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Through Russia   By: (1868-1936)

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Maksim Gorky's travel memoir, Through Russia, takes readers on a captivating journey across the vast and diverse landscapes of Russia. A notable figure in Russian literature, Gorky skillfully combines rich descriptions with vivid storytelling, providing an intimate glimpse into the country's people, customs, and history.

From the very beginning, Gorky enchants readers with his lyrical prose, painting a beautiful picture of the Russian countryside. His ability to evoke the sights, sounds, and smells of the various regions he explores is truly masterful. Whether describing the snow-capped peaks of the Caucasus Mountains or the endless expanse of the Siberian taiga, Gorky's words transport readers to another time and place.

However, it is not just the landscapes that make Through Russia a remarkable book. Gorky's encounters with the Russian people along his journey add depth and personality to his narrative. Through his interactions, Gorky captures the resilience, spirit, and sometimes the struggle of the Russian people. From the warm hospitality of villagers to the hardships faced by those in impoverished communities, Gorky sheds light on the vast spectrum of experiences within the vast nation.

Moreover, Gorky's historical insights provide valuable context to his travelogue. He weaves in stories of Russia's past, intelligently connecting it to the present he experiences. Whether he discusses the serfdom of the past or the oppressive environment of the time, Gorky unearths the complexities of Russian history and its impact on its people.

What sets Through Russia apart is Gorky's unique and perceptive voice. His observations are astute, and his reflections on the changing social and political landscape of Russia are thought-provoking. Despite the passage of time since the publication of this book, Gorky's words remain pertinent, making it a valuable read for those interested in Russian history and culture.

If there's one minor flaw in Gorky's memoir, it lies in the occasional loss of focus. At times, his vivid descriptions wander, deviating from the central narrative. While these detours are undeniably beautifully written, they can be distracting and disrupt the flow of the overall story.

Overall, Through Russia is a captivating travelogue that showcases Gorky's exceptional literary talent. From his mesmerizing depictions of the Russian landscape to his deep understanding of the country's history and complex societal issues, Gorky's words resonate with readers long after they turn the last page. Through Russia is a must-read for anyone fascinated by Russia or simply looking for an immersive literary experience.

First Page:

Through Russia


Maxim Gorky

Translated by C. J. Hogarth




The year was the year '92 the year of leanness the scene a spot between Sukhum and Otchenchiri, on the river Kodor, a spot so near to the sea that amid the joyous babble of a sparkling rivulet the ocean's deep voiced thunder was plainly distinguishable.

Also, the season being autumn, leaves of wild laurel were glistening and gyrating on the white foam of the Kodor like a quantity of mercurial salmon fry. And as I sat on some rocks overlooking the river there occurred to me the thought that, as likely as not, the cause of the gulls' and cormorants' fretful cries where the surf lay moaning behind a belt of trees to the right was that, like myself, they kept mistaking the leaves for fish, and as often finding themselves disappointed.

Over my head hung chestnut trees decked with gold; at my feet lay a mass of chestnut leaves which resembled the amputated palms of human hands; on the opposite bank, where there waved, tanglewise, the stripped branches of a hornbeam, an orange tinted woodpecker was darting to and fro, as though caught in the mesh of foliage, and, in company with a troupe of nimble titmice and blue tree creepers (visitors from the far distant North), tapping the bark of the stem with a black beak, and hunting for insects... Continue reading book >>

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