t i c a l i n a pragmatic way, Novaya  Zhizn was apparently less successful that Trotsky's Russkaya Gazeta (Russian Gazette) but both supported each other p o l i t i c a l l y and backed the Soviet, 4 5 During this year Gbrky had written two plays, the f i r s t , Children of the Sun, was written i n the Peter-Paul Fortress and the second, Barbarians (a crude reference to the ruling classes who were being popular-ly denounced as "Philistines of Culture"), had been written i n Finland, The f i r s t , Children of the Sun, he read at public gatherings i n order to collect funds for the purchase of arms, and of course he used his i n f l u -ential connections for the same purpose. 4^ During this c r i s i s , as i n 44 The Bolshevik faction held the meetings of i t s Central Committee i n the f l a t of Leonid Andreyev. M. Gorky, Reminiscences, p, 170. 45 Deutscher, Isaac, The Prophet, p, 159. 46 Kaun, op. c i t , , p, 572. -94-others, he served most effectively as a financier of revolution. The same play was being prepared for staging, by the Moscow Art Theatre, during the month-of October, and received i t s premiere shortly after the Manifesto of October 17o The funeral of Bauman, when Moscow witnessed for the f i r s t time a massive Red demonstration, had just occurred and i t was rumoured that the Black Hundreds were going to attack the theatre during the performance of Gorky'B play. The play became the scene of a p o l i t i c a l demonstration and so i t went wherever the play was presented during these months.47 Gorky also did what he could to help i n the Moscow rebellion which occurred during the last ten days of December, but as soon as i t was evident that the F i r s t Revolution would be crushed he l e f t Moscow for St. Petersburg. Soon after he went to Finland, having elected to support those who would continue their fight underground. 47 Gbrky is described as i r r i t a b l e , as l i t t l e interested i n the theatre, as giving his time only grudgingly at rehearsals during these weeks. Danchenko, op. c i t . , p. 259 • CHAPTER-V THE EMIGRE On April 10, 1906 Gorky arrived i n New York on a special mission for the Bolshevik faction. At that time the Tsar was in desperate finan-c i a l straights and i t was well known that he was negotiating through Witte for a massive loan from either the United States or France. A successful completion to these negotiations spelled disaster for the revolutionary parties and Leonid Krassin suggested that Gbrky should go to America to campaign against the loans and to enlist American sympathies for the Russian Revolution.* The idea was doubly appealing because Gorky could conduct a whirlwind fund raising campaign for the Bolsheviks at the same time. Gorky had been given a manager and treasurer, Nicholas Burenin, who had connections i n New York, so that by the time he arrived, on April 10, the preliminary arrangements for his tour had already been completed. His prospects appeared very bright. His name was s t i l l fresh i n the American mind as the direct result of a long dramatic cable which he had sent to the Hearst Press describing the horrors of.Red Sunday and announc-ing the revolution's beginning. 2 The Russian cause was popular i n America at that time and Gorky, here as elsewhere, had already become a symbol of 1 Slonim, Marc, Modern Russian Literature, New York, Oxford University Press, 1955, p. 150. 2 Poole, E., "Maxim Gorky in New York", Slavonic Review (American Series, 111), Vol. 20 (19^1), p. 77. -96-the revolution. Mark Twain's support had been enlisted for Gorky: he was to chair a small dinner for a select company including William Dean Howells on Ap r i l 11. Gaylord Wilshire, the so c i a l i s t editor of Wilshlre's Magazine, planned a special dinner meeting to be attended by H.G. Wells and John Spargo. Similar meetings had been arranged for Boston and even an audience with the president was rumoured. But Gbrky had no sooner arrived than he scuttled the whole enterprise by a series of p o l i t i c a l gaucheries. F i r s t l y , he insisted, even after having been warned by Wilshire and others, on landing in New York with his common-law wife, Andreyeva, and on living with her while there. Given the puritanical attitude of New York, I906, he thus supplied the Russian embassy, which had already tried to have him barred from the United States, with an excellent opportunity to destroy his reputation through slander. Secondly, he antagonized his hosts by cabling a strongly worded message of encouragement to William Haywood and Charles Moyer, I.W.W. leaders who were under criminal indictment for the murder of Idaho's governor: "Greetings to you, my brother socialists," he wired, "Courage, the day of justice and deliverance for the oppressed of a l l the world i s at handJ"? In almost the same breath he announced that he would give assistance to the United Mine Workers who were then out on strike. Thirdly, he played favourites in the newspaper world by signing a con-tract to write only for the Hearst Press. Gorky's tactlessness cost him dearly. On April lA, barely four days after his excited a r r i v a l , the f u l l story of his relations with Madame Andreyeva, accompanied by pictures, 5 Poole, "Maxim Gbrky i n New York", Slavonic Review, p. 78. -97-appeared i n The New York World. 4 This revelation struck New York like a bombshell. Gorky was instantly ostracized: even the hotels refused him accommodation. Worst of a l l his campaign collapsed like a punctured tire.5 Thrown on his own devices, a stranger i n a foreign land, he willingly accepted the hospitality of an Englishman, John Martin, who kept a mansion on Staten Island. For the balance of his stay i n America he lived with the Martins. Gorky's impressions of New York reversed themselves completely i n a matter of days. His wife unjustly maligned, his mission a dismal failure , and a l l his pleas and those of his friends for toleration and broad-mindedness proved f u t i l e , he gave vent to his spleen i n a series of unbecoming articles about New York.^ The cit y which he had seen i n glow-ing colors on his ar r i v a l became four days later a "City of the Yellow Devil" gold and the people i t s petty slaves. After giving f u l l expres-sion to his bitterness i n this and an equally phlegmatic description of Coney Island 7 he made a f u t i l e attempt to save his journey from utter 4 Gorky married for the f i r s t time i n I896. He and his wife separated about I90I by common agreement although they were never o f f i c i a l l y d i -vorced. Both parties remarried and seem to have remained on good terms for the balance of their lives. As far as is known Gorky and Andreyeva lived together u n t i l Gorky's death in 1956, 5 "Maxim Gorky succeeded i n 'queering himself i n the country with a rapidity and completeness that broke the record of the indiscretions of foreigners." Bookman (June I906), p. 5^2. 6 The American attitude to things of this kind. . . "was quite un-i n t e l l i g i b l e to the Russian mind."- Mirsky, D.S., Contemporary Russian  Literature, I88I-I925, London, George Routledge, 1955, p. HO. 7 Gorky, M., Articles and Pamphlets, "City of the Yellow Devil", pp. 9-25; "Realm of Boredom", pp. 26-45, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1950. -98-bankruptcy by writing articles against the "Foreign Loans." But i t was certainly beyond his power to accomplish anything now. When he learned i n May that the Tsar had obtained two b i l l i o n francs from the French government, he penned a virulent attack against France calling her "La * s Belle France, . . . once proud champion of liberty, , . . now disgraced through lust for gold and intercourse with bankers:"® Thy venal hand has for a time barred the road of liberty and culture to a whole nation. And even i f that time be only one day, thy crime w i l l be none the less. But not for one day hast thou impeded the march towards liberty. By virtue of thy gold the blood of the Russian people w i l l flow again. May that blood stain the decrepit cheeks of thy false face with the crimson blush of eternal shameJ My beloved! I too spit a gout of blood and gall in they eyes! When a group of French journalists passed a wrathful comment about his ingratitude for the services they had rendered him during his imprison-ment, he scornfully replied that to him . . . "a s o c i a l i s t the love of a bourgeois was profoundly offensive" and prophetically warned that these loans would not be repaid when the revolution was f i n a l l y victorious.9 The balance of his stay in America was spent with the Martins, either on Staten Island or at their summer home in the Adirondacks. This period is noteworthy because Gorky wrote much of the manuscript for his revolutionary novel Mother during i t . This novel marks a culmination of that movement foreshadowed i n The Reader (I898) where Gorky determined to put literature to work as a weapon i n the struggle against autocracy. As the revolutionary tempo rose his work became increasingly partisan and 8 Gorky, Articles, p. 159. 9 Ibid., p. 144. -99-propagandistic - the working class which appeared in the wings of Foma  Gordyeev came to dominate the stage i n Mother - through this metamor-phosis his work became a patent glorification of the proletariat and i t s party the Social Democratic Party. It is not at a l l strange that Mother, the f i r s t proletarian novel i n the Russian language, has become a classic in the USSR, for i n i t Gorky takes an unqualified stand as a revolution-ary socialist, and himself presents a panoramic view of the soc i a l i s t movement in Russia.* 0 In this novel he depicts the power of socialism to transform character on the one hand and society on the other. Because his heroes, who are modeled after Sormovo workers, become the spokesmen for his ideas the novel attains the highest polemical value.** The speeches of "Pavel Vlasov" and his mother "Nilovna" which climax the novel are remarkable for their highly romantic and i d e a l i s t i c conception of Socialism and the ecstacy and fervour with which they are spoken.*2 In essence they are an impassioned plea for truth and justice. Their programmatic content is definitely limited, but this factor i s counter-balanced by a tremendous emotional appeal and i t i s i n this character-i s t i c that the novel achieves i t s real value - as a messenger of social-i s t ideals and as an impetus to organization i t proved to be of f i r s t 10 Apart from i l l e g a l editions, the f u l l text of Mother did not appear i n Russia u n t i l after the revolution. The magazine in which the f i r s t part appeared was confiscated and destroyed and the second part was badly mutilated by the censor. Notes to American ed. of Mother, New York, Citadel Press, 1947, p. 4o5. 11 Lenin hailed i t s courageous affirmation of s o c i a l i s t ideals. Slonim, M., Modern Russian Literature, New York, Oxford University Press, 1955, P. 151. 12 Gorky, Mother, pp. 565-566, 591-595. -100-rate importance. The F i f t h Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Party met on May 1, 1907. This proved to be the last congress for the united Party and according to Trotsky was remarkable mainly for the number of delegates i n attendance. 1^ The most distinguished revolutionaries of Russia were present - from the extreme right to the extreme l e f t -T s e r t e l l i , Plekhanov, Axelrod, Deutsch, Martov, Trotsky, and Lenin. Others, as yet relatively obscure like Zinoviev, Stalin, and Litvinov, who would play important roles i n the future were also present. At this congress three hundred and f i f t y delegates representing a combined Party/ of approximately 150,000 members met i n a Brotherhood Church i n the suburbs of London. There was not yet a clear understanding among the delegates that the revolution had been defeated and i n view of the large attendance the mood of the Congress was generally optimistic.*5 Char-a c t e r i s t i c a l l y the Congress was thrown open to a prolonged and thorough discussion of the great issues facing the revolution.*^ As a result the 15 Mother. . . "reflected the psychology of those determined men and women who were ready to immolate themselves on the alter of their cause. Paul and his friends were proclaiming the communist mentality. . . the style of the novel, maintained on a high pitch from f i r s t to last i s that of an adept of a new religion. . . . " Slonim, op. c i t . , p. 141. 14 Trotsky, L., Stalin. New York, Harper and Bros, I946, p. 88. 15 Deutscher, I., The Prophet Armed, London,. Oxford University Press, 195*. P. 1771. 16 "It was axiomatic to them (The Russian Revolutionaries) that a l l revolutionary activity must be preceded and guided by complete theoret-i c a l c l a r i f i c a t i o n . . . . The Congress resembled. . . a gathering of academicians, or a prolonged sc i e n t i f i c debate." Balabanoff, A., My  Life as a Rebel, London, Hamish Hamilton, 195°, p. 88. -101-practical p o l i t i c a l problems facing the delegates were obscured by the most abstruse theoretical wrangling over "class alignments", "historical perspectives", and "economic trends." For the moment i t is important to note that this factor had important implications for a Party which was s t i l l very poor, because the cost of supporting so many delegates over a long period of time together with the cost of transporting them to and from Russia was enormous. In the meantime, Gorky had returned to Europe and settled at Capri where the atmosphere was congenial to his health (October, I906), I As a sympathizer with the Bolsheviks and the most famous revolutionary novelist in the world, he decided to pay a v i s i t to the F i f t h Congress, He was welcome enough, although he took no active part in the debates. When i t became clear, however, that the Party was short of funds, Gorky, who represented the Bolsheviks most f e r t i l e source of financial support, was called into service,* 7 jje was appointed to a special fund-raising committee and successfully obtained a large loan for the Party from an English industrialist who was sympathetic to the Russian revolution -once again Gorky provided a valuable practical service to the revolution-ary movement,*® While the F i f t h Congress was grinding to a close, events within Russia were taking an ominous turn. Witte 1s loan from the French bourse 17 Balabanoff, op. c i t . , p. 89. 18 Before he could sign the note Gorky was called aside by the Bolsheviks and induced to hold off signing un t i l an a l l Bolshevik central committee was assured by the congress. Ibid., p. 89, ' -102-had given the Tsarist government new financial independence. From that moment the government began a systematic attack against the Duma and a l l the other freedoms won by the revolution. The solid program of reforms put forward by the Cadets i n the F i r s t Duma was rejected by the Tsar and the Duma i t s e l f was dissolved soon thereafter. The Second Duma, con-voked in March, was dissolved in June, just a few weeks after the London Congress had ended. The summer months saw the rise of Stolypin and the beginnings of a drastic program of counter-revolutionary terror. Under this new prime minister a l l resistance to the government was brutally suppressed by hanging, thus began the era of "Stolypin's necktie." During the new era, the revolutionary parties were again driven under-ground and their papers banned. Legal organizations like the Trade Unions were suppressed and the franchise was revoked or changed to insure an electoral majority to the gentry classes. As planned, the elections to the Third Duma i n the f a l l of 1907 restored unlimited authority to the Tsar and his cohorts - a catastrophy which was followed throughout the country by disillusionment and despair. The work of reform was very slow to revive during the next few years. The last months of 1907 saw a mass exodus of revolutionaries to the capitals of Europe - thus began one of the darkest epochs i n Russian working class history. After the London Congress, Lenin returned to Kaukala where he had been publishing Proletariat, the central organ of the Bolshevik faction since 1906. As reaction gained sway i n Russia, however, the Central Committee decided that their newspaper should be -105-transferred to a more secure spot .*9 Consequently Lenin arrived i n Geneva (January 7» 1908) and was soon joined by Bogdanov and Innokenty (Dubrovinsky), the other members of his editorial board. 2 0 The end of February saw the f i r s t emigre edition of Proletariat off the presses. Despite the gloomy outlook before the Party, Lenin's paper began on an indomitable and optimistic note: 2* We were able to work for long years before the Revolution. It i s not for nothing that i t was said that we are as hard as granite. The Social-Democrats have built up a proletarian party that w i l l not lose heart at the failure of the f i r s t military attack, w i l l not lose i t s head and w i l l not be drawn into adven-turism. This Party is marching towards Socialism. . . . This proletarian Party is marching to victory. In the meantime, Gorky had returned to Capri, where he continued to live for the next seven years. Although he lived i n a world of cul-ture, his l i f e was not unmixed with a significant level of p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y . While each new year saw the publication of a r t i s t i c works of ever-increasing value, i t also saw the publication of essays on p o l i t i c a l and social questions and a growing involvement i n the revolutionary move-ment. The latter fact.is revealed i n Lenin's correspondence with Gorky during the period I908-I9I5. 2 2 During this period the two men consolidated a friendship which had begun during the F i f t h Congress. 19 Kamenev, L., ed., Letters of Lenin to Gorky, Leipzig, 1924, p. 98. 20 Lenin returned to Europe with the distinct impression that he was climbing into a 'coffin', cf. Kamenev, op. c i t . t p. 7. 21 Krupskaya, M., Memories of Lenin. New York, International Publishers, Vol. 2, , p. 15. 22 The whole of this correspondence is published in the German with an introduction and notes by L. Kamenev, cf. footnote 19. The most impor-tant letters are available in H i l l , E., and Mudie, E., ed., The Letters of  Lenin, NewcYork, Harcourt Brace and Co., 1957. Kaun quotes extensively from these letters in his biography. -104-As soon as Gorky heard that Lenin was i n Geneva, he wrote to the Bolshevik leader inviting him to spend a few days at Caprij but Lenin declined the invitation at least u n t i l the spring because of his work with Proletariat. 