Russian Ministry of Culture started preparations to Maxim Gorky jubilee on September 28, 2015. The jubilee means 150-th anniversary from date of the writer’s birthday, which will happen in 2018. The organization of the celebration will be managed by the Russian Ministries of Education, of Economy, of Communication and also by a number of culture and political organizations. Maxim Gorky is known by all Russia, he is studying at schools and he is associated in our mind with Soviet literature. At the same time, writer’s life started in Russian Empire as well as his writings were acknowledged at that time.
The first publication took place in 1893 in Georgia (part of former Russia), on magazine named Caucasia, it was story named «Makar Chudra». In 1895 in Samara was published «Old Woman Izergil». Later on, after long trips of the writer accross Russia, appeared other creations, full of realistic pictures of hardships of being. Maybe, special popularity was got by the play «At the bottom», play staged by the Moscow Art theatre (after A.P. Chekhov), which became the hallmark of the theatre, along with the plays of Chekhov.
Alexei Maximovich Peshkov (Gorky is pen-name) was born in 1868 in Nizhny Novgorod in the family of the cabinetmaker.
Father of the writer died when he was three years old, and he lost his mother at 11 years. Orphan life makes him a journeyman and a laborer, but, in adolescence the writer has been engaged in self-education. As mentioned great Russian singer Shalyapin about his friend, «Gorky knew so much!. He knew big and small things with equal and great solidity. If I, for exapmle, asked Gorky how bullfinch lives, he could tell me about bullfinch such details, that if we could collect together all bullfinchs living for centuries they wouldn’t have known that».
In addition to self-education, this period of formation of the write is marked by participation in socially-political activity, marxism and the works of Plekhanov. The revolutionary component will be an integral part of life bitter until the end. During Tsarist Russia, he will pay his fees on the cause of the revolution and conduct violent activities to overthrow the monarchy – what will make him referenced and arrested; in Soviet Russia until 1928 will be treated abroad – and biographers connect this to disagreements with former colleagues; the death of the writer in 1936 is accompanied by rumors of his poisoning by the NKVD.
In private life, Gorky was very kind and sympathetic person. Rescue and assistance during the revolution, according to the memoirs of Chaliapin, «was the main sense of his life in the first Bolshevik period». And later, in difficult times, he helped to a number of people. Let’s remember artist Pavel Korin.
Evidently, human and public properties kept for us Maxim Gorky and made our government to celebrate so widely his birthday. Because as a public figure he is interesting mostly, as a phenomenon of Russian reality and trend of cultural transformation from 19 to 20 century and further to 21 century. As a write he, upon the exact definition of V. Nabokov, has «no great value».
F.I. Shalyapin. Mask and soul: My forty years in the theaters. – St.Petersburg, Azbula-Classika, 2010