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Spiridonova. L.A. Gorky’s Work and the Rise of Social Realism. Studia Litterarum, 2018, vol. 3, no 1, pp. 212–233. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2018-3-1-212-233

Author: Lydia A. Spiridonova
Information about the author:

Lydia A. Spiridonova, DSc in Philology, Professor, Head of the Department, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.

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Received: December 20, 2017
Published: March 25, 2018
Issue: 2018 Vol. 3, №1
Department: Russian Literature
Pages: 212-233

UDK: 821.161.1.0
BBK: 83.3(2Рос=Рус)6
Keywords: Gorky, Stalin, socialist realism, synthesis of realism and modernism.


In 1932, the Communist party ideologists called Maxim Gorky the founder of socialist realism at the behest of Stalin. This tag has turned into an ideological cliché that accompanies the writer’s image even in the present day and does not allow us to see him as a talented artist who sought to create a new method in Russian literature. Believing classical realism to be outdated already at the beginning of the 20 th century, Gorky called for such artistic format that would describe human life from the height of futuristic ideals. Starting with the novella Mother (1906), he sought to implement the synthesis of artistic consciousness with socialist ideals that he considered the means of harmonious rearrangement of the new world. In The Tales about Italy and in the autobiographical trilogy (Childhood, My Apprenticeship, and My Universities), Gorky’s dream of the happier future life under socialism manifests itself through the synthesis of realism and romanticism. In his late years, while advocating the method of “social realism” in his essays, Gorky did not write a single fictional work that would incarnate dogmatic principles that were developed already after his death.


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К 150-летию М. Горького / Л.А. Спиридонова

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