2? His over-riding ambition at that time was to get his newspaper into circulation as soon as possible. His f i r s t letter to Gbrky i s bristling with instructions for Andreyeva, who had rendered valu-able service to the Bolsheviks on previous occasions. Looking forward two or three weeks to the f i r s t publication of Proletariat. Lenin begged her to arrange through the secretary of some seaman's union for a weekly delivery to some port on the Black Sea coast, preferably Odessa. Lenin, himself, f e l t that this was the most promising way to win entry into Russia. It is not a l l together clear that Andreyeva completed the arrange-ments successfully. 2^ In a letter dated February 2, Lenin told Gorky that he had been listed as a contributor to Proletariat and asked him i f he could prepare something like "Notes on Philistinism" for the f i r s t issue. It seems clear that Lenin, who was determinedly forging his party through these years, sensed Gorky's tremendous moral prestige among the working class and sought his active participation on behalf of the Bolshevik faction. 2 5 Gorky for his part seemed more than willing to give his 25 H i l l and Mudie, op. c i t . , Letter 140 (January 15, 1908), p. 256. Krupskaya, Lenin's wife, says that her husband had lived through and pondered over so much in these years that he longed for a heart-to-heart, talk with Gorky. Krupskaya, Memories of Lenin, p. 8. 24 Krupskaya, op. c i t . , p. 10. 25 Gorky, as the Party began to s p l i t . . . "found himself heartily i n accord with Lenin's platform of proletarian revolution free from oppor-tunistic negotiations with bourgeois Liberals. He f e l t that the di f f e r -ences between the two factions were not merely theoretical, and with his sense of r e a l i t y he followed the simple dynamics of Lenin rather than the doctrinaire casuistry of the b r i l l i a n t Plekhanov." Kaun, op. c i t . , p. 4o8. -105-assistance, on this occasion he wrote an article but i t was never pub-lished, indeed his well-meaning had serious implications for the Bolshevik faction. The years of the second emigration (I908-I917) were years of dissension and turmoil within the Social Democratic Party. These were years that called for determination and f l e x i b i l i t y i n the face of great odds. The fact that the revolutionary struggle had entered a new phase created a situation r i c h in opportunities for disagreement. Theory and practice had to be consolidated for the next attack. The experience of 1905-1907 had to be summed up and evaluated. The opportunities for legal work created by the new Duma had to be explored. Logically enough gloom and pessimism rose to sharpen tempers and sap w i l l s . Out of this f e r t i l e ground came a period of intense factional warfare. In no time at a l l the Social Democratic Party was represented by six groups, listed from right to l e f t : Liquidators, Martovists, Plekhanovites, Leninists, Otzovists, and Ultimatists. Lenin's policy during the respite was to strengthen the Party (deepen ideological roots - expand the i l l e g a l organization), and at the same time to exploit every opportunity for legal work. This dissension over p o l i t i c a l questions was carried into the ideological sphere. Symptomatic was a widespread rejection of Marx as the fountainhead of materialism. 2 7 In the Bolshevik faction the movement 26 The f i r s t emigration occurred between I90I-I905. 27 Miliukov calls the trend away from Marx. . . "An attempt to recon-c i l e materialism with c r i t i c a l philosophy." Miliukov, P., Outlines of  Russian Culture, Part 2, Literature. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1942, p. 80, -106-to revise Marx centered i n the persons of Bogdanov, Lunacharsky and Bazarov. In developing their theories these men, who were collaborators with Lenin i n Proletariat, rejected Marx i n favour of the empirio-critics Avenarius and Mach.2® By the early months of 1908, i t was clear that a major s p l i t was developing within the Bolshevik faction over questions of philosophy. Lenin, to whom Marx's historical materialism, his dialectic and his economic determinism with i t s corollary the class struggle were inviolate, was at once appalled and infuriated by the danger i n the re-visi o n i s t tendencies. On these questions there could be no compromise and he vigorously attacked the v a l i d i t y of Avenarius and Mach by attempt-ing to prove the logical identity of their philosophy with that of the id e a l i s t Berkley. 2 0 The movement away from Marx acquired a markedly religious tendency, particularly from the influence of Lunacharsky, and during the heated controversy Gorky, who was always sensitive to his surroundings, published a remarkable novel, A Confession, i n which he extolled the divine creative powers of man with a capital M. This was a l l grist to Lenin's m i l l , who then accused the revisionists of bourgeois religious tendencies, and used Gorky's term "God-creation" as a cudgel to 28 Ernst Mach (I858-I9I6), an Austrian physicist and psychologist; Richard Avenarius (1845-1896), a German philosopher. Both men were ex-ponents of Empirio-Criticism, a pos i t i v i s t philosophy beginning from "principle of economy of thinking," and opposed to a l l metaphysics. 29 Cf., introduction to "Materialism and Empirio-criticism," Lenin's reply to the revisionists. F i r s t published May, I909. According to Masaryk i t i s . . . "a smart defense" of Marxist orthodoxy, i n which Lenin handles his philosophy "cleverly" but cuts no new ground after Engels. Masaryk, T.G., The Spirit of Russia, Vol. 2, t r . Eden and Cedar Paul, London, George Allen and Unwin, 19*9» P» 551. -107-beat them with.50 The history of the Lenin-Bogdanov controversy is sketched out i n Lenin's correspondence with Gorky.51 Already i n January i t was apparent that Gorky was more than willing to give practical services to Proletariat. At the same time i t was clear that he had grave misgivings about Lenin's rigid organizational policies and was doing whatever he could to mitigate the situation. In the f i r s t place he voiced his prin-cipal criticisms openly - would not Lenin's policies lead to persecutions of the intelligentsia - would not this i n turn wreak havoc on the working class movement?52 But Lenin was too concerned v/ith practical matters to be disturbed by questiohs of this order, and besides, as he informed Gorky their differences of opinion were merely misunderstandings which would be cleared up through work. Since they could not meet to resolve their d i f f i c u l t i e s , he urged that they should work together i n the mean-time and l e t the misunderstandings take care of themselves.55 i n the 50 In Lenin's view. . . "philosophical idealism, always, i n one way or another, amounts to an advocacy or support of religion." Lenin, Selected  Works, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 19^7, Vol. 1, p. 60. Lenin's view, according to Masaryk, is i n the best traditions of Russian philosophy where idealism signifies religion and materialism i r r e l i g i o n or anti-religion. Masaryk, op. c i t . , p. 554. Gorky published his novel, A Confession, i n the later part of 1908, The mystical mood was strong i n Russia after the f i r s t revolution and this novel is in part Gorky's response to i t . . His hero, Matvey, is a "God-seeker" who after searching a l l over Russia f i n a l l y finds him i n the "People", more particularly, i n their "great creative power." This power makes them the creators of a l l Gods and Gorky assumes an attitude of prayer and invocation when he speaks of i t . Cf. A Confession, t r . William Frederick Harvey, Everett, 1910, p. 520. 51 Lenin, V.I., Lenin's Letters to Gorky, ed. Kamenev, 1924. 52 H i l l and Mudie, op. c i t . , p. 260. 55 Loc. c i t . -108-second place, Gbrky did what he could to create greater unity within the Party. Early i n 1908 he tried to reconcile Lenin and Trotsky, but Lenin informed him that nothing could be achieved i n this direction, as the editorial board of Proletariat had already asked Trotsky to write for them. Trotsky, who Lenin calls a "poseur", declined on the grounds that he was too busy.5^ As an exponent of democracy and unity within the Party, Gorky tried vainly to pacify the disputants when the Bogdanov controversy flared up. Very early i n the controversy he tried to arrange a conference of the disputants at his v i l l a on Capri but a l l his efforts f a i l e d . Then, in February he unwittingly aggravated the situation by sending an a r t i c l e displaying revisionist tendencies to Proletariat. His ar t i c l e was very inopportune for i t arrived at a moment when the differences of opinion among the Bolsheviks were becoming particularly acute.55 Bogdanov and his friends had just published a volume of essays called Studies i n the  Philosophy of Marxism. The ideas expressed therein made Lenin furious and did much to sharpen the c o n f l i c t . ^ Just at this moment Gorky's a r t i c l e arrived and the editorial board of Proletariat was immediately thrown into a wrangle over whether or not i t should be published.57 Lenin j4 H i l l and Mudie, op. c i t . . p. 260. Gbrky introduced himself to Trotsky during the London Congress and according to Trotsky they travelled about London together. Of. Trotsky, My Life, p. 205. 55 This particular a r t i c l e has not been located. Cf. Kamenev, Letters. p. 99> Letter 5» note 1, 56'Hill and Mudie, op. c i t . . p. 264. 57 Ibid., p. 265. -109-insiated that the central organ should remain quite neutral in the im-pending philosophical debate, above a l l i t should avoid a l l Machist tendencies. Of course Bogdanov took the opposite view. Lenin's w i l l prevailed.?® At that time Lenin, while admitting that a conflict over philosophical questions vias inevitable, s t i l l believed that a major s p l i t within the Bolshevik faction could be avoided, especially as the faction was united on general policy matters. To avoid a s p l i t he advised Gorky-to co-operate with Proletariat on neutral ground (literary criticism, etc.). As for his a r t i c l e , everything of a Machist character would have to be cut out of i t or the ar t i c l e would have to be published somewhere else; other-wise the day to day work of the Social Democratic Party would be seriously weakened. Lenin advised that any other action on Gorky's part would be harmful to both the Party and i t s central organ.?9 Gorky was not convinced by Lenin's arguments. He believed that either a s p l i t or a quarrel within the Bbishevik faction could only bene-f i t the Mensheviks and continued to press for r e c o n c i l i a t i o n . H o w e v e r , the situation deteriorated very quickly; by the end of March Lenin was convinced that the Machist philosophy was both "foolish" and "harmful", and that i t had to be resolutely opposed i f the Bolsheviks were ever to achieve victory.^* Although Lenin was convinced that reconciliation was impossible he s t i l l hoped to save the faction. In his mind i t was most 58 H i l l and Mudie, op. c i t . , p. 265. 59 Ibid., p. 266. 40 Ibid., p. 269. 41 Ibid., p. 268. -110-important to prevent essential Party work from suffering during the philosophical debate and he again urged Gorky to help separate the quarrel from the faction. Up to this time Gorky had written as an outsider and Lenin urged him to continue this policy, as the one most l i k e l y to pre-vent a protracted s p l i t . Gorky for his part continued to press for reconciliation and again urged Lenin to come to Capri for discussions with Bogdanov and Lunacharsky. 4 2 Lenin f l a t l y refused, . . . " i t was stupid to strain the nerves unnecessarily". . ., he could not and would not . . . "talk with people who (had) begun to advocate combining s c i e n t i f i c socialism with religion." 4 5 Then he announced that he had already sent a "formal declaration of war" against Bogdanov, Bazarov, Lunacharsky, etc., to press4** and advised Gorky that "good diplomacy on your part, my dear A.M. ( i f you have not already begun to believe i n a God) must con-s i s t i n separating our mutual (that i s including me) affairs from philo-sophy." 4 5 Fut Gorky would not desist and again pressed Lenin to come for discussions. This time Lenin did yield but a few days spent with Gorky and Bogdanov i n May fai l e d to bring about a reconciliation. After Lenin's v i s i t the Bolshevik faction s p l i t decisively. Gorky sided with Bogdanov and there followed a two year break i n his relations with Lenin. 42 Gorky had proposed the publication of a Bolshevik journal. Ostensibly Lenin was to come for discussions about this project. 45 H i l l and Mudie, op. c i t . . p. 271 44 Lenin's declaration of war "Marxism and Revisionism" was published i n a symposium In Memory of Karl Marx, St. Petersburg, April 16, I908. Cf. Lenin, Selected Works, pp. 67-73. 45 H i l l and Mudie, op. c i t . . p. 271. -111-The Bogdanov group stayed on at Capri and took steps to create their own faction. During that summer they began to publish their own central organ Forward and at the same time took steps to organize a Party School at Capri. As this group also comprised the Otzovists and-the Ultimatists, who wanted to boycott the Duma, i t looked for a l l the world like a new faction. The focal point of their activities was the home of Gorky, who although he might have differed about 11 Boycott!sm", gave his f u l l moral and financial support to the work of organizing a Party School. The object of this undertaking was to train workers brought especially from Russia to be propagandists and agitators. These pupils were to receive a five months course, consisting of lectures i n history, p o l i t i c a l economy, and Russian literature, together with special d r i l l s i n revolutionary work. A number of the most outstanding revolutionaries i n Europe including Kautsky, Plekhanov, Trotsky, and Lenin were invited to lecture at the school; but for various reasons these luminaries de-clined to come, and the lectures were given by Pokrovsky, Bogdanov, Lunacharsky, and Gorky. The f i r s t group, twenty men i n a l l , arrived i n the summer of lQOQ.^ Lenin saw the Capri School as an attempt to create a r i v a l faction and treated i t with great suspicion and animosityConsequently-he declined his invitation to lecture and looked closely for some means of wrecking the school. During the spring months he created an enlarged edi t o r i a l board for his newspaper and called a special meeting of the new 46 Kaun, Maxim Gorky and His Russia, p. 420. Pokrovsky vras later the most prominent Soviet Historian, 47 Kamenev, Letters, p. 11. -112-4ft board for June.^ 3 At this meeting Bogdanov was expelled from the Bol-shevik faction and the Oapri School was roundly condemned. The resolu-tions of this meeting made i t quite clear that the Bolsheviks would bear no responsibility for the School and would give i t neither moral nor financial support. 4 9 Soon after the Oapri School began the students extended to Lenin a special invitation to lecture. He categorically refused, and i n his letters explained the factional character of the School and offered to give his own course of lectures i f they would desert Capri and ccme to Paris. His intrigue was entirely successful for the School was soon convulsed by factional warfare and five students were expelled as a result. These five went to Paris and the remainder followed when the School ended in December. Lenin, now that he had the whole group assem-bled, gave a series of lectures on current topics, placing special emphasis on the Duma question and the agrarian problem. 5 0 Gorky, for his part, saw the Capri School as a genuine, but long overdue, attempt to bring culture and enlightenment to backward Russian workers.5* He suffered poignantly when the School's work was spoiled by 48 Materialism and Empirio-Criticism had appeared i n May. 49 Kamenev, op. c i t . , p. 108. 50 Krupskaya, Memories, pp. 45-45. 51 "In revolution the principle of reason must organize the popular ele-ment. But Gorky's understanding the principle of reason was represented i n Russia by a weak and timid intelligentsia, v/hile the popular element was uncivilized and even barbarian, and at times he vacilated between the two, f i n a l l y nevertheless showing preference for the popular element. To bridge the gap between these two forces was the principle aim of that school on the island of Capri to which Gorky gave his personal and financial support." Miliukov, op. c i t . , p. 70. -115-petty wrangling.? 2 Until the f i r s t pupils arrived from Capri, Lenin had looked upon Gorky as the staunch supporter of a new faction and had broken off a l l relations with him. But a few conversations with the former students of Gorky's School showed him his error, and he wrote a very moving letter to Gorky by way of apology. It was clear from these conversations that the School had drawn real talent from the Russian masses, and that Gorky had approached his work with the broadest possible view. Lenin thanked him effusively and did what he could to make amends: . . . from the worlds:, of Mikhail I see, my dear Alexey Maximovich, how depressed you must f e e l . You have chanced to get a glimpse of the Labour movement and Social-Democracy from such an angle, i n such manifestations and forms, which more than once i n the history of Russia and Western Europe have reduced intellectual sceptics to despair concerning the Labour movement and Social-Democracy. I am certain that this w i l l not happen to you, and after my talk with Mikhail I should like to grasp your hand firmly. With your g i f t of an a r t i s t you have so tremendously benefited the Labour movement in Russia - and not only in Russia, and you w i l l so much benefit i t i n the future, that i t i s inadmissible for you to f a l l under the oppressive moods caused by episodes of our "campaign abroad", and s p l i t s , and quarrels, and fights of groups and c i r c l e s . That i s due not to the inner weakness of the Labour movement or to the inner errors of the Social-Democracy, but is due to the extreme va r i a b i l i t y and multifariousness of the elements, out of which the working class i s obliged to forge i t s own party. Such a party they w i l l manage to forge, in a l l events; they w i l l forge a splen-did Social-Democracy i n Russia, they w i l l forge i t sooner than i t may appear sometimes from the point of view of the thrice accursed emigre position, they w i l l forge i t more certainly than i t would seem to those who judge by some external occurrences and single episodes. 