The Art and Craft of Writing

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The Minerva Group, Inc., Apr 1, 2000 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 300 pages
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Renowned Soviet writers, Maxim Gorky, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Alexei Tolstoy and Konstantin Fedin reveal their unique experiences in their career. They provide a sound knowledge in all forms of the art of writing, how to write prose, the short stories, novels, verses and more. You can learn also how Soviet writers suffered when a decree declared their writing the property of the Republic, and the hardships they encountered during the Revolution and in Hitler's time to get their stories in print. This challenged them to pursue with a vengeance to get their stories printed regardless of the availability of supplies.Above all, these writers had stories to tell, they wanted the public to be aware. In this way a writer finds inspiration, the right words, the earnest desire and the motivation to undergo this chosen field that leaves to the rest of the world long after they are gone, with knowledge, a past and a heritage.Thus, writing is finding yourself, your methods, your individuality and your creativeness. Style is the most important. If a writer does not have style he cannot write. Rhythm, melody, vocabulary, and composition are interconnected like chess pieces. Above all, writing should not be an obsession but the only way in which you can create your work.
 

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Contents

How I Learnt to Write
5
Talks on Craftsmanship
43
MAYAKOVSKY V
122
How Are Verses to Be Made?
123
The Tasks of Literature
163
The Art of Writing
166
My Working Methods
170
My Creative Work
172
A Letter to an Aspiring Author
212
To His
215
The Art of the Future
216
What Is a Short Story?
219
Word Is Thought
222
Advice to the Young Writer
231
On Craftsmanship
241
Notebook
256

How We Write
175
Transcript of an Interview with the Editorial Team of the Magazine Smena
188
Festival of Ideas Thoughts Images
197
My Creative Experience at the Service of the Working Writer
202
Thinking Creatively
210
The Fate of the Novel
262
Towards a Debate on Language
271
How We Write
284
Windows Open Wide
287
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Alexei Maximovich Peshkov, better known as Maxim (Maksim) Gorky, was born on March 28th, 1968. 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.

ALEX MILLER is the author of ten novels, including The Ancestor Game and Journey to the Stone Country, both winners of the prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award; Conditions of Faith, nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; Lovesong, winner of the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction; and most recently, Autumn Laing.

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