Maxim Gorky, pen name of Alexei Maximovich Peshkov

Gorky, pen name of Alexei Maximovich Peshkov

Russian Author, Dramatist, Novelist, Short Story Writer, Social Activist, a founder of Socialist Realism literary method

Author Quotes

If it is true that only misfortune can awaken a man's soul, it is a bitter truth, one that is hard to hear and accept, and it is only natural that many people deny it and say it is better for a man to live on in a trance than to wake up to torture.

Processing the human raw material is naturally more complicated than processing lumber.

You will not drown the truth in seas of blood.

In recalling my childhood I like to picture myself as a beehive to which various simple obscure people brought the honey of their knowledge and thoughts on life, generously enriching my character with their own experience. Often this honey was dirty and bitter, but every scrap of knowledge was honey all the same.

The doleful, ugly sounds became entangled in his whiskers.

In the monotony of everyday existence grief comes as a holiday, and a fire is an entertainment. A scratch embellishes an empty face.

The illness of a doctor is always worse than the illnesses of his patients. The patients only feel, but the doctor, as well as feeling, has a pretty good idea of the destructive effect of the disease on his constitution. This is a case in which knowledge brings death nearer.

In war it is necessary to kill as many people as possible -- such is the cynical logic of war. Brutality in a fight is unavoidable; have you seen how cruelly children fight in the streets?

The intelligentsia ...was kept busy embroidering white stitches on the philosophical and ecclesiastical vestments of the bourgeoisie - that old and filthy fabric besmeared with the blood of toiling masses.

Intellectual force is qualitatively the first and foremost productive force, and concern for its rapid growth should be the ardent concern of all classes.

The more a human creature has tasted of bitter things the more it hungers after the sweet things of life.

It is quiet and peaceful here, the air is good, there are numerous gardens, and in them nightingales sing and spies lurk under the bushes.

The revolution has overthrown the monarchy, true! But perhaps this means that the revolution simply has driven the skin disease inside the organism.

Just think, reader, what will happen to you if the truth of a mad beast overpowers the sane truth of man?

There ? you say ? truth! Truth doesn't always heal a wounded soul. For instance, I knew of a man who believed in a land of righteousness. He said: "Somewhere on this earth there must be a righteous land ? and wonderful people live there ? good people! They respect each other, help each other, and everything is peaceful and good!" And so that man ? who was always searching for this land of righteousness ? he was poor and lived miserably ? and when things got to be so bad with him that it seemed there was nothing else for him to do except lie down and die ? even then he never lost heart ? but he'd just smile and say: "Never mind! I can stand it! A little while longer ? and I'll have done with this life ? and I'll go in search of the righteous land!" ? it was his one happiness ? the thought of that land. And then to this place ? in Siberia, by the way ? there came a convict ? a learned man with books and maps ? yes, a learned man who knew all sorts of things ? and the other man said to him: "Do me a favor ? show me where is the land of righteousness and how I can get there." At once the learned man opened his books, spread out his maps, and looked and looked and he said ? no ? he couldn't find this land anywhere . . . everything was correct ? all the lands on earth were marked ? but not this land of righteousness. The man wouldn't believe it. . . . "It must exist," he said, "look carefully. Otherwise," he says, "your books and maps are of no use if there's no land of righteousness." The learned man was offended. "My plans," he said, "are correct. But there exists no land of righteousness anywhere." Well, then the other man got angry. He'd lived and lived and suffered and suffered, and had believed all the time in the existence of this land ? and now, according to the plans, it didn't exist at all. He felt robbed! And he said to the learned man: "Ah ? you scum of the earth! You're not a learned man at all ? but just a damned cheat!" ? and he gave him a good wallop in the eye ? then another one . . . [After a moment's silence.] And then he went home and hanged himself.

Let us not search for the guilty ones only among others, let us speak the bitter truth: we are all guilty ... each and every one of us.

There is no one on earth more disgusting and repulsive than he who gives alms. Even as there is no one so miserable as he who accepts them.

Many contemporary authors drink more than they write

There's a little book I'm thinking of writing ? "Swan Song" is what I shall call it. The song of the dying. And my book will be incense burnt at the deathbed of this society, damned with the damnation of its own impotence.

Once there was a crow, it flew from the field to the hill, from hedge to hedge, and lived its life. Then it died and rotted away. What's the sense in it? There just ISN'T any!

This fear is what is the ruin of us all. And some dominate us; they take advantage of our fear and frighten us still more. Mark this: as long as people are afraid, they will rot like the birches in the marsh. We must grow bold; it is time!

One has to be able to count if only so that at fifty one doesn't marry a girl of twenty.

To speak the truth is the most difficult of all arts, for in its "pure" form, not connected with the interests of individuals, groups, classes, or nations, truth is almost completely unsuitable for use by the Philistine and is unacceptable to him.

But I'm not to be caught with such poor bait! I'm a big fish, I am.

One word of praise from a woman is dearer to me than a whole ode from a man.

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Gorky, pen name of Alexei Maximovich Peshkov
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Russian Author, Dramatist, Novelist, Short Story Writer, Social Activist, a founder of Socialist Realism literary method