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Maksim Gorky (16(28).03.1868 - 18.06.1936) - Russian writer.

Maksim Gorky photo/   Maxim Gorky was born on 16 (28) March 1868 in Nizhny Novgorod. Maxim Gorky was his pen name and his real name was Alexei Maximovich Peshkov. When Gorky was 9 he became an orphan and his grandmother brought him up. He was depressed when she died and tried to commit a suicide in December 1887. Consequently Gorky journeyed through the country for five years and gathered impressions which he later described in his works.

Maxim Gorky worked as a pressman for different provincial newspapers and his pseudonym was Jehudiel Khlamida. From 1892 Alexei Peshkov started to use the pseudonym Gorky. At that time he worked in Tiflis for the newspaper The Caucasus. His first book Essays and Stories was completed in 1898 and this work was a great success. This was the beginning of his literary career. In his works Gorky described the problems, humiliations and relations among people in the lowest strata and on the margins of society.

Gorky had a good reputation and he supported the nascent Marxist social-democratic movement. As a result both a large number of conscious workers and intelligentsia appreciated him and Gorky became famous.

Maxim Gorky openly disapproved the Tsarist regime and was imprisoned many times. He supported a lot of revolutionists. In 1902 Gorky became acquainted with Lenin and after a while made friends with him. The same year he was elected an honorary Academician of Literature but Tsar Nicholas II annulled this title. Vladimir Korolenko and Anton Chekhov made a remonstrate against that decision and left the Academy.

In 1904 Maxim Gorky arrived in Nizhny Novgorod and tried to establish a theatre. Savva Morozov and Constantin Stanislavski supported him but the censorship banned all the plays and Gorky gave up his idea. Afterwards he began to give financial support to the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. Between 1906 and 1913 Gorky spent time on the island of Capri because of problems with health and the repressive situation in Russia. In 1913 Gorky arrived in Russia and continued his work. Throughout the revolutionary period of 1917 Gorkys politics was close to the Bolsheviks.

In 1921 Moura Budberg was employed by Gorky as a secretary. Afterwards she became his unofficial wife. The same year his friend Nikolay Gumilev was imprisoned and Gorky arrived in Moscow to release him from Lenin. When Gorky arrived Gumilev had already been killed. Two months later he went to Italy for health reason: he had tuberculosis.

According to Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Maxim Gorky returned to the USSR because of financial difficulties. While in Sorrento Gorky had no money. In 1932 he returned to the Soviet Union. His return from Fascist Italy was a major propaganda victory for the Soviets. Consequently Gorky was awarded with the Order of Lenin and given a detached house and a cottage in the country. In addition to that the city of his birth was renamed in his honour.

In May 1934 his son Maxim Peshkov suddenly died. In June 1936 Maxim Gorky died. There are a lot of suppositions connected with the circumstances of his death. It is known that Stalin was among the people who carried the coffin of Gorky during the funeral.

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