55 The next years saw a number of dramatic changes. In Russia the assassination of Stolypin brought an end to the terror and provided great new opportunities for the Social-Democracy. Consequently the years 1911-52 Krupskaya, op. c i t . , p. 44. 55 Kaun, Maxim Gorky and His Russia, p. 425. -114-1914 saw a swift revival of the labour and revolutionary movements and a comparatively widespread development of the labour press. On the inter-national front1, the change was even more dramatic as war-clouds began to p i l e darkly overhead. This development made Gbrky, who was s t i l l l iving in Italy, very uneasy about the future of Russia, for the people around him were convinced that an all-European war was inevitable and that such a war would be catastrophic for Russia. His own forebodings were for-t i f i e d by his personal observation of something "morbidly obscure" lurking i n the Russian character - a predeliction for violence. 54 But Gorky, like almost everyone else, was helpless i n the tide. His p o l i t i c a l activity during this period was inconsequential and comparatively colourless. He continued to give active support to the revolutionary movement, demonstrating as usual a parti a l i t y for the Bol-sheviks - to them he gave money, artic l e s , and advice. The f i r s t and the second were accepted willingly, the third was accepted but not often acted upon.55 Despite his p a r t i a l i t y for the Bolsheviks he maintained his independence - his sympathies did not mean formal discipline. For example, when Lunacharsky attempted to revive the Capri School i n Bologna, Gbrky gave his support even though Lenin had established a r i v a l school near Paris (Longjumeau). As on the previous occasion, Lenin succeeded in 54 Gorky, M., Reminiscences (Andreyev), p. 185. 55 Lenin didn't think highly of Gorky's p o l i t i c a l a b i l i t y . "In pro-letarian art Gorky is 'without doubt an authority' an 'enormous plus', despite his sympathies for Machism and Otzovism. But the projection of his name on a p o l i t i c a l platform is 'a minus, because this platform en-deavors to perpetuate and u t i l i z e the weak side of a great authority, the very thing that forms a negative quantity i n the sum total of his beneficial work for the proletariat.'" Kaun, op. c i t . , p. 425. -Re-drawing i t s pupils away find the Bologna School, like the one at Capri, collapsed. In giving his support to newspapers and periodicals, he trod the same independent path. Socialistic publications were hard to find during these days and this may account for his actions. 5^ He contributed to a p o l i t i c a l l y unstable journal Sovremennik (Contemporary) and to cer-tain Populist publications. 5 7 When the Mensheviks began to publish their own newspaper Luch (The Ray) as a r i v a l to the Bolshevik's Prayda (Truth) (winter, 1912), Gbrky even contributed to that, much to Lenin's chagrin. At the same time, however, he gave his support to the Bolshevik publica-tions, Mysi (Thought), Zvezda (Star)(1910), Prayda (Truth)(1912), and their journal Prosveshcheniye (Enlightenment)(1912), and i t i s clear from Lenin's correspondence that Gorky's support meant much greater c i r -culation and influence for them.5^ While carrying on his literary work, Gorky did what he could to pacify the factional struggle, but a l l his urgings f e l l on deaf ears. Perhaps his contributions to different fac-tional papers was a personal way of stressing the importance of unity within the Social Democratic Party. His efforts met with l i t t l e enthu-siasm either among the Mensheviks, or the Bolsheviks, whose differences stemmed, as Lenin put i t , from "deep ideological roots" and were "irreconcilable."^ 0 When the factional struggle became particularly 56 To simplify his problem Gorky wanted to publish a daily newspaper and a journal with Lenin's support. He broached the subject i n 1908, 1910, and I915. Cf. Kamenev, op. c i t . , p. 118. 57 Slonim, Modern Russian Literature, p. 147. 58 Trotsky, Stalin, p. 144. 59 H i l l and Mudie, op. c i t . . p. 296 and p. 518. 60 Ibid., p. 505. -116-acute i n 1912, Gbrky was sharply reproved by Lenin for his useless inter-ference.^* On the other hand, the personal friendship between Gorky and Lenin seems to have flourished. Their correspondence was conducted with great candor and their exchange of views and strictures was extensive. Where Lenin appears as a self-assured and unyielding teacher, Gorky i f not a teacher is certainly.a self-willed and errant pupil. In his journalistic writings for this period Gorky did everything he could to inspire the Russian people to a clear sighted frontal attack on their p o l i t i c a l and social problems.^2 jn 1910 the attempt to canonize the dead Leo Tolstoy provoked him to the following protest! What I write is not what I want to say; I cannot express i t properly. There is a dog howling i n my soul, and I have a forboding of some misfortune. Yes, newspapers have just arrived and i t is already clear: you at home are beginning to "create a legend"; idlers and good-for-nothings have gone on loving and have now produced a saint. Only think how pernicious i t is for the country just at the moment, when the heads of disillusioned men are bowed down, the soul of the majority empty, and the soul of the best f u l l of'sorrow. Lacerated and starving they long for a legend. They long so much for alleviation of pain, for the soothing of torment. And they w i l l create just what he de-sires, but what is not wanted - the l i f e of a holy man and saint.°2 61 Talking about this episode, Trotsky calls Gorky a "sentimental semi-Bolshevik." Trotsky, Stalin, p. 1J1. 62 Gorky's articles and essays (1905-1916) were published under the t i t l e The Disintegration of Personality, Dresden, Rudolf Kammer, 1920? (not available). Reviewed by J. Middleton Murry, "Gorky and Russia", -New Republic, vol. 21 (July 19, 1922), p. 218. -Towards the end of this period Gorky's approach to his art underwent a sharp change. He cut a l l propagandists and didactic tendencies out of his a r t i s t i c literature, to emerge as an objective r e a l i s t of very high calibre. Of, Autobiographical work, Reminiscence Artamanov's, Klim Samghin. From 1912 he made a clear distinction between his publicist and a r t i s t i c work. 63 Gorky, Reminiscences, p. 37, -117-In 1912 he analysed the epidemic of suicides among Russian youths and concluded his analysis by attacking the fathers for having created con-ditions which drove their children to suicide. 0*^ In 1915 when the Moscow Art Theatre presented Nicholos Stavrogin, a stage version of Dostoevsky's Demons, he protested against the presentation of such a play during a period of national c r i s i s : I know the f r a i l t y of the Russian character, I know the compassionate wavering of the Russian soul and i t s tendency, in i t s torment, weariness and despair, toward a l l contagions . . . . Not Stavrogins should be shown i t now, but something quite different. It should be exhorted to boldness, spiritual health, activity, and not introspection; i t should be exhorted to return to the source of energy - to democracy, to the people, to sociableness and to science.°5 In these writings Gorky tried to educate his countrymen to a sense of p o l i t i c a l personality, to bridge the gap between the intelligentsia and the i l l i t e r a t e peasantry. Gorky's period of exile from Russia came to an end soon after February 15, 1915* On this date the Tsar granted a limited amnesty to p o l i t i c a l offenders i n commemoration of the tri-centenary of Romanov rule. Under i t s terms anyone guilty of libellous offences against the state could return to Russia. Gbrky, accepting the view of Lenin that a rev-olutionary could do more within Russia than without,0*0" made up his mind to accept the amnesty and arrived i n St. Petersburg i n time to greet the new year, 1914. 64' Masaryk, The Sp i r i t of Russia, p, 562. 65 Danchenko, My Life i n the Russian Theatre, p. 219. 66 H i l l and Mudie, op. c i t . , p. 516*. CHAPTER VI" IN* THE REVOLUTIONARY TURMOIL', The All-European war which Gorky had feared and had looked to-wards with so much foreboding began i n the summer of 1914. Gorky, whose opposition to the war was instinctive voiced his concern during i t s early months by signing the appeal of a number of Russian Artists and Writers against German atrocities. This to Lenin was the disgraceful act of a spineless Liberal,* but to Gorky with his deeply rooted aversion for violence his was a natural and obligatory action. The incompatability of these two men over the single question of atrocities reflects i n a small way the chaos which r i f t socialist opinion over the war. Broadly speak-ing, moderate socialists r a l l i e d to the support of their governments on purely nationalistic grounds. Radical socialists, on the other hand, voiced strong opposition on the grounds that i t was an "Imperialist War", i.e., a struggle for world markets,2 and should be unalterably opposed by the working classes of a l l nations. This point of view was formulated at a general international conference of socialists, opposed to the war, at Zimmerwald i n September, 1915* Put succinctly by Trotsky the Zimmerwald-ites sought. . . "peace without indemnities and annexations, peace 1 H i l l , E., and Mudie, D., The Letters of Lenin, New York, Harcourt Brace, 1957, p. 5^5. 2 Lenin, V.I., Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism. Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1947. -119-without victors and vanquished."5 Lenin, who represented the Zimmerwald Left, repudiated the majority position. He wanted to end the war with a soc i a l i s t revolution throughout Europe and the World. To this end he urged the international proletariat to precipitate national defeat and c i v i l war.^ Lenin's policy was generally unacceptable, he could not even count on the whole-hearted support of Russian Bolsheviks u n t i l 1916.5 Gorky r a l l i e d to the internationalist position of the Zimmerwaldites and even seems to have accepted the defeatist or antidefensist position of Lenin.^ After his return Gorky refrained from incriminating p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s . He held himself aloof from Party organizations, indeed these circles soon accused him of becoming "bourgeois." A l l in a l l his glamour as a Social-Democrat began to fade, and his vacillations and incurable conciliatory policy did much to dampen the Bolshevik Party's f a i t h and 5 Shub, David, Lenin, ed. D.p. Geddes, New York, Mentor Books, New American Library, 1950. Trotsky's slogan sums up the position of the Zimmerwald majority, of which Martov was a prominent member. 4 Carr, E.H., A History of Soviet Russia, "The Bolshevik Revolution", London, MacMillan Co., vol. 1, p. 67, and vol. 2, p. 565* 5 Ibid., p. 565. 6 Cf. Gorky, Articles and Pamphlets, p. 150. Sukhanov says that, . . . "during the war I was one of the two or three writers who managed to advocate the anti-defensist Zimmerwald position in the legal press. And in particular during the f i r s t days of the war, when patriotic enthusiasm seemed universal and people with a correct estimate of the meaning of the war and Tsarist Russia's place in i t were absolutely impossible to find even amongst the socialists then i n Russia (Gorky was an exception)." -120-confidence i n him. 7 However, he s t i l l helped the Party to publish i t s literature, and we see that Lenin, himself, wrote a personal letter to Gorky in January, 1916, asking him to publish his latest pamphlet on the "Development of Capitalism i n Agriculture."® The big monthly review Letopis (Annals) which Gorky founded during the winter of 1915, although "anti-war", "anti-imperialist", and "anti-bourgeois", kept studiously within the censorship.9 In his own articles Gorky avoided p o l i t i c a l themes, leaving this aspect of the review's work to N.N. Himmer (Sukhanov), now famous for his Notes on the Revolution.* 0 Gbrky, for his part, concentrated his attention more and more intensely on " . . . the cultural backwardness of the people, and the urgency- of waging war against this 'inner enemy.'"** It was this need of the Russian workers for enlightenment that had sparked Gorky's interest i n the Capri School, this was the object which he pursued during the war years and as we shall see the one which he pursued most diligently during and after the rev-olution of 1917. A pointer to the direction which Gorky's efforts took 7 Kaun, A., Maxim Gorky and His Russia. New York, Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, 1951, P» 401.Kaun quotes police records and the secret correspondence between Russia and the Foreign Bureaus of the Bolshevik Central Committee. 8 H i l l and Mudie, op. c i t . . p. 284. 9 Lavrin, J., Russian Writers: Their Lives and Literature. New York, D. Van Nostrand, I954, p. 246. 10 Sukhanov, N.N., The Russian Revolution, London, Oxford University Press, 1955, P* v i , and p. 5» Sukhanov, a Social-Democrat, was a well known: p o l i t i c a l and economic journalist, and an authority on agricultural questions. He had many connections among socialists and played an im-portant role during the formation of the f i r s t revolutionary government. During the revolution he edited Gorky's newspaper Novaya Zhizn (New L i f e ) . 11 Kaun, op. c i t . . p. 442. -.121-i s found i n the work which he did to encourage young writers emerging from peasant and working class backgrounds. To this new phenomenon i n Russia's "hard l i f e " he attached great importance, and already in 1914 he was actively associated with a new magazine Proletarian Writers devoted exclusively to the literary efforts of working men.*2 Among those who received Gorky's tutelage during these years were Isaac Babel and Vsevolod Ivanov, two future standouts i n Soviet Literature. Another, pointer i s found i n The Shield, a volume of articles directed against anti-semitism and published by Gorky, Andreyev, and Sologub i n 1916.*5 These two episodes point directly to the central theme underlying Gorky"s l i f e . His educational ac t i v i t i e s were the logical outcome of his con-viction that humanity could redeem i t s e l f and that "beauty", "sympathy", and "enlightenment" were the principal forces of i t s redemption.*4 This is the theme which underlies his autobiographical series, the f i r s t two volumes of which appeared during this period, i t i s the thread which binds together his whole l i f e a c t i v i t i e s . In the meantime, however, Russia was disintegrating under the impact of war. Causes aggrevating the situation are easy to find. The land question s t i l l remained unsolved; as a consequence peasant unrest mounted hourly. Russia's transportation system was disrupted due to the loss of her western provinces, a factor which aggrevated an already acute 12 Miliukov, P., Outlines of Russian Culture, Part 2, Literature, ed. Michael Karpovitch, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1942, p. 71. 12 Review of Reviews, vol. 54 (1916), p. 551. 14 Cf. Chapter II, pp. 50-54, Chapter III, pp. 65-71, passim. -122-food shortage. Industrial conditions were such as to provoke the gravest concern and in the nation at large signs of worker disaffection were a continuous phenomenon. Worst of a l l , the national c r i s i s was deepened by a total collapse of the Tsar's authority due to the machinations of Rasputin. After the assassination of this e v i l genius on December 17, 1916, the whole Romanov structure began to topple with bewildering speed. A scant two months later the food c r i s i s culminated in bread riots i n Petrograd.*^ The f i r s t shots of the Great Russian Revolution were fired by policemen attempting to suppress these ri o t s . The p o l i t i c a l changes of what is today called the February Revolution were a direct outcome of these ri o t s . It is significant that none of the revolutionary leaders anticipated or had any control over them. As was to be expected, the Tsar made feeble but insufficient efforts to restore order. His obvious impotency made imperative his abdication, March 2, 1917. In the circumstances, effective i n i t i a t i v e passed swiftly to the Duma which was fortuitously i n session. Here the Liberals or champions of European Constitutionalism formed a Provisional Government, Kerensky was the only non-Liberal in this new government. He was a Trudovik*0' and became the Minister of Justice. The other significant development of this period was the formation of a Soviet of Workers and Soldiers Deputies, reminiscent of the St. Petersburg Soviet of 1905* Composed of elected delegates from factories and regiments the Soviet proved unwieldy but had real strength because of i t s popular support. 15 St. Petersburg became Petrograd i n 1914. 16 The Peasant Party (Populist) was very close to the Socialist Rev-olutionaries, but unlike this group they refused to "Boycott" the Duma. -125-These two bodies, the Provisional Government and the Petrograd Soviet, were to constitute the real organs of p o l i t i c a l power i n the months ahead. For a l l Russians the revolution was a far greater event than the war i t s e l f . For the revolutionaries i t was the beginning of a new l i f e , i n the words of a chronicler. . . "Russia was free - there was no auto-cracy, there was no Peter-Paul Fortress, there was no secret police, there was no. underground, there was nothing old lefts ahead everything was com-pletely different, unknown, wonderful."* 7 But Gorky, bowed under a cloud of apprehension for years past, could not share the unqualified enthusiasm of his brothers in arms. As the revolution mounted, accompanied on every hand by chaos, vulgarity, excesses and ignorance of a l l kinds, his gloom was intensified. Even before the abdication of Nicholas he was forecast-ing a ruinous collapse for the whole movement.*® A glance at some of Gorky's act i v i t i e s during the f i r s t days of the revolution indicate that he played a minor role in p o l i t i c a l develop-ments and exercised a correspondingly small influence over the direction which succeeding developments would take. From the earliest days of the revolution, he took more interest in the actual course of events than i n the p o l i t i c a l tasks confronting the organization of a revolutionary gov-ernment. *9 Having contacts a l l over the capital he was admirably situated to keep his finger on i t s pulse, for this reason his apartment attracted many diverse elements connected with the movement and became a centre for 17 Sukhanov, op. c i t . , p. 95. 18 Ibid., pp. 78, 95. 19 Ibid., p. 22. -124-the exchange of information. His apartment never became any more than this. The real direction and motivation for events came from other centres. 2 0 Another of Gorky's activities was to wander about the city absorbing i t s breath and s p i r i t . One of the places i n which he stopped was the Tauride Palace where the Soviet and i t s Executive Committee had established i t s headquarters. It was characteristic of his general mood that he should have stood about "morosely demonstrating his displeasure" with everything he saw; as for the deliberations of the Soviet, he refused to take any part regardless of what significance his participation might have had.2* His more concrete acts demonstrate even more clearly his dissociation from the hurly-burly of p o l i t i c a l action. One of his f i r s t tasks for the revolution was to write a Manifesto from revolutionary Russia "To the People of the World." To Chkheidze, leader of the Soviet, Gorky's "Manifesto" was superfluous. To Sukhanov i t was "a superbly written dissertation," but quite unacceptable, for on the crucial issues i t was silent. . . "Gorky's text didn't contain a scrap of any sort of p o l i t i c s . The revolution was considered exclusively on the level of culture and of world cultural prospects: he paid practically no attention either to our reborn society or to the problem of war." 2 2 In his other actions too Gorky continued to demonstrate his fixation with cultural problems. In his one appearance before the Executive Committee, he presented a special appeal for the artists of Petrograd about the 20 Sukhanov, op. ci t . , . p. 25. 21 Ibid., p. 78. 22 Ibid., p. 205. -125-preservation of historical monuments.2? He also made an appearance be-fore the Soviet but only to suggest a change in the place of burial for victims of the February Revolution. Equally representative were his attempts to organize an "Academy of Free Sciences" and a "Society of Culture and L i b e r t y . " 2 4 During the early days of the revolution, l e f t wing newspapers were scarce. Gorky and the "Letopisites" had their review, of. course, but events were rushing on so quickly that i t s value had already been superseded by mid-March. To meet the emergency Gorky, together with the small group of intellectuals who supported 'Letopis;', worked at f u l l speed to revive the old daily Novaya Zhizn. Assisted over a d i f f i c u l t financial hurdle by a wealthy Moscow Industrialist, the f i r s t issue of Novaya Zhizn appeared April 1Q, 1Q17. 2^ Often referred to as "Gorky's paper", Novaya Zhizn was founded as an "independent", "non-party" news-paper dedicated to the services of the revolution and the new Russian 25 The proclamation read* "CitizensI The old masters have gone away, and a great heritage is l e f t behind. Now i t belongs to the whole people, 'Citizens, take care of this heritage, take care of the palaces -they w i l l become palaces of your national art; take care of the pictures, the statues, the buildings - they are the embodiment of the spiritual power of yourselves and of your forefathers. 'Art is the beauty which talented people were able to create even under despotic oppression, and which bears witness to the power and beauty of the human soul. 'Citizens, do not touch one stone; preserve the monuments, the buildings, the old things, the documents - a l l this is your history; your pride. Remember that this i s the s o i l from which w i l l grow your new national art." Sukhanov, op. c i t . , p. 208, 24 Bunin, Ivan A., Memories and Portraits, New York, Doubleday, 1951, P. 59. 25 Sukhanov, op. c i t . , p. 51?« -126-Democratic State. Like Letopis i t was internationalist i n the Zimmer-wald sense and stood by the theory of the proletarian class-struggle. It opposed Bolshevik tactics, however, and did not support the idea of a proletarian-dictatorship as expounded by the Bolsheviks. 2 7 The need for unity within the Social-tDsmocratic Party was one of the strongest planks i n Novaya Zhizn 1s platform2® but faced by the momentous events of a rev-olution and the opposition of p o l i t i c a l irreconcilables like Lenin and Plekhanov, i t s platform proved superfluous. The paper's one great asset was i t s independent voice. Freedom from the government, freedom from the mob, freedom from the constraints of a party program, these things i n -sured i t of wide circulation and considerable influence. It also guaran-teed controversy and throughout i t s short history Novaya Zhizn endured heavy criticism from a l l quarters. 29 Despite good circulation and solid journalistic merits, Novaya Zhizn remained an indecisive influence, the reason being, that i t had no serious contact with the organizations that really mattered in revolutionary Petrograd, but more of this later.5 ° In the light of future developments, certainly the most important p o l i t i c a l event of A p r i l was Lenin's arrival in Petrograd. Even though fresh from nine years of exile, mostly in Switzerland, and only sketchily briefed on present conditions i n the Capital, Lenin carried a bomb i n 26 Nation, vol. 107, p. 64l . 27 Sukhanov, op. c i t . . p. 5^ 5 • Reed, John, Ten Days That Shook the  World. New York, Modern Library, 1955, P« xvi. 28 Nation, vol. 107, p. 64l . 29 Loc. c i t . 50 Deutscher, Trotsky, p. 259. -127-his pocket. Up unti l the moment of his arrival, Bolshevik cadres under the direction of Kamenev and Stalin had championed a conciliatory policy tovrards both Provisional Government and Soviet. Lenin with his bomb sowed chaos. Vksting no time he rejected their conciliationism for the most militant revolutionism. Within a week his policy was outlined i n his famous April These, the general content of which is contained in the following phrases: , . . peace at any price, opposition to the growth of bourgeois parliamentary democracy, no support for the Provisional Govern-ment, for the creation of a socialist republic governed by Soviets of Workers' and Peasants' Deputies, direct seizure of land and factories by peasants and workers, support for the Zimmerwald Left, denunciation of the Social-Democratic Party for i t s betrayal of the International-Proletariat,, and a new name 'Communist' for the Bolshevik Party. Succinctly phrased in pithy slogans - " A l l Power to the Soviets", "Down with the War", "Down with the Ten Capitalist Ministers" - and tir e l e s s l y propagated by a disciplined organization Lenin's program made great head-way. Its significance was immense: " P o l i t i c a l l y , i t meant an attempt to bridge the gap between autocracy and socialist democracy without the long experience and training i n citizenship which bourgeois democracy. . . had afforded i n the west. Economically, i t meant the creation of a socialist economy in a country which had never possessed the resources i n capital equipment and trained workers proper to a. developed capitalist order."? 2 Opposition to Lenin's Theses was at f i r s t strenuous even within the Party, but the master's overpowering logic and towering prestige as 51 Carr, A History of Soviet Russia, pp. 79-80, and Sukhanov, op. c i t . , pp. 282-285. 52 Carr, op. c i t . , vol. 1, p. 100. -128-the undisputed leader of Bolshevism soon brought his followers to heel. In non-Party circles he was denounced roundly, hardly a soul believing that he could win even the Bolsheviks to his program, that the masses would r a l l y to i t seemed preposterous. One consequence of Lenin's Theses was to aggrevate existing tensions between the different Social-Democratic factions. Symptomatic was the f l i g h t of a number of old Bolsheviks to the Menshevik camp or the intermediate camp which had gathered around Gorky's paper. In the c r i s i s , Novaya Zhizn redoubled i t s efforts to unite the Social-Democracy, but in the Bolshevik quarter, the only one that mattered, i t s efforts were coldly rebuffed.?? What Gorky's attitude to Lenin's program was is not clear, i t i s certain, however, that his intimates re-garded i t as the ravings of a lunatic.? 4 About the same time another important event occurred, for Trotsky arrived i n Petrograd during the f i r s t week of May. Now the roster of figures destined to lead the October revolution was complete. By this time, the p o l i t i c a l programs of both Lenin and Trotsky were in very close agreement. Consequently, Lenin hastened to win the adherence of Trotsky and his friends to the Bolshevik Party. He attached no conditions to his proposal that they join the Bolshevik Party and even offered them positions on the editorial staff of Pravda and on the Party's Central Committee, Trotsky hesitated.?? For the moment he preferred to reconnoitre, plumbing 55 Kaun, op. c i t , , p, 451, and Trotsky, History of the Revolution, vol. 1, p. 487. 54 Sukhanov, op. c i t . , pp. 286-287. 55 Deutscher, Trotsky, pp. 255-258. "Trotsky would have had to be much more free of pride than he was to accept Lenin's proposals immediately." -129-the mood of workers, soldiers, and intellectuals, feeling, as he expresses i t ". . . a need for direct orientation in the fundamental forces of the revolution."^^ on May 25 he stopped at the editorial offices of Novaya  Zhizn, where he met a mixed reception. Gorky was anxious for Trotsky's collaboration, hoping that he would try, as i n the past, to conciliate s o c i a l i s t opinion.57 Sukhanov, the chief power in Novaya Zhizn, was very hesitant about combining Trotsky, fearing as i t was rumoured, that he was worse than Lenin. Sukhanov definitely believed that Trotsky wanted an alliance with Novaya Zhizn and had looked with misgivings towards their meetings for some time past.58 His fears had been groundless, however, for the mutual sounding out which began with a discussion of immediate p o l i t i c a l perspectives revealed a significant difference of opinion, Trotsky believing like Lenin, that a l l power should pass to the Soviets at once, and Sukhanov believing that the time was s t i l l not ripe for so decisive a step towards Socialist Democracy. This fact alone was enough to make future collaboration impossible and negotiations collapsed, appar-ently without regret on either hand.59 Trotsky expresses himself very scornfully on the subject: "A short conversation convinced me of the com-plete hopelessness of this circle of literary wiseacres for whom revolution reduced i t s e l f to the problem of the leading e d i t o r i a l . " 4 0 The "July Days" 56 Trotsky, History of the Revolution, p. 456. 37 Deutscher, Trotsky, p. 259. 58 Sukhanov, op. c i t . , p. 339, a n ^ p. 360. 59 Cf. Sukhanov, op. c i t . , p. 374, and Trotsky, op. c i t . p. 487. 40 Trotsky, op. c i t . , p. 487. -150-which followed soon after would find Trotsky in Lenin's camp. Sometime earlier, Kerensky, in response to strong pressure from the a l l i e s , had begun to whip up popular support for an offensive on the western front. From the very f i r s t Novaya Zhizn campaigned against the offensive, and well i t might, for any attempt to launch a major military operation with Russia's broken and demoralised armies smacked of lunacy. In this Novaya Zhizn echoed the Bolsheviks, who denounced the projected offensive as a "war against the Revolution", and refused to take any responsibility for the inevitable disaster. 4* Novaya Zhizn's warning went unheeded and the Russian armies, freshly harangued by Kerensky, but unenthused, went into the attack on June 18. As was predicted, the offensive collapsed i n the rout of Kerensky's armies. Unlike the Bol-sheviks, Gorky r a l l i e d to Kerensky's support after the offensive had begun, hoping to stave off defeat by strengthening the armies' morale at the last minute. This burst of patriotism marked a breaking point between ho Gorky and Lenin's followers. Kerensky's defeat coincided with serious armed demonstrations in Petrograd, July 5 a n < * 4. It was widely believed that the appearance of armed workers and soldiers i n the streets marked the beginning of a serious Bolshevik attempt to seize power. This was not the case, Party leaders insisted, even at that time, that the uprising was a spontaneous demonstration which they were powerless to stop and which they had 41 Nation, vol. 107, p. 642. 42 Loc. c i t . -131-etruggled to control. Lenin himself was opposed to an uprising at that time and was actually out of the city when i t began. 4 4 Gorky accepted the majority view and from the outset lashed out at the Bolsheviks for their attempt to build a Soviet Democracy by force of arms.4? His re-action marked the culmination of a trend, for Gorky believed that after February there was no longer any place for violence i n the contest for power. He was convinced that Russia could be saved and the gains of the revolution consolidated only by a united socialist government. He sup-ported the Bolshevik demand that a l l power pass to the Soviet, but when the Bolsheviks began to imply by their slogan opposition to both the bourgeoisie and the moderate socialists of the Soviet he was compelled to protest. The Bolshevik uprising of July 3 was the last straw. Government leaders interpreted the July demonstrations in the same way and after a brief period of vacillation drafted the Preobrazhensky Regiment to the Capital to restore order. One of the Government's f i r s t acts was to suppress Pravda. A second was to order the arrest of Kamenev, Zinoviev, and Lenin, Lenin having arrived i n Petrograd on the f i f t h . Despite i t s show of firmness, the Government's reaction proved feeble and half-hearted, and though the moment was propitious i t failed to establish or reinforce i t s authority. For one reason, the f i r s t coalition govern-ment had collapsed on July 3, and i t s successor, presided over by Kerensky 43 Stalin, Collected Works, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1953, vol. 3, PP. 110-121. 44 Chamberlain, W.H., The Russian Revolution, 1917-1921, New York, MacMillan and Co., 1935, vol. 1, pp. 177-78. 45 Nation, vol. 107, p. 643. -132-and a s o c i a l i s t majority, was perceptibly more l e f t . As a result, Kamenev and Trotsky were arrested, but only temporarily, Lenin and Zinoviev were able to continue their work from the semi-underground, and Stalin was allowed to remain at large. Far from being destroyed, the Bolshevik Party was encouraged in i t s organizational work, and redoubled i t s efforts to i n f i l t r a t e Soviet and Military Committees.4^ The Government held i t s trump card in documents purporting to prove that Lenin was a German agent. Although this information scarcely found credence among those who knew of Lenin's "iron fanaticism" and "personal incorruptibility" i t made a transitory impact on the masses, making i t possible for the Government to achieve temporary successes against the Bolsheviks. 47 The use of Red-Bating by Kerensky in order to suppress Prayda and arrest Lenin provoked a strangely ambivalent reaction from Gorky. Although the editorial offices of Novaya Zhizn were seized July 4, the paper was back in operation the next day, the f i r s t day of the o f f i c i a l reaction .4® As the reaction mounted, Gorky decided to throw the pages of Novaya Zhizn open to the Bolsheviks. Lenin soon availed himself of the privilege, for on July 11, he used i t s columns to repudiate the charges against him.4? Trotsky also used the pages of Novaya Zhizn 46 Committees created in the army by a Soviet order of March 1. De-signed to wreck the authority of the officers, i t contributed greatly to the dissolution of the army. 47 Chamberlain, op. c i t . , vol. 1, pp. 179-181. 48 Sukhanov, op. c i t . , p. 459. 49 Chamberlain, op. c i t . , p. 181. -133-to refute similar charges by men like Miliukov.? 0 Gorky's assistance ended here, for he behaved vaguely as regards Lenin's defense,? 1 and continued to oppose him on essential issues. Throughout July and August the revolution deepened perceptibly. In the country the land hunger grew more a cute and peasant disorders and the ransacking of estates more frequent. At the front, dissaffections increased and in the cit i e s anarchy and chaos mounted. As successive co-a l i t i o n governments failed to measure up to the situation, the struggle between conflicting parties assumed a more obviously class nature. By the end of August, a marked bipolarization had occurred between the right and the l e f t , with aristocratic and bourgeois elements grouping their forces around a reactionary general, Kornilov, and the workers and peasants grouping around the banner of Lenin. As the summer advanced the alter-natives facing the Russian people narrowed themselves to a choice between the military dictatorship of Kornilov and the Bolshevik dictatorship of Lenin. The anticipated "coup" from the right began on August 25 but miscarried ignominiously. At the moment of c r i s i s a l l of the socialist groups hastened to the support of Kerensky, who as nominal head of the Government, assumed f u l l command. Kornilov's defeat was inevitable: he had no popular support - railroad workers refused to transport his soldiers, telegraph operators refused to transmit his orders, and agita-tors undermined his troops. At the height of his success, Kerensky who 50 Deutscher, Trotsky, p. 275* 51 Ibid., p. 277. -154-owed much of his victory over Kornilov to Bolshevik support disassociated himself from them by attempting to suppress their new central organ Rabochii (The Worker). It is significant that an attempt was made to close down Novaya Zhizn under the same edict.? 2 Kerensky's act reveals how right and moderate l e f t wing opinion wfs disposed towards Gorky's paper. It should be noted that Novaya Zhizn regularly charged Kerensky with prostituting the revolution to foreign powers by his determination to wage war i n the a l l i e d cause. 55 On the other hand, Novaya Zhizn's reputation among the Bolsheviks was scarcely better, for just about this time Lenin published an ar t i c l e in Rabochii denouncing Sukhanov as one of the "best representatives of the petty-bourgeois democracy."54 After the Kornilov a f f a i r the Bolshevik star began to rise rapidly; by the middle of September they had positive majorities i n both the Petrograd and Moscow Soviets, and were beginning to plan a f i n a l assault on the summit of power. But more important to the Novaya Zhizn people, who by this time formed the core of a small group calling i t s e l f the United-Internationalist, the Kornilov "debacle" was followed by a general movement of Mensheviks to the left.?? O f f i c i a l l y the Menshevik 52 Cf. Sukhanov, op. c i t . , p. 515. 