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Dialogue about the first publication of M. Gorky

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    Диалог о первой публикации М. Горького Dialogue about the first publication of M. Gorky

  Dialogue about the first publication of M. Gorky
  Gorky came out from behind the a rack of the librarian and has gone toward tables where it was possible to drink a cup of coffee.
  He was surrounded several readers and readeresses - visitors of cafe-library. Someone has asked:
  - Tell, please, Alexei Maksimovich, about your first publication. How your first story was published?
  - If you open, for example, the collection of my literary works in 30 volumes,then you will see that "Makar Chudra" is published without any subtitle.
  But in additional comments you can find the word "story". However, I am not the author of the comments and notes. I in the autobiography "Alexei Maximovich Peshkov, pseudonym Maxim Gorky" call this work the "essay".
  - How it is correct to call your's first published work "Makar Chudra"? - the question from someone from readers followed. - A historico-literary search has found several your lines publishedand until "Makar Chudra". But these several lines aren't the independent work . We don't take them into account.
  - Call this work a "song", - Gorky has joked, - the song of the old oak.
  Readers began to smile. Gorky continued:
  - In "Makar Chudra" two works were united.
  In one work the man Makar Chudra was described and the our's with him conversation. This work can probably be called an essay.
  The second work - is the "Byl'" ["быль"] (a kind of a people's legend). The legend, told by a seasoned man of Gypsy people, - by Makar Chudra. Moreover, this legend - is a magical phenomenon. "Memorize this legend, and, when it will been memorized, you will be a free bird during all your long life."
  Gorky has made a pause and has emphasized:
  - I memorised.
  Someone of readeresses gave a playful remark:
  - A Gypsy spell? A Gypsy's word combination for a magic actions?
  Gorky smiled in reply.
  Readers with respect watched on him.
  - So why "song"? - someone from readers has shown impatience.
  - Makar Chudra, the story-teller of the magic "legend"... - Gorky has begun to answer a question...
  - "he was similar to the old oak, burned, scorched with a lightning, but still powerful, strong and proud of the force", - the reader - the owner of an excellent memory has continued after Gorky.
  - Taking in account a poetry style of the magical "legend", it is possible the "legend" to call as the "song", - one of readeresses has guessed. - It turns out: "the song of the old oak".
  Gorky has smiled in the moustaches:
  - A story - an essay - a spell - a "byl'" (a kind of a people's legend) - a song...
  Having given to listeners an opportunity to make a choice independently, Gorky has continued:
  - After my pedestrian travel across Russia, a popularity, let and a microscopic one, has begun to appear at me. A some reputation was formed.
  Parting periodically with the position of a hired workerand become for a some time a relatively free man, I have expanded a circle of contacts. I began to meet a cultural, a friendly, a benevolent humans. A humans of European views? Benefactors. Philanthropists.
  Gorky has made a pause and has specified:
  - You have to understand, dear listeners, that, having arrived in Tiflis (till 1936 the name of the city of Tbilisi), I wasn't the person having potential to document the events happening to me. The fact of the publication in the newspaper of the city of Tiflis, - "The Caucasus", - of my essay-the legend-the story "Makar Chudra" is indisputable.
  This fact is indisputable. All the rest is a work of memory - of my memory and the memory of those whom I at that time in Tiflis met. But who set a task to specially memorize the events which were taking place at that time? Who kept diaries? And such a diaries whether have been found?
  My further narration about my the first published work is a version. The version is a very close to the truth. The version into which, perhaps, also some amendments can be made.
  In "The Cheap library" I get acquainted with Alexander Mefodievich Kalyuzhny.
  Who Alexander Kalyuzhny was - if to speak generally, summarizing?
  In my autobiography, published in 1899, I call him "the man outside of society." Why "outside