Translated by Frances A. Welby. Foreword by George Brandes.
tocratic strata, sprang up; on the other, an industrial proletariat. Maxim Gorki emerged from this environment: and as a phenomenon he is explained by this essentially modern antithesis. He flung himself into the literary movement in full consciousness of his social standing. And it was just this self-consciousness, which stamped him as a personality, that accounted for his extraordinary success. It was obvious that, as one of a new and aspiring class, a class that once more cherished ideal aims and was not content with actual forms of existence, Gorki, the proletaire and railway-hand, would not disavow Life, but would affirm it, affirm it with all the force of his heart and lungs.
[Illustration: Tartar day-labourer (After a sketch by Gorki)]
And it is to this new note that he is indebted for his influence.
Gorki, or to give him his real name, Alexei Maximovich Pjeschkov, was born on March 14, 1868, in Nijni Novgorod. His mother Varvara was the daughter of a rich dyer. His father