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The Life of a Useless Man by Maxim Gorky
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The Life of a Useless Man

by Maxim Gorky

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English (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (3)
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Maxim Gorky was a Russian proponent of the naturalist approach to fiction. He introduced the peasant and workingman as hero and some of his popularity is undoubtedly due to this. Unlike Dostoevsky who saw evil in metaphysical terms, Gorky was an advocate of class conflict as the source of evil. His materialism stemmed from Marxist ideology and would lead him to join with Lenin and the Bolsheviks. This novel was written before that in 1907 and its publication was prohibited by the Czarist regime. Ironically, the Bolsheviks allowed the publication of the novel in 1917 only in an expurgated form. Apparently Gorky's alliance with Lenin did not get him past the censors.
Perhaps young men in Czarist Russia were like those described in this novel. From my own reading of Turgenev and Tolstoy, among others, I think that there were others that would have been more representative, but Gorky prefers to focus on mass hysteria and class conflict. The result is an interesting novel, but the history of ideas is badly represented. Read at your own risk. ( )
  jwhenderson | Feb 5, 2011 |
I can see why this book was banned in Russia. Gorky wrote this during the Russian revolution and being a revolutionary himself he was ideal to write of the events from the common people's point of view.
I wonder what Tolstoy had to say about this book. It was definitely a refreshing change from reading Tolstoy.
Recommended
  BookAddict | Aug 26, 2007 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maxim Gorkyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Budberg, MouraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Praag, S. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scheepmaker, NicoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wesselink-van Rossum, J.P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Toen Jevsej Klimkov vier jaar was werd zijn vader door een boswachter doodgeschoten, en toen hij zeven jaar was geworden stierf zijn moeder.
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