55 Of. Philips Price, M., Reminiscences of the Russian Revolution, London, George Allen and Unwin, 1921, p. 68. 54 Kerensky was powerless to enforce his commands at this juncture. A l l i t took to ensure the appearance of Rabochii was an armed detachment of Kronstadt sailors to stand by the presses. Novaya Zhizn applied the same technique and also appeared without interruption. 55 Of. Sukhanov, op. c i t . . pp. 525-524. The United-Internationalist were "a l i t t l e group of intellectuals with a small following among the working class except the personal following of Maxim Gorky, i t s leader." Reed, John, Ten Days That Shook the World, p. xvi. -135-Party believed that society should evolve towards socialism, as a group they were essentially non-revolutionary and nationalistic. Up to this moment Menshevik leaders had dominated the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet, but after Kornilov their policies became repugnant to solid working class opinion and a mass exodus from the Party began.5^ i n this the trend of April was reversed for key Mensheviks and workers now joined Bolshevik cadres. The Novaya Zhiznites stood between the two major Parties along with another small group, the Martovites or Menshevik-Internationalists, Essentially there was l i t t l e to distinguish between these two groups even though they preferred to maintain their separate-ness. P o l i t i c a l l y they supported the Bolshevik program. What kept them out of Lenin's camp was their desire to unite the whole Social-Democracy and their revulsion against Bolshevik methods. This strange s p l i t be-tween support i n theory and opposition in practice stemmed from their natural rebellion against the violent face of Bolshevism.57 The important thing is that the c r i s i s of Menshevism provided recruits for the United-Internationalists. Under the impact of a growing membership, the editor-i a l board of Novaya Zhizn began to intensify i t s party a c t i v i t i e s , even projecting an Ail-Russian Conference of Novaya Zhiznites. Elections to the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet brought their plans to an abrupt end. In these elections, which were conducted on a proportional basis, the United-Internationalists and the Martovites combined failed to win a single seat, clear indication that they had no strength i n the 56 Reed, Ten Days that Shook the World, p. xvi. 5<7 Cf. Sukhanov, op. c i t . , p. 530. Stalin's answer to Novaya Zhizn's plea for unity was a very emphatic No] Cf. Stalin, Collected Works, vol. 3, p. l A l . -156-Soviet. This was a shattering blow to the Party and by the end of Septem-ber i t had almost ceased to exist,?® In seeking the basic cause for the Novaya Zhiznites' failure to make a p o l i t i c a l impact, one need hardly go further than Sukhanov; apart, that i s , from noting that they lacked organizational vigor, Sukhanov concluded that their ", . . position, at least i n i t s positive part, was superfluous to the masses. In i t s nega-tive c r i t i c a l part we . . . were i n accord with the Bolsheviks. In the arena of the struggle going on at that time against the coalition and the bourgeoisie we stood at their side."? 0 While the Party of the Novaya Zhiznites disintegrated, the Bolshevik Party continued i t s march to power. On September 25, the Petrograd Soviet elected Trotsky President. This very organization now became the centre of Bolshevik militancy; and active preparations for the revolution were pressed forward here. In the Party Central Committee, Lenin began to agitate for an armed seizure of power, now being convinced that the time was ripe. But on this issue the Central Committee was 58 Trotsky, "Novaya Zhizn", HiBtory. vol. 2, p. 259. 59 Sukhanov, op. c i t . , p, 550. On this score Trotsky was i n complete agreement. "The contributors of Novaya Zhizn were an extremely honest l o t , who sincerely wished to carry on 'revolutionary' and 'Left' p o l i t i c s , but of their own brand, that i s , that which emanated from their literary schemes and not what grew out of the objective conditions of society and i t s revolutionary c r i s i s . In order to put into practice the revolution-ary 'cultural 1, 'rationally' s o c i a l i s t i c , and similar policies of Gorky, Sukhanov, and their brethren, i t would have been necessary as a prelim-inary step to prepare i n retorts and cucurbits the kind of proletariat, and i n fact of a l l other social classes, that would f i t such policies. Since that had not been done, 'Novaya Zhizn' remained a smart, or rather smartish, uselessness. . . . " Trotsky, letter to Kaun, Kaun, op. c i t . , pp. 464-465. -127-s p l i t and Lenin had to press his demands against a determined opposition led by Kamenev and Zinoviev. These two men saw nothing ahead biutt "debacle." During these c r i t i c a l days everyone expected a Bolshevik "coup" and discussions about i t s propriety and possible consequences raged hot on every hand.^° In i t s columns Novaya Zhizn echoed the waverings of Kamenev and Zinoviev; that reactionary forces were attempting to destroy the revolution was patent; that they must be opposed by force of arms i f necessary was clear; but that the Bolsheviks could do this unsupported by the whole revolutionary democracy was preposterous: "As long as the democracy has not organized i t s principal forces, so long as the resist-ance to i t s influence is s t i l l strong, there is no advantage i n passing to the attack. But i f the hostile elements appeal to force then the rev-olutionary democracy should enter the battle to seize the power, and i t w i l l be sustained by the most profound strata of the people. . . an i n -surrection, however, would prepare the way for a new Kornilov."^* All.of 60 The Grand Duchess Marie seems to make a just statement of the s i t u -ation. "The Bolshevik 'coup d'etat 1 was expected any moment. As far as I could see everyone was ready to welcome i t ; no one believed any longer i n the Provisional government. Kerensky had become odious by his con-tinual speech-making, his mania for grandeur, his posturing towards the Radical elements, his falseness. Moreover, no one ever thought that the Bolsheviks could keep the reins for more than two or three months; their rule would arouse, i t was believed, a powerful reaction; and after that the least that could happen would be a dictatorship." Marie, Education of  a Princess, New York, Viking Press, 1931* P» 552. 61 Reed, John, "Novaya Zhizn", Ten Days That Shook the World, p. 35. Cf. Kaun, Maxim Gorky and Kis Russia, p. 458. ". . . the editorial policy of 'Novaya Zhizn' was formulated as favouring 'the transfer of a l l power into the hands of the democracy, and at the same time warning the Left portion of the democracy against isolated action. 1. . . The frantic refrain of the editorials was; 'Democracy must consolidate i t s forces!'" -138-these arguments made l i t t l e impact on Lenin. On October 9 the Party leadership took i t s historic decision to prepare for an armed uprising, tentatively setting the date for October 20. Far from diminishing opposition within the Central Committee mounted. Kamenev and Zinoviev resigned from the Central Committee on October 16 i n a vigorous attempt to frustrate the proposed uprising. Two days later they carried their opposition into the open by publishing in Novaya Zhizn a declaration that they and other "practical- comrades" were against "an armed uprising which would be fat a l for the Party, the Proletariat, and the Revolution."62 Alarmed at the prospect of bloodshed, like thousands of other radical intellectuals, Gorky came out i n the same issue with an a r t i c l e pleading for sanity and denouncing the projected uprising. In this a r t i c l e he prophesied the collapse of the revolution and the eclipse of culture. "In brief, there w i l l be repeated that bloody, senseless, slaughter, which we have already witnessed, and which has undermined through our whole land the moral importance of the revolution, and has shaken i t s cultural meaning."^5 Q n the same day Sukhanov approached the Soviet on a special mission, for Gorky's twenty-fifth anniversary as a writer was just four days away. Sukhanov f e l t that the Soviet should send him greetings but when i t came time to approach Trotsky with his motion, Sukhanov quailed, knowing f u l l well that the Bolsheviks would not distinguish between the "a r t i s t i c ideologist of the proletariat and their p o l i t i c a l antagonist on 62 Bunyan, James, and Fisher, H. H., The Bolshevik Revolution, 1917-1918. (Documents and Materials), Stanford, 1934, p. 76. 63 "One Must Not be Silent", Gorky, Kaun, op. c i t . , pp. 460-461. -139-a current question of t a c t i c s . " 0 4 How right he was, i f one may judge from Stalin's cold, f a t a l i s t i c response to Gorky's protests - what a grim commentary on future eventst 65 As for the neurasthenics of 'Novaya Zhizn', we don't under-stand exactly what they want of us. . . perhaps they cannot 'keep silent' because a general croaking has now started i n the marsh of our bewildered intellectuals? Does that not explain Gorky's 'I cannot keep silent'? It is incredible, but a fact. They stood aside and kept silent when the landlords and their henchmen drove the peasants to desperation and hunger 'riots'. They stood aside and kept silent when the capitalists and their servitors were plotting a countrywide lockout of the workers and unemployment. They could keep silent when the counter-revolutionaries were attempting to surrender the capital and withdraw the army from i t . But these individuals, i t appears, 'cannot keep silent' when the vanguard of the revolution, the Petrograd Soviet, has risen i n defence of the hoodwinked workers and peasants! And the f i r s t word that comes from their lips i s a rebuke levelled - not against the counter-revolution, oh! no! -but against the very revolution about which they gushed with enthusiasm at the tea table, but from which, at the most crucial moment, they are fleeing as i f from the plague! Is this not 'strange'? The Russian revolution has overthrown many a reputation. Its might l i e s , among other things, in the fact that i t has not cringed before celebrities, but has taken them into i t s service, or, i f they refused to learn from i t , has consigned them to oblivion. There i s a whole string of such 'celebrities' whom the revolution has rejected - Plekhanov, Kropotkin, Breshkovskaya, Zasulich and a l l those old revolutionaries i n general who are noteworthy only for being 'old'. We fear that Gorky i s envious of the laurels of these ' p i l l a r s ' . We fear that Gorky feels a 'mortal' urge to follow after them - into the museum of antiquities. Well, every man to his own fancy. . . . The revolution is not disposed either to pity or bury i t s dead. Gorky's fears and protests not withstanding, the revolution began during the early morning of October 25, 1917. Key points of the cit y were occupied almost without incident and a remarkably short time later the Bolshevik seizure of power was consummated. At that time very 64 Sukhanov, op. c i t . . pp. 579-580. 65 Stalin, Works, vol. 3, pp. 4l2-4l3. - l4o-few believed they would be able to hold power for more than two or three weeks. But the Bolsheviks disappointed their detractors, they proved determined, flexible, resilient, and gradually consolidated and extended' their power. Non-Bolshevik newspapers, suppressed one day and reappearing the next, assailed the usurpers with bitter invective. Novaya Zhizn took i t s place among the f i r s t of these, characterizing the new regime as ", . . a combination of demagoguery and impotence."^ As for Gorky, he was not to be outdone. On November 7, eleven days after the revolution, he was already characterizing Lenin and Trotsky as men "poisoned by the corruptive virus of power," He saw them now, and continued to see them for some time to come, as "blind fanatics" and "unconscionable adventurers" rushing headlong down the road to anarchy and destruction, dragging behind them the proletariat and the revolution. Chagrined by the abuses of those very freedoms for which the revolution had been fought, Gbrky heaped scorn on the Bolsheviks and begged "sensible" elements of the democracy to re-think the situation, decide again whether the road of "conspirators" and "anarchists" was their road.^ This is the substance of the mordant campaign which Gorky waged against the new regime unt i l Novaya Zhizn died i n the summer of 1918. The demise of Novaya Zhizn marks a turning point i n the l i f e of Gorky and offers a good opportunity to dot some of the - i ' s in his p o l i t -i c a l career. F i r s t l y , while admitting that government repression was not 66 Reed, John, op. c i t . , p. 264. 67 Kaun, op. c i t . . pp. 470-471. -141-the least of those forces making for Novaya Zhizn 1s death, i t should be noted that i t was not the only one. Threatened reprisals by workers, sailors, and even typesetters, i f Gorky continued i n his attacks on the government also played their part.' What a graphic i l l u s t r a t i o n of how far the p o l i t i c a l pendulum had swung to the l e f t - Gorky the radical threatened as a right-winger.^8 Then there was the general deterioration which set i n with the revolution and the outbreak of c i v i l war - shortages of paper, ele c t r i c i t y , etc. 0* 0 Then certainly Gorky helped to provoke the inevitable by his vehement atta cks on Lenin and company during this furious period. Yet Gorky supported the general program of Lenin and i t speaks unfavourably for his p o l i t i c a l perspicacity that he fa i l e d to fore-see the consequences of that program. A dictatorship is a dictatorship and whether i t be "proletarian" or "capitalist" i s of no consequence be-side the basic fact. Lenin didn't make the same mistake, he knew that ". . .no dictatorship of the proletariat (could be) thought of without terror and violence."7° In this regard we have already seen that Lenin, Trotsky, and even Sukhanov, had l i t t l e respect for Gorky's p o l i t i c a l acumen. Gorky himself claimed an organic disgust for politics and was irked by the large doses he had to take of i t as the editor of a daily newspaper.7* Then, too, he was sensitive to abuse and found i t hard to brazen through the scorn heaped on him from a l l quarters. He was also 68 Reed, op. c i t . , p. 11. 69 Kaun, op. c i t . , pp. 479-481. 70 Vernadsky, G,, History of Russia, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1951, P. 259. 71 Kaun, op. c i t . , p. 445. -142-given to vacillation and found i t d i f f i c u l t to formulate and stick to policy during Novaya Zhizn's short l i f e . 7 2 These things Considered, i t i s not at a l l unlikely that he was relieved to see Novaya Zhizn draw i t s l a s t breath. What glimpses we have seen of Gorky's work in Novaya Zhizn provide a meaningful comment on his p o l i t i c a l disposition and capacity, for during this period of momentous p o l i t i c a l and social upheaval he i g -nored the p o l i t i c a l problems facing the establishment of a revolutionary government and devoted himself almost exclusively to defending culture. Where this was not the case he tried, by passionately defending liberty and opposing violence, to direct the revolution towards humane ends. From this i t seems clear that Gorky's approach was essentially non-political, one can hardly imagine Lenin or Stalin devoting themselves to like themes at that particular moment. What then were the essential features of Gorky's p o l i t i c a l philosophy? Gorky was a Social-Democrat, he had con-sidered himself one since 1900 and had already served the Party well. He was, however, a bad one, and this he freely admitted on one of the many occasions when Lenin reproached him for his p o l i t i c a l errors , 7 5 He even prided himself on being a heretic, a quality unsupportable i n a Marxist, at least of the Lenin variety, and i f there were contradictions i n his p o l i t i c a l opinions he made no attempt to reconcile them, arguing that they were good for his s o u l . 7 4 Gorky believed, like a l l Marxists, that cap-italism was the great e v i l which had to be destroyed i f man was to 72 Kaun, op. c i t . t p. 447-449. 73 Ibid.. "Lenin of Gorky", p. 443. 74 Ibid.. "Gorky's Reply to Rech (Speech)", p. 4^4. -143-achieve victory over himself and nature, 75 but he did not believe, at least not without reservations, i n the proletariat's historical mission. In his opinion, the most precious force that Russia owned, the only force capable of carrying through a social-revolution, was her combined so c i a l i s t and scientific^technical intelligentsia.76 He would later claim that i t was his fear that a dictatorship of the proletariat would destroy this v i t a l force that led him to oppose the Bolsheviks in 1917.^ From this i t seems clear that Gorky placed much greater emphasis on the role of the intelligentsia than was customary among Marxists, believing that ". . . a dictatorship of the p o l i t i c a l l y educated workmen in close union with the intelligentsia was the only way. . , ".£lx.t Russia could overcome her difficulties. 7 ® Where the Marxists stressed the great importance of an economic transformation, Gorky saw the central task of the revolution i n ", . . the creation of conditions which would foster the growth of the country's cultural forces."79 i n balance i t would appear that Gorky's emphasis on culture tempered his whole p o l i t i c a l philosophy, where his sympathies went naturally to the vigorous, practical, forward-looking mentality of Lenin and his followers, his own refinement led him to shun violence and oppose r i g i d i t y . 75 Gorky, "Bolshevism Defended", L i t t e l l ' s Living Age. Vol. 500, p. 201. 76 Gorky, "White Emigre Literature", Culture and the People, p. 34. Gorky distinguished between the "old" intelligentsia, the specific social-i s t intelligentsia and the scientific-technical intelligentsia. He f e l t that the latter group, "the qualified and specialized", was revolutionary in i t s essence. 77 Loc. c i t . 78 Kaun, op. c i t . , p. 504. 79 Loc. c i t . CHAPTER VII THE LAST PHASE Within a few months of Novaya Zhizn 1s death, another phase of Gorky's l i f e began; the essential outlines of which remained unchanged u n t i l his death i n I936. The basic fact of this f i n a l period i s that . Gorky gave unflagging public support to the Bolsheviks. D i f f i c u l t though i t 1B to say the last word on BO complex a question, his public writings, at least, denote a striking continuity and singleness of purpose. Gorky's s h i f t from opposition to support for the Bolshevik government was dramatically announced by the publication of a militant appeal, "Follow Us", addressed to the world's proletarian and i n t e l l e c -tual t o i l e r s , January I9I9. The issues as Gorky saw them are clearly set outt "Every day that passes the cynicism of the inhuman policy of the Imperialists becomes steadily plainer and appears more and more clearly to threaten the people of Europe with new wars and new bloodshed," said Gbrky. "President Wilson, who yesterday was an eloquent defender of the freedom of peoples and the rights of democracy, to-day equips a powerful army 'for the restoration of order' i n revolutionary Russia, where the people already realize their lawful rights, have taken the power into their own hands, and, aocording to their capacity are striving to lay the foundations of a new structure of state."* This fact, that the Russian 1 Gbrky, "Bolshevism Defended", L i t t e l l ' s Living Age, vol. 300 (January 25, 1919), P. 200. -145-people had entered on the phase of their regeneration and were being frustrated by the Imperialists of Europe was of cardinal importance to Gorky. Any group which could give leadership i n restoring the nation's cultural and productive forces and at the same time frustrate the Imperialists' designs on Russia was certain of his support. By this time i t was clear that there was no force i n Russia except the Bolsheviks capable of assuming authority, and inspiring the exhausted country. 2 Although he had been an opponent of the government and was " s t i l l i n dis-agreement with i t s methods of work," although "the work of building up had been followed by often unnecessary work of pulling down," and, "great mistakes had been made i n Russia, perhaps superfluous cruelty. . . practised," this was of l i t t l e importance "compared with the f r i g h t f u l crimes of the cruel war, which was provoked by the English and German Imperialists," against Revolutionary Russia.5 For Gorky this act of aggression proved Capitalism's worthlessness, and impelled him to defend the Bolsheviks. Although Gorky loathed cruelty and bloodshed, he be-lieved there were historical periods when these things were inevitable and even necessary. 4 When the release of repression swept a l l before i t and destroyed everything that smacked of the old order, Gorky was not 2 Gorky, "Vladimir H i t c h Lenin", L i t t e l l ' s Living Age, vol. 507 (October 19, 1920), p. 70. "On the Literature of the White Emigres", Culture and the  People, New York, Internation Publishers, 1959» P« 16*. 5 Gbrky, "Bolshevism Defended", p. 200. 4 Gorky, "Lenin", p. 72. "My correspondents ought to understand that they are liv i n g i n years of war and that i t is hypocritical and. stupid to demand "mercy" on the battlefield during the fighting." Gorky, "On the 'Good Life*",.Culture and the People. New York, Internation Publishers, 1929, p. 86. -146-I disillusioned and despairing. Although he was often disgusted with actual events, he was able to adjust himself. What really matters is that Gorky f u l l y realised the impa ct that the Russian revolution would make on Russian and world history and threw i n his lot with the revolu-tionary forces. This is not to say that there were not squabbles and misunderstandings. Undoubtedly Gorky had asked himself the question which he put to the workers and intellectuals of the worldt . . . which i s better for you: the defenders of the ancient order, representatives of the system of minority government over majority, out of date, impossible for the future, and destructive of culture, or the leader and teacher of the new social ideals and sentiments, which embody a l l the workers' beautiful thought of the happiness of free labor and brother-hood of the people.? To Gorky who had begun his revolutionary career by singing the glory of madly brave men there could be only one answer: Come and go with us towards the new l i f e , whose creation we work for without sparing anybody or any thing. Erring and suffering i n the great joy of labour and i n the burning hope of progress we leave to the honest judgement of history a l l our deeds. Come with us to the battle against the ancient order, to work for new forms of l i f e I Forth to l i f e ' s free-dom and beauty!" Once again an appraisal of Gorky's act i v i t i e s reveals that he was hardly a p o l i t i c a l force, except, perhaps, as his word carried weight at home and abroad.- He came as close as he was to come to an active p o l i t i c a l role on December 19, 1918, when as an international figure of the l e f t , he chaired a preliminary organizational meeting of the Third 5 Gorky, "Bolshevism Defended", p. 202. 6 Loc. c i t . -147-International. 7 This was shortly before his public adherence to Lenin's regime. Zinoviev gave the keynote address and there i s no evidence that Gorky's influence was great. Soon after this, his relations with Lenin were restored after a severance of fiv e years, but their relations were at - times strained and. Gorky remarks i n his obituary note on Lenin that i t could hardly have been otherwise, fort "Lenin was a po l i t i c i a n . He was i n f u l l possession of that a r t i f i c i a l l y but precisely mastered re c t i l i n e a r i t y of vision, which is indispensable for the helmsman of such an enormous, heavy ship as is the leaden peasant Russia," Against this quality Gorky posed ". . . an organic disgust for politics,' and . . . a rather doubtful Marxism, because (he) had l i t t l e f a i t h i n the wisdom of masses i n general and of the peasant mass, i n particular,"® Gorky was never able to reconcile himself to Bolshevik ruthlessness and made use of his friendship with Lenin to intercede personally on behalf of countless individuals needlessly persecuted by the regime. In this respect he occupied a privileged position, as a former Bolshevik he had access to the PartyIs top leadership and their not unsympathetic ear. He took advantage of this position to point out the great gulf between the Bolsheviks' starting practices and their theory,9 The Bolshevik leaders, for their part, exploited the fact that they had Gorky's support, with gusto. Lenin, himself, repeatedly stressed the importance of making the 7 Carr, E.H,, A History of Soviet Russiai The Bolshevik Revolution, London, MacMillan Co., 1952-53, vol. 5, p. 117. 8 Kaun, A., Maxim Gorky and His Russia, New York, Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, 1951, pp. 505-504. 9 Liberman, Simon, Building Lenin's Russia, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1945, p. 15. -148-most effective use of Gorky as a propagandist. 1 0 Ghary of talent he was especially solicitous of Gorky. As an example, we note his instructions to Krupskaya i n a letter dated May 16, I9I91**". . . would i t be possible to give Gorky a cabin on the Krasnaya Zvesda (Red Star). 1 1 (Propaganda steamer on the Volga and Kama rivers.) "He i s arriving here tomorrow and I would very much like to get him out of Petrograd where his nerves have gone to pieces and he i s depressed." In his p o l i t i c a l writings, Gorky appeared again i n defense of culture and c i v i l i z a t i o n , he tried once more to inculcate a higher, more humane consciousness i n his fellow Russians by reiterating his pet ideas -the supreme value of science, knowledge, creative labour, equality and freedom, i n short the superiority of the west over the east.* 2 Two of his p o l i t i c a l writings attracted particular attention!*? one was an ar t i c l e on Lenin written for the o f f i c i a l organ of the Third International (1920); and the other was an ar t i c l e on the Russian peasantry (1922). To Lenin he paid high pr&ise as the courageous i n i t i a t o r of a European social revolution, and that i n backward, indolent Russia. The ar t i c l e i s 10 Kaun, op. c i t . . p. 512, 11 H i l l , E., and Mudie, D., The Letters of Lenin, New York, Harcourt Brace, I957, p. 455. 12 Gorky, "The Cruelty of the Russian", Nation, vol, 7 (September 5, 1923), p. 25L "A Plea for the Strenuous Life", L i t t e l l ' s Living Age, v o l . 515, !922, pp. 214-220. "Gorky on Russian Labour", L i t t e l l ' s Living Age, vol. 5 1 0, 1921, p. 65. 15 Mirsky, D.S., Contemporary Russian Literature, 1881-1925, London, George Routledge, 1955, P* 1 1 1 « -149-perhaps more important for what Gorky says about Lenin's madness after three years of revolution and c i v i l war t " . . . there was a moment when my natural pity for the people of Russia made me consider this madness as almost a crime. But now I see that the people can suffer patiently much better than i t can work conscientiously and honestly. So again I sing the glory of the sacred madness of the brave."* 4 In the second a r t i c l e he denounced the peasantry with "unusual bitterness. «15 Gorky had long ago rejected the Narodniks' i l l u s i o n of i n t r i n s i c peasant nobility. Prom f i r s t hand experience he knew well the village with i t s ". . . vulgar sorrows and joys. . . i t s intellectual blindness, and i t s psychic cruelty."* 0' It was, i n fact, one of Gorky's convictions that the village was the basic obstacle standing i n the way of a Europeanized and cultured Russia,*7 When Gorky announced that he would give his support to the regime, he claimed to have been greatly influenced by the energy and scope of i t s cultural work.*® Despite the most d i f f i c u l t conditions, he f e l t that i t was making a magnificent contribution. In 1919 he joined Lenin's cabinet* 0 i n order to help the program along. Chiefly he worked to help 14 Gbrky, "The Prophet of Bolshevism", L i t t e l l ' s Living Age, vol. 507 (October 19, 1920), pp. 69-75. 15 Mirsky, op. c i t . , p. 111, 16 Gbrky, "The Cruelty of the Russian", p. 252. 17 Kaun, op. c i t . , p. 5o4. 18 Gorky, "Bolshevism Defended", pp. 200-202. 19 Clark, Barret H., intimate Portraits, New York, Dramatic Play Service, 1951, P. 14. -150-Russia's intellectuals through shortages and famine. The bulk of the Russian intelligentsia f a i l e d to adjust to the new situation, they refused to take part i n revolutionary work, and even refused to assist the govern-ment's cultural program. As a consequence, i n part, of their maladjust-ment they suffered dire privations. In order to involve some at least of these people in useful work and at the same time save them from starvation Gorky pioneered i n the editing of a huge series of the world's classics. To carry out the scheme, a system of centralized publishing houses was established and hundreds of writers and scholars were employed as trans-lators, researchers, and editors! He also founded the House of Art and the House of the Scholars, institutions which gave shelter to hundreds of intellectuals i n Petrograd. Later, when he was already i n Germany, he tried to collect funds for the intellectuals of Russia, writing as a part of his efforts an "Appeal to the Generous Heart of America." 2 0 When Marxian c r i t i c s demanded that a communist culture should be developed that would reflect the p o l i t i c a l , social, and economic ideals of the new society, Gorky gave his support to the idea and helped to encourage young writers from among the workers. At the same time, he tried to prevent the movement from becoming narrowly sectarian by advocating the creative assimilation of the best elements of the old intelligentsia culture by the new proletarian culture. 2* In a l l these things the great writer exercised a beneficial influence. Mirsky maintains that Gorky's work 20 Gbrky, "Appeal to the Generous Heart of America", Literary Digest, v o l . 72 (March 18, 1922), p. 48. 21 Lavrin, Janko, Pushkin to Mayakovshy, A Study i n the Evolution of  Literature, London, Sylvan Press, 1948, p. 211. -151-during this period was "most salutary" and earned him the lasting debt of Russian c i v i l i z a t i o n . 2 2 These years of hardship and overwork took their t o l l of Gorky's health. A sufferer from chronic tuberculosis, his situation had become so serious by the f a l l of 1921 that he was forced to undertake a cure abroad. He settled f i r s t i n Germany and later i n southern Italy. A year after his departure from Russia, Gorky was s t i l l l i v i n g i n a sanatorium near Berlin. While here he kept the press at arms length. In these circles i t was rumoured that he was dying. It was known that he refused to talk for publication and what is more, refused to talk about p o l i t i c s . 2 5 With those he knew a l i t t l e better he was not so reticent. Although he was s t i l l bitter about Bolshevik brutality he refused to conr 24 demn them, not even the imprisonments, the banishments and the terror. ^ About the future of Russia he was not too optimistic, and i n conversation with Barrett H. Clark expressed the opinion that revolutions only aggra-vate a bad situation - they substitute one set of chains for another. In Russia he f e l t the situation was particularly bad because the workmen were so l a z y . 2 5 A l l this raises the question of why Gorky l e f t Russia. Was i t because of his health, or was i t , as the emigres insisted and Soviet detractors s t i l l i n s i s t , because he could not live and work there? 22 Mirsky, op. c i t . , p. 111. 25 Clark, Intimate Portraits, p. 5. 24 Harris, Frank, Contemporary Portraits, Fourth Series, London, Grant. Richards, 1924, p. 184^  25 Clark, op. c i t . , p. 18. -152-The o f f i c i a l version i s that Lenin urged Gorky to go abroad for reasons of health. Excerpts from this correspondence are published by Kaun, and the fact that Gorky refused to condemn the regime either publicly or privately lends credence to this version. Some people, like Marc Slonim, who met Gbrky i n Europe express the view that he found the p o l i t i c a l atmosphere i n his homeland too oppressive, and that this factor together with his bad health led to his departure. In their company he expressed concern about the lack of freedom i n Russia, and never concealed his aversion for the censorship. 2? When Gorky's health improved to the point where he could live without his doctors, he moved to southern Italy where he lived u n t i l 1929. It was during this period that Lenin died (January 21, 1924), and that Gorky wrote his sympathetic and laudatory reminiscences of him. It was during this period also that Russia, after 1922 the Soviet Union, staged a remarkable recovery and the Bolshevik government extended i t s roots deeper into the nation. During the same years Gorky's prestige con-tinued to grow and by 1928 he was looked upon as the greatest moral and cultural force i n the Soviet Union.2® In Italy, as i n Germany, Gorky devoted himself exclusively to lit e r a r y work, and these years saw the production of some of his maturest work. On p o l i t i c a l questions he kept relative silence. At the same time he carried on a vast correspondence 26" Kaun, op. c i t . . p. 51*. 27 Slonim, Marc, Modern Russian Literature, New York, Oxford University Press, 1953, p. 150. 28 Lavrin, Janko, An Introduction to the Russian Novel, London, Metheun, 1947, p. 1J9. -155-with writers and readers i n the Soviet Union, some of whom came on p i l -grimages to see him. In this way he maintained contact with the new generation and i t s best creative forces. During these years the emigre press waged a ceaseless campaign of v i l i f i c a t i o n and slander against the regime, and against Gorky per-sonally. The emigres hated him because of his friendship with the Soviet leaders, and even more for his acceptance of the revolution, and his apparent determination to live with i t . They found i t impossible to for-give him for always emphasizing i t s positive features and publicly ignor-ing the despotism, the imprisonments, the censorship, etc. 2? But to Gbrky the atrocities of the old regime and the appalling shortsightedness and i n f l e x i b i l i t y of the emigres was even more execrable. The tremendous up-surge i n a l l branches of the national l i f e , the cultural progress, and, particularly the tremendous strides made i n removing the blight of mass i l l i t e r a c y , far outweighed a l l these shortcomings. In brief, the workers of the Soviet Union were building a new society based on reason, equality, and justice and Gorky's sympathies were in f u l l accord with the effort i "My joy and my pride is the new Russian man, the builder of the new state."5° By 1927 he had become definitely reconciled to the regime, and as i f to announce his allegiance, he broke a longstanding silence to denounce the emigres i n a contemptuously worded a r t i c l e , "On the 29 Kaun, "Mikhail Osorgin's Letter to Kaun", Maxim Gorky and His Russia, P. 557. 50 Gorky, "Ten Years", Culture and the People, New York, Internation Publishers, 1959, P. 21. -154-Literature of the White Emigres",?* From this time on, Gorky, both i n his speeches and public writings, gave unconditional support to the new order.? 2 The growth of Gorky's moral authority and prestige i n the Soviet Union was accompanied by an insistent pressure for his return. "By 1928 the Russians had already gone far toward making a legend of him. He was one of their evidences of intellectual respectability; he was a lin k with the past; he was the symbol of genius now completely committed to the communist cause."?? Now that he had broken a long silence to make his position towards the new state clear, he was treated with unrivalled applause. In March, 1928, his birthday was celebrated as a national event, honours were heaped upon him, with the inevitable result, that Gorky returned to Russia i n May.?4 Both there and on his return to Italy i n the f a l l , he spoke enthusiastically about the rejuvenated Russia and i n the following year he returned for good. The ovation he received was as great as the one accorded him on the year before.?? J l Culture and the People, New York, Internation Publishers, 1959, p. 53. One of the f i r s t of a long series of public writings defending • the Soviet Union. 32 Slonim, op. c i t . . p. 150. Consult also the collected editions of Gorky's articles listed i n the bibliography. 33 Christian Century, vol. 55 (1928), p. 925. 34 Chaliapin, an old friend of Gorky's, stresses the importance that love of Russia played i n Gorky's decision. "Gorky f e l t deeply that wev a l l belonged to our country, to our people, and that we must be with them not only morally - but also p h y s i c a l l y - with a l l our scars, a l l our wounds, a l l our disfigurements." Chaliapin, F., "My Friend Gorky", L i t t e l l ' s Living Age, vol. 3?1 (1956-1957), p. 45. 55 Wilson's Bulletin, vol. 4 (1950), p. 5?A. -155-Gorky's return initiated what Kaun called " . . . the most exuberant phase of his life . " 5 6 Be that as i t may, i t i s clear that Gorky,felt i t was his duty to contribute to the building of the U.S.S.R. and gave himself unsparingly to the task,57 and even cautioned against inordinate criticism of the regime because of the "lascivious" way i n which hostile elements pounced on the facts and distorted them to suit their advantage.5® The next eight years were packed with a c t i v i t y . He wrote his own f i c t i o n and drama, c r i t i c a l essays and comments. He was the active editor of numerous publications, l i t e r a r y and h i s t o r i c a l . He carried on an active correspondence and responded to countless public demands. In addition, he gave hours of time to the instruction and encouragement of Soviet literature. In his p o l i t i c a l writings, many of which were angry polemics written i n a popular, journalistic style, he revealed himself as an uncompromising anti-capitalist. The ravishment of war, the impoverishment of the workers and the peoples of the world, de<? bauchery and licence of a l l kinds he l a i d at capital's door. His i n f l u -ence, particularly i n matters of li t e r a r y policy, bolstered by his .56 Kaun, A., "Maxim Gbrky i n Search of a Synthesis", Slavonic Review, vol. 17 (January .1959), p. 457. 37 Of. Borland, H.,, "Gorky", Soviet Literary Theory and Practice During  the F i r s t Five Year Plan. 1928-1952. New York, King's Crown Press, 1950, p. 26. "Are we. . . t o sacrifice ourselves to the revolutionary demands of the epoch? . . . Yes, we must re-educate ourselves so that serving the social revolution becomes at the same time a source of gratification to the individual," 38 Gorky, "Reply to an Intellectual", Articles and Pamphlets, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1950, p. 265. Gorky took"the question of self-criticism up with Stalin i n 1950. For Stalin's reply, cf. Stalin, Collected Works, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1955, vol. 12, pp. 179-185. -156-personal friendship with Stalin, was very great.59 Almost coincident with Gorky's return, a number of developments occurred of paramount importance to Russia's future. Of chief importance was the emergence of Stalin as undisputed leader of the Communist Party, the one real force within the country. What Stalin did after the con-solidation of his power is of the f i r s t importance, for Gorky's career because i t conditioned the atmosphere of this whole period, for Russia because Stalin reshaped the whole course of her history. F i r s t , under the slogan "Catch up and Overtake the West", he undertook the rapid and complete industrialization of Russia. To achieve his purpose, he i n -augurated the f i r s t Five-Year Plan (1928), which projected an organized program for the exploitation of Russia's immense resources. In this tremendous drive for production, . . . Stalin antic-ipated and exceeded a l l that was later to be done by any country that valued i t s independence, he was attempting his greatest taski he was remoulding the character of the whole people and creating a new Russia - not of world dreamers, but of technicians, administrators, and men of business, and this has proved to be the most marked distinction between the • old Russia and the new.^° Second, he launched a frontal attack on Russia's most challenging problem, the agricultural problem. Russia's agriculture was i n desperate need of reorganization, what determined Stalin's approach was the basic fact that her agriculture was s t i l l organized on individualistic lines, a condition inimical to the whole idea of a soc i a l i s t Russia. To right the situation Stalin declared a ruthless class war i n the countryside during the course 59 Slonim, Modern Russian Literature, p. 150; Struve, Gleb, Soviet  RussiahiLiterature, 1917-1950, Oklahoma, University of Oklahoma Press, 1951, P. 56. 40 Pares, B., A History of Russia, New York, Knopf, 1950, p. 505. -157-of which the individual farmers were crushed and their small holdings collectivized. The result of Stalin's program was to throw the nation into a state of war i n which her vast energies were concentrated on an internal revolution as far reaching i n many respects as the revolution of 1917. 4 1 When Stalin announced his f i r s t Five-Year Plan, he demanded enormous sacrifices of the nation. Since Marxist theory had consistently stressed the pedagogical usefulness and social responsibilities of l i t e r -ature, i t was only natural that he should have demanded the assistance of writers and literature as well. What the government required of l i t e r -ature at that particular juncture were p o l i t i c a l l y true documentaries of the new construction i n facory and mine, effective agitation for the successful fulfilment of the Five-Year Plan, and a portrayal of the newly emerging man.42 There was nothing repugnant about these demands to.Gorky, he was ideologically and emotionally i n accord with the government's program: "The cultural and educational importance of literature, i t s role as the travelling companion of history, and i t s c r i t i c a l attitude towards contemporary l i f e are underestimated," said Gbrky.4? During this period he pioneered i n the organization of collective literary undertakings, 41 It is quite impossible to give a picture of a l l the forces at work during this momentous epoch i n a few sentences. The aid of a good history i s indispensable. Recommended are: Pares, A History of Russia, PP. 499-512; and Vernadsky,G., History of Russia, New Haven, Yale University Press, I95I, pp. 350-343. 42 Borland, op. c i t . , p. 43. 43 Ibid., p. 145. (Gorky, "On Literature"). -158-notably "The History of the C i v i l War" and a "History of the Factories and Plants." As a part of the latter, appeared a volume describing the construction of the Stalin Canal linking the White Sea with the Baltic, and built with the forced-labour of common law criminals and p o l i t i c a l prisoners. Gorky's object i n producing the books of this series was to provide a training ground for the new generation of worker-intellectuals, the future sociologists, writers, and historians; to give a p o l i t i c a l education to a new strata of the working class; to develop the revol-utionary class-consciousness of the proletariat and mobilize the masses for a further struggle for socialism. He f e l t that workers' meetings dealing with the history of the factory would help them to assimilate Bolshevik traditions and revolutionary experience of the old workers. Finally, he f e l t that putting the vast material into literary form, brigades of young writers would learn the basic methods of lit e r a r y work, 4 4 During the same period he also advocated the publication of yearly surveys of literature for the "pedagogical" purpose of keeping the public informed about the latest advances i n literature. 4? Generally the l i t e r a r y work of 1928-1922 played the p o l i t i c a l role demanded of i t . 4 0 " By 1932, however, the situation i n literature proved unsatisfactory, discontent over the fact that planned endeavor had produced nothing of lasting significance, coupled with an impatience over shoddy lit e r a r y qualities made reform imperative. The situation was 44 Borland, op. c i t . , p. 69. Gorky, "On Literature". 45 Gorky, "Young Soviet Writers", Yale Review, vol. 20 (1921), p. 492. 46 Borland, op. c i t . , p. 170. -159-made intolerable by the existence of the Russian Association of Pro-letarian Writers (RAPP), a clique of lit e r a r y politicians who terrorized Soviet letters. Discontented writers, especially Gorky, f e l t the need for less regimentation, greater freedom of expression, and higher a r t i s t i c achievements and worked actively for adjustments. Their case was won and a wholesale reorganization of Soviet literature was set under way Apr i l 25, 1952, when RAPP was abolished by a decree of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. In this reorganization Gorky played a leading role and from now on his voice carried particular weight i n lite r a r y circles . 4 7 Although on the surface the reforms gave the impression of libe r a l i z i n g the whole f i e l d of literature, i n practice this proved to be anything but the case. It seems clear, that RAPP was abolished largely because i t had outlived i t s usefulness, and that some kind of literary reorganization was necessary to ensure that i t followed the Party line and at the same time retained high quality.4® From a practical point of view, the most important part of the 1952 resolution of the Central Committee was the creation of a single Union of Soviet Writers. Theoretically, the Union was a free association of writers who adhered to the p o l i t i c a l pro-gram of the Soviet government and supported the work of socia l i s t con-struction. Of greater importance, the authors belonging to the Union were required to accept and practice the o f f i c i a l literary method known as Socialist Realism. In practice this meant that the government had 47 Struve, Gleb, Soviet Russian Literature, 1917-1950. p. 256. 48 Ibid., p. 257. -1 do-se cured the p o l i t i c a l allegiance of writers and at the same time won their adherence to a definite literary school.^ Another creation of the reorganization was a Literary Institute to work as an adjunct of the Writer's Association, of this Gorky was a principal sponsor. In big part as a result of Gorky's efforts, the f i r s t Congress of Soviet Writers took place i n the summer of 1954. Andrey Zhdanov, a government spokesman, and not Gorky, gave the keynote address. Beginning with an optimistic, even laudatory, survey of Soviet developments, Zhdanov then informed the delegates that the strength and achievements of Soviet literature were to be found i n the " . . . success of soc i a l i s t construction. 1 , 5 0 He then proceeded to outline the dominant character-i s t i c s of Soviet literature J Our literature i s the youngest of a l l literature of a l l peoples and countries. . . at the same time i t i s the richest in ideas, the most advanced and the most revolutionary l i t e r -ature. Never before has there been a literature which has organized the toilers and oppressed for the struggle to abolish once and for a l l every kind of exploitation and the yoke of wage slavery. Never before has there been a l i t e r -ature which has based the subject matter of i t s work on the l i f e of the working class and peasantry and their fight for socialism. Nowhere, in no country i n the world, has there been a literature which has defended and upheld the principle of equality for the toilers of a l l nations, the principle of equality for women. There is not, there cannot be i n bour-geois countries a literature which consistently smashes every kind of abscurantism, every kind of mysticism, priesthood and superstition. Only Soviet literature, which i s of one fles h and blood with Socialist construction, could become, and has indeed be-come, such a literature - so ri c h i n ideas, so advanced and revolutionary. 49 Struve, op. c i t . . p. 238. 50 Scott, H.G. ed., Problems of Soviet Literature. New York, Inter-national Publishers, 1955, P. 17. The succeeding quotations w i l l be found i n the same source between pp. 17-24. -161-The Soviet writer derived his subject matter, and his images " . . . from the l i f e and experience of the men and women of Dnieprostroy, of Magnitostroy. . . from the creative action that is seething in a l l corners of our country." The heroes of Soviet literature were " . . . the active builders of a new l i f e - working men and women, men and women collective farmers, Party members, business managers, engineers, members of the Young Communist League, Pioneers." The method of Socialist Realism, the scope, the aims and characteristics of which had been hotly debated by c r i t i c s and lit e r a r y men i n the months preceding the congress was defined by Zhdanov, as follows t Comrade Stalin has called our writers engineers of human souls. What does this mean? What duties does the t i t l e confer upon you? In the f i r s t place, i t means knowing l i f e so as to be able to depict i t truthfully i n works of art, not to depict i t i n a dead, scholastic way, not simply as "objective reality," but to depict re a l i t y i n i t s revolutionary development. In addition to this, the truthfulness and historical con-creteness of the a r t i s t i c portrayal should be combined with the ideological remoulding and education of the to i l i n g people i n the s p i r i t of socialism. This method i n belles lettres and lite r a r y criticism i s what we c a l l the method of soc i a l i s t realism. . . . Soviet literature i s tendencious, for i n an epoch of class struggle there i s not and cannot be a literature which i s not class literature, not tendencious, allegedly non-political. . . . the aim of our tendency is to liberate the toi l e r s , to free a l l mankind from the yoke of capitalist slavery. To be an engineer of human souls means standing with both feet firmly planted on the basis of real l i f e . And this i n i t s turn denotes a rupture with romanticism of the old type, which depicted a non-existent l i f e and non-existent heroes, leading the reader away from the antagonisms and oppression of real l i f e into a world of the impossible, into a world of utopean dreams. Our literature, which stands with both feet firmly planted on a materialist basis, cannot be hostile to romanticism, but i t must be a romanticism of a new type, revolutionary romanticism. We -162-say that socialist realism i s the basic method of Soviet belles  lettres and literary criticism, and this presupposes that rev-olutionary romanticism should enter into literary creation as a component part, for the whole l i f e of our Party, the whole l i f e of the working class and i t s struggle consist i n a combination of the most stern and sober practical work, with a supreme s p i r i t of heroic deeds and- magnificant future prospects. . . Soviet literature should be able to portray our heroes. . . glimpse our tomorrow. In finishing up, Zhdanov laid stress on the importance of mastering literary technique and paid especial tribute to Gorky's work i n raising the quality of Soviet Literature. As a parting admonishment, he urged the writers to c r i t i c a l l y assimilate the l i t e r a r y heritage of a l l epochs: Comrades, the proletariat, just as i n other provinces of material and spiritual culture, i s the sole heir of a l l that i s best i n the treasury of world literature. . . i t is our duty to gather i t up carefully to study i t and, having c r i t i c a l l y assimilated i t , to advance further. He then set out the tasks of Soviet literature, the p o l i t i c a l importance of which is manifestt Organize the work of your congress and that of the Union of Soviet Writers i n the future i n such a way that the creative work of our writers may conform to the victories that socialism has won. Create works of high attainment, of high ideological and a r t i s t i c content. Actively help to remould the mentality of people i n the s p i r i t of socialism. Be i n the front ranks of those who are fighting for a classless socialist society. There is l i t t l e doubt that Gorky was i n general accord with Zhdanov's thesis and program.?1 Indeed, Gorky played a leading role i n 51 Cf. Gorky, "Soviet Literature", i n Scott, Problems of Soviet  Literature, pp. 27-69. Note particularly pp. 50-69. -165-i n i t i a t i n g and formulating the theory of Socialist Realism, imparting to i t a l l of the high aims and purpose for which he had aspired a l l of his l i f e . In his address to the congress, he expounded again the idea which we have come across so often and to which he clung so tenaciously from his earliest days: 5 2 L i f e , as asserted by soc i a l i s t realism, i s deeds, creative-ness, the aim of which is the uninterrupted development of the priceless individual faculties of man, with a view to his v i c -tory over the forces of nature, for the sake of his health and longevity, for the supreme joy of living on an earth which, i n conformity with the steady growth of his requirements, he wishes to mould throughout into a beautiful dwelling place for mankind, united into a single family. At the 1954 Congress, i t was apparent that the Soviet regime and i t s aesthetics had won a broad measure of acceptance among the i n -tellectuals. 55 The Party's summation of the aims and characteristics of Soviet Literature was accepted overwhelmingly by a non-communist majority. The same thing was true for the method of Socialist Realism, but Slonim cautions the literary historian about being deceived by the apparent unanimity for Socialist Realism had many shades of meaning for the dele-gates, and i t s meaning has changed at least three times since. The theory has proved very flexible, changing i t s meaning to keep abreast of the social and p o l i t i c a l kaleidoscope. What i s true of Socialist Real-ism, and of this at least two c r i t i c s are in agreement, is that i t is a device which ties literature and i t s practitioners to the service and command of the state - a condition incompatible with f u l l a r t i s t i c 52 Gorky, "Soviet Literature", Problems of Soviet Literature, pp. 65-66. 55 Slonim, Modern Russian Literature, p. 407. -164-freedom.-^ What Gorky's reaction to this development would have been had he lived i s not altogether clear. It is known that he viewed the reforms of 1952 as a democratization of the whole atmosphere i n l i t e r -ature and i t is very unlikely that he would have accepted a new wave of regimentation passively. However, he complained loudly and bitterl y over Bolshevik perversions of liberty and justice i n the past, but always he returned to the Party. Given a writer with Gorky's temperament, the threat of a German invasion and the compulsion which i t seems to have exercised on Soviet thinking during the period 1954-1941, i t is not at a l l impossible that he would, once more, have adhered to the "Party Line." It was Gorky who wrote i n 1950|55 From within the country, cunning enemies organized a shortage of food. The kulaks terrorise the collective farm peasants by murder, by arson, by a l l sorts of v i l l a i n i e s ; everything that has outlived the term set by history is against us, and this gives us the right to consider ourselves as being s t i l l i n a state of civil-war. The natural conclu-sion which follows i s : "If the enemy does not surrender, he must be destroyed." No p o l i t i c a l history of Gorky could be complete without an examination of the influence of his vast moral authority on both o f f i c i a l and public opinion. Some indication of how important a p o l i t i c a l force this was i s given i n the extravagant use that the Bolshevik's made of Gorky's support i n 1919, and, particularly, during the 1950's, where they used him " . . . much as some ecclesiastical groups use a holy relic."5°' 54 Slonim, op. c i t . , p. 455; and Struve, Soviet Literature, 1917-1952, p. 571. 55 Gorky, Culture and the People, p. 92. 56 Slonim, op. c i t . , p. 151. -165-Ih 1952- when his f o r t i e t h anniversary as a writer was celebrated, whole pages of the Moscow newspapers were devoted to praise of his art and especially to his support of the regime.57 Many were the honours be-stowed upon him and to crown his acclaim the Moscow Art Theatre, his home town Nizhni-Novgorod, and Moscow's most famous street were named after him. We have seen that Lenin recognised i n Gorky's moral support an advantage to be exploited and exerted himself to maintain i t . Stalin was no less quick to seize an advantage, exploiting i t to an abhorrent degree i n the late t h i r t i e s . The Soviet Encyclopedia stresses heavily the fact that Stalin and Gorky were "great friends", that Gorky became Stalin's "guide and moral support."5® Deutscher gives as the basic requirements of the leader i n a revolutionary war, " . . . indomitable w i l l , moral authority, p o l i t i c a l and strategic talents, t a c t i c a l f l e x i b i l i t y , and administrative capacity," a l l to an exceptional degree.59 Stalin un-questionably had each of these requirements with, perhaps, the single exception of moral authority. He must have f e l t a particular compulsion to strengthen this weakness during the ferment of the t h i r t i e s . How better could he have achieved this end than by linking his name with that of the immensely popular Gorky.^0 In the purge t r i a l s of 1958, i t 57 Publisher's Weekly, vol. 122 (1952), P. 1^57. 58 Vedencky, B.A., ed., Great Soviet Encyclopedia, Moscow, vol. 12, 1952, p. 259. 59 Deutscher, I., The Prophet Armed; Trotsky, 1879-1921, London, Oxford University Press, 1954, p. 589. 60 Gorky l e f t no portrait of Stalin as he did of Lenin, but he did leave a comment which seems to f i t : "A superbly disciplined w i l l , the mind of a great theoretician, the boldness of a talented administrator, the intuition of a true revolutionary, with a g i f t for perceiving the -166-was alleged by the government that Gorky had been murdered by the so-called "Trotskyite and Right-Opposition." The reason given for the crime was the "inflexible p o l i t i c a l support" which Gorky gave to S t a l i n . ^ 1 The anti-Stalinists, on the other hand, have alleged that Stalin engineered the murder of Gorky because "The old man" rebelled against the regime i n 1925-1936 and constituted a serious menace because of his prestige.62 The central fact emerging from these allegations i s that Gorky's capacity to mould public opinion was a force to be reckoned with. It i s manifest that Gorky's immense preBtige as a writer and revolutionary was a p o l i t i c a l asset of the f i r s t order for any side that could claim his allegiance. Gorky's extraordinary career ended with his death, June 18, 1926. Venerated i n the last years of his l i f e as the Dean of Soviet 60 oont. the intricacies of human nature, for nurturing the finest qualities i n a man and ruthlessly opposing any one who interferes with the f u l l e s t possible development of these qualities - these are the things that made Stalin successor to Lenin." Magil, A.B., "Stalin and Peace 1 Alternatives to Disaster", Masses and Mainstream, vol. 6 (April, 1952), P. 9. 61 Report of Court Proceedings i n the case of the "Anti-Soviet Bloc of  Rights""and Trotskyites". verbatim report. People's Commissariat of Justice of the U.S.S.R., Moscow, 1928, P» 22. 62 Trotsky, L., Stalin. New York, Harper and Bros., 1946, p. 4l9. It is v i r t u a l l y impossible to see through the charges and counter charges surrounding this t r i a l , especially from this distance-. In view of the fact that Gorky was old and ai l i n g , i t is more than probable that he died a natural death. Poskrebyshev, Stalin's chief secretary, i n his reminiscences, intimates that this was actually the case. Cf. Deutscher, Isaac, Stalin: A P o l i t i c a l Biography, London, Oxford University Press, 1949, P. 272, n. 1. -167-Letters, he received a l l the honours of a state funeral. As a f i n a l tribute, his ashes, borne by Stalin and the leaders of the state, were buried i n the Kremlin wall, an honour reserved for the most illust r i o u s heroes of the revolution. CHAPTER VIII CONCLUSIONS The hypothesis on which this thesis began was the very general one, that a study of Gorky's p o l i t i c a l history would contribute to an understanding of Soviet p o l i t i c a l and cultural history. The materials adduced i n the course of the exposition are sufficient to prove the validi t y of this hypothesis. It seems clear that the same materials, also, warrant a reiteration of the more specific hypothesesi (1) that Gorky's p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s were of considerable importance; and further, that his exceptional prestige was consistently exploited by the Communist Party; (2) that an examination of Gorky's p o l i t i c a l history w i l l reveal a number of the key problems facing the Russian revolutionaries and hence contribute to an understanding of the character of Russian Communism; (3) that a study of his p o l i t i c a l associations w i l l provide valuable insights into the respective characters of Lenin and Stalin, the key figures of Soviet p o l i t i c a l history; and (4) that a knowledge of his p o l i t i c a l history i s of crucial importance to an appreciation of his literary work. BIBLIOGRAPHY Books Bakshy, A. Seven Plays of Maxim Gorky. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1945. Balabanoff, Angelica. My Life as a Rebel. London, Hamish Hamilton, 1958. 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North American Review, vol. 185 (*906), pp. 1159-H70. Youzovsky, J. "Gorky and Bulichov." Theatre Arts, vol. 20 (1956), p. 719. "Zamiatin,.A New Soviet Novelist." L i t t e l l ' s Living Age, v o l . 545 (1955), pp.160-165. Works by Gorky Arranged in chronological order. 1892. "Makar Chudra." Selected Short Stories, 1892-3-901, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954, pp. 17-44. 1895. "At the Salt Marsh." Selected Short Stories. 1892-1901, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954, pp. 45-68. -179-1894. "About a L i t t l e Boy and L i t t l e G i r l Who did not Ereeze to Death." Selected Short Stories, 1892-1901, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publish-ing House, 1954, pp. 184-200. "Ohelkash." Selected Short Stories, 1892-1901, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954, pp. 116-182. "The Song.of the Falcon." Selected Short Stories, 1892-1901, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954, pp. 201-211. "One Autumn Night." Ohelkash and Other Stories. Trans. R. Nisbet Bain. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1914, pp. 85-96. 1895. • "Old Woman Izergil." Selected Short Stories, 1892-1901. Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954, pp. 69 - H 5 . "The Affair of the Clasps." The Outcasts and Other Stories. London, T. Fisher Unwin, 1902, pp. 187-216. "On a Raft." Creatures That Once Were Men. New York, Modern Library, 1925, pp. 229-249. "A Mite of a G i r l . " Selected-Short Stories. 1892-1901. Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954, pp. 217-227. "Kolusha." Selected Short Stories, 1892-1901, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954, pp. 255-259. "How Semaga Was Caught." Selected Short Stories, 1892-1901. Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954, pp. 260-275. 1896. "My Fellow Traveller." Creatures That Once Were Men, New York, Modern Library, I925, pp. 178-228. "The Poet." Selected Short Stories, I892-I9OI, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954, pp. 505-520. "Her Lover." Ohelkash and Other Stories. Trans. R. Nisbet Bain, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1914, pp. 215-222. "Comrades." Ohelkash and Other Stories. Trans. R. Nisbet Bain. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1914, pp. 59-82. "Konovalov." Selected Short Stories, 1892-1901, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954, pp. 521-421, -180-"Exposure." Selected Short Stories, 1892-1901, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954, pp. 212-216. 1897. "The Orloff Couple." The Orloff Couple and Malva. Trans. Emily Jakowleff and Dora Montefiore, London,'William Heinemann, 1901. "Vanka Mazin." Selected Short Stories, I892-I90I, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954, pp. 422-449. "Creatures That Once Were Men;" Creatures That Once Were Men, New York, Modern Library, I925, pp. 15-105. 'Mischiefmaker." Selected Short Stories, 1892-1901. Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954, pp. 450-484. "In the Steppe." Ohelkash and Other Stories. Trans. R. Nisbet Bain. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1914, pp. 97-118. "Malva." The Orloff Couple and Malva. Trans. Emily Jakowleff and Dora Montefiore, London, William Heinemann, 1901. "The Green.Kitten." Chelkash and Other Stories. Trans. R. Nisbet Bain. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1914, pp. 143-156. "For Want of Something Better to Do." Selected Short Stories. 1892-1901. Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954, pp. 602-657. I898. . . "Chums':" Chelkash and Other Stories. Trans. R. Nisbet Bain. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1914, pp. 225-24fl. "A Rolling Stone." Ohelkash and Other Stories. Trans R. Nisbet Bain. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1914, pp. 157-212. "A Reader." Selected Short Stories. I892-I90I, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House,.1954, pp. 274-504. I899. "Waiting for the Ferry." The Outcasts and Other Stories. London, T. Fisher.Unwin, 1902, pp. 155-186. "Twenty-six Men and a G i r l . " Twenty-six Men and a G i r l , and Other  Stories. Trans. Emily Jakowleff and Dora B. Montefiore, London, Duckworth, 1902, pp. I-29. -181-1900. Foma Gordyeev. Trans. Isabel Hapgood. New York, Charles Scribner's and Sons, 1901. 1901. "Song of the Stormy Petrel." Selected Short Stories, 1892-1901, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954, pp. 628-640. Three Men. Trans. Charles Home. London, Isbister, 1902. 1902. The Smug Citizens (a play). Trans. E. Hopkins, Poet Lore. I906. "Lower Depths (a play)." Seven Plays of Maxim Gorky. Ed. A Bakshy. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1945, pp. 15-70. 1906. "Enemies (a play)." Seven Plays of Maxim Gorky. Ed. A Bakshy. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1945, pp. 144-201. "Barbarian (a play)." Seven Plays of Maxim Gorky. Ed. A. Bakshy. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1945, pp. IJ-lkl. 1907-1908. Mother. Trans. Isidor Schneider. New York, Citadel Press, 1947. A Confession. Trans. William Frederick Harvey. Everett, I9I0 . 1910. "Vassa Zheleznova (a play)." Seven Plays of Maxim Gorky. Ed. A. Bakshy. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1945, pp. 255-295. "Queer People (a play)." Seven Plays of Maxim Gorky. Ed. A. Bakshy. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1945, pp. 205-252. 1911-1912. Tales of Two Countries. B.W. Huebsch, 1914. 1915. Childhood. Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 195^. 1918. My Apprenticeship. Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1955« -182-1919. "Reminiscences of Leo.Tolstoy." Reminiscences. New York, Dover Publications, 1946, pp. 4-70. "The.Electric Lights." L i t t e l l ' s Living Age, vol. 500 (February 1, 1919), PP. 506-508. 1922. The Judge. Trans. Marie Zakrevsky and Barret H. Clark. New York, Robert M. McBride, 1924. "The Zykovs (a play)." Seven Plays of Maxim Gorky. Ed. A. Bakshy. New Haven, Yale University Press, .1945, pp. 298-552. 1925-1924. Fragments From My Diary. London, P. Allen, 1904. My Universities. Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1955* "Bashka." Independent, vol. 115 (September. 27, 1924), p. I85. "Anton Chekhov." Reminiscences. New York, Dover Publications, 1946, pp. 71-129. "Leonid Andreyev." Reminiscences. New York, Dover Publications, 1946, pp. 150-187. -"Alexander Blok." Reminiscences. New York, Dover Publications, 1946, pp. 204-215.. Through Russia. Trans. C.J. Hogarth. London, Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent and Sons, 1945. "Mister God." Nation, vol. 117 (November 7, 1925), pp. 512-514. "Misha." Soviet Literature (June 1946), p. 2. I925. The Artamonovs. Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1952. "The Story of a Novel." The Story of a Novel and Other Stories. Trans. Marie Zakrevsky. New York, Dial Press, I925, pp. 5-59. "The Sky-Blue Li f e . " The Story of a Novel and Other Stories. Trans. Marie Zakrevsky, New York, Dial Press, 1925, pp. 180-275. "The Incident." The Story of a Novel and Other Stories. Trans. Marie Zakrevsky,. New York, Dial Press, I925, pp. 40-86. -182-"The Rehearsal." The Story of a Novel and Other Stories. Trans. Marie Zakrevsky. ..New York, Dial Press, 1925, pp. 87-126. "The Hermit." The Story of a Novel and Other Stories. Trans. Marie Zakrevsky. New York, Dial Press, 1925, pp. 157-179. "About Murderers." Trans. Marie Budberg. • Dial, vol. 85 (1928), p. 201. "Guide, Emblema, Postscript." Trans. Marie Budberg. Dial, v o l . 85 (1927), p. 188. "Song of the-Blind." Yale Review, vol. 26 (1957), p. 5^5. 1927-1952. Bystander (Klim Samgin - Forty Years, Vol 1). Trans. A Bakshy. New York, Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, 1920. The Magnet (Klim Samgin - Forty Years, Vol. 2). Trans. A. Bakshy. New York, Jonathon Cape and Harrison Smith, 1921» Other Fires (Klim Samgin - Forty Years, Vol. 2). Trans. A. Bakshy. New York, D. Appleton, 1922* "Earthquake." .Scribner's Magazine, vol. 89 (1921), p. 80. "Egor Bulychov and Others (a play)." Seven Plays of Maxim Gorky. Ed. A". Bakshy. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1945, pp. 555-596. Articles and Pamphlets by Gorky "Bolshevism Defended." L i t t e l l ' s Living Age, vol. 500 (January 25, 1919) , PP. 200-202. "Vladimir I l i t c h Lenin." L i t t e l l ' s Living Age, vol. 507 (October 19, 1920) , pp. 69-75. "Woman and Bolshevism." L i t t e l l ' s Living Age, vol. 505 (1920), pp. 271-275. "Gorky on Russian Labour." L i t t e l l ' s Living Age, vol. 510 (1921), p. 65. "Appeal to the Generous Heart of America." Literary Digest, vol. 72 (March 18, 1922), p. 48. "A Plea for the Strenuous L i f e : (1) Fools and Robbers; (2) Emancipation From the Orient." L i t t e l l ' s Living Age, v o l . 515 (1922), pp. 214-220. "The Cruelty of the Russian." Nation, vol. 7 (September 5, I925), pp. 251-252. -184-"Books." Trans. A. Kaun. Nation, v o l . 121 (November 11, 1925), p. 5^1. "Lenin the Man." Nation, vol. 120 (June 24, 1925), pp. 716-717. "Anatole France." Saturday Review of Literature, vol. 26 (1926), p. 765. "Europe's Cultural Product." Saturday Review of Literature, vol. 4 (1927), p. 465. "How I Learned to Write." Trans. V.F. Orfenov. Slavonic Review, vol. 25 (January 1945), p. 1. (Address to Young Authors, I928). "Russian Letter." Dial, v o l . 84 (1928), p. 250. "Young Soviet Writers." Yale Review, vol. 20 (1951), p. 488. "Soviet Literature." Problems of Soviet Literature. "Reports and Speeches at the .First Soviet Writers* Congress." New York, Inter-national Publishers, 1954. . Articles and Pamphlets. Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1950. "In America: City of the Yellow Devil, Realm of Boredom, The Mob:." 1906, pp. 9-58. "My Interviews; A King Who Knows His Worth, One of the Kings of the Republic, A Priest of Morality, The Lord of Life, La Belle France." 1906, pp. 61-159. . "Open Letter to Messieurs J. Richard, Jules Claretie, Rene Viviani, and Other French Writers." I906, pp. 145-145. "From the 'Foreign Chronicle 1." 1912, pp. 145-150. "The States of Western Europe Before the War." (A Typical Program for Pamphlets). 1914, p. 150. "Fat Men's Music." 1928, pp. 151-158. "Protest Against the T r i a l of Johannes Becher." 1928, pp. 159-161. "Inhumanity." 1929, pp. 162-164. "Reply to a Questionnaire of an American Magazine." I929, pp. 165-168. "The Bourgeois Press." 1950, pp. 169-177. "The Wiseacres." I950, pp. 178-189. "Old Fellows." I950, pp. I90-I96. "Cynicism. Reply to a Correspondent." 1921, pp. 197-209. -185-Articles and Pamphlets, (continued) "The Logic of History." I95I, pp. 210-215. "Reply to a Questionnaire of the Magazine ,Vu ,. M 1921, pp. 214-220. "Adult School in Smolensk." I95I, pp. 221-252. "The Legend of 'Compulsory Labour'." 1951, pp. 252-245. "Reply to an Intellectual." I95I, pp. 246-266. "Capitalist Terror i n America Against the Negro." 1951, pp. 267-274. "To the Workers of Magnitostroy and Others." I95I, pp. 275-284. "On Whose Side, 'Masters of Culture'." I932, pp. 285-515. "To the Delegates of the Anti-War Congress." I952, pp. 521-242. "Soldierly Ideas." I952, pp. 544-554. "Proletarian Humanism." 1954, pp. 555-565. "The Fog." pp. 566-570. "A Splendid Book." I955, pp. 571-578. "On Cultures." I955, pp. 579-596. "A Thousand Letters." I955 (?), pp. 597-405. "To The Congress i n Defense of Culture." I956 (?), pp. 4o6-4o8. Culture and the People. New York, International Publishers, 1959. "Ten Years." I927, pp. 11-22. "To the Anonymous and Pseudonymous." 1927, pp. 25-26. "The Red Army." 1928, pp. 27-52. "On the Literature of the White Emigres." 1928, pp. 55-45. "Philistinism." I929, pp. 46-65. "Anti-Semitism." 1929, pp. 64-68. "On the 'Good Life'." I929, pp. 69-88. "If the Enemy Does not Surrender He Must be Destroyed." 1950, PP. 89-95. -186-Culture and the People, (continued) "The People Must Know Their History." 1950, pp. 94-100. "About the L i t t l e Old Men." 1950, pp. 101-107. "An Anecdote." I95I, pp. I58-I59. "The Old Man and the New." I952, pp. 160-175. "About Soldierly Ideas'." I952, pp. 174-184. "Soviet Intellectuals." 1922, PP. 185-198. "Humanism and Culture." 1955, pp. 199-215. "We Must Know the Past." 1955, pp. 216-218. ' 


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