The Artamonov Business

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Kessinger Publishing, Aug 1, 2004 - Fiction - 352 pages
2 Reviews
1925. Maxim Gorky, pseudonym of Alexei Maksimovich Peshkov, Soviet novelist, playwright and essayist, who was a founder of social realism. Although known principally as a writer, he was closely associated with the tumultuous revolutionary period of his own country. Of all Gorky's novels, The Artamonov Business is the most impressive and dramatic. Here in concentrated form is the tragic failure of Russia's middle classes in the decades before the Revolution, seen in the small town microcosm of a family of textile manufacturers. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.

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Review: The Artamonov Business

User Review  - Tony - Goodreads

THE ARTAMONOV BUSINESS. (1925; this ed. 1955). Maxim Gorky. ***. Frankly, I hadn't heard of this novel by Gorky before I found this edition in an early Folio Society edition from 1955 in a translation ... Read full review

Review: The Artamonov Business

User Review  - Sidhartha - Goodreads

I would give it 3.5 if I could. The book is about the birth and the malady of the Russian bourgeoisie in the beginning of the 20-th century on the example of one family. This might actually sound ... Read full review

About the author (2004)

Until the recent collapse of the Soviet state, Gorky was officially viewed as the greatest Russian writer of the twentieth century---an evaluation far above the true measure of his nevertheless considerable talent. Proclaimed the founder of socialist realism, he significantly influenced many Soviet writers, as well as others in Europe and in the developing world, and his works were for decades part of the Soviet school curriculum. His formal education was minimal. From the age of 11, he fended for himself with a variety of jobs. Self-taught, he published his first story, "Makar Chudra," in 1892. His first collection, Sketches and Stories (1898), is a romantic celebration of society's strong outcasts---the hobos and the drifters---and helped to popularize such literary protagonists. Foma Gordeyev (1899), Gorky's first novel, depicts generational conflict within the Russian bourgeoisie. A popular public figure on the left, Gorky was often in trouble with the tsarist government. During the 1900s, he was the central figure in the Znanie publishing house, which produced realist prose with a social conscience. Some of his own works were extremely successful. The play The Lower Depths (1902), set in a poorhouse and a strong indictment of social injustice, was not only a staple of Soviet theater but also influential in the United States. Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh was influenced by it. The propagandistic, extraordinarily influential novel Mother (1906) presents an iconic working-class woman who is transformed into a saint of the Revolution; its optimism in the ultimate triumph of the cause made it a prototype of socialist-realist fiction. During the years prior to 1917, Gorky published a number of autobiographical stories: All Over Russia (1912--18) (also Through Russia) and his memoirs; My Childhood (1913--14), My Apprenticeship (1915--16), and My Universities (1923). This trilogy shows his art at its best and includes some very lively reminiscences of such writers as Tolstoy and Chekhov. Although a Bolshevik party member since 1905, Gorky strongly criticized the new regime after the October Revolution: His collected articles from 1917-18, Untimely Thoughts, remained unpublished in the Soviet Union until recently. A cultural activist, he helped to save the lives of many writers, artists, and scholars during the cold and hungry years of the civil war. In 1921 he left Russia for Italy but returned permanently a decade later, recognized as the grand old man of Soviet literature. He then worked for Stalin's economic policies and presided over the institutionalization of socialist realism. At his death, he left unfinished a major novel of considerable interest, The Life of Klim Samgin, which he had been working on since 1925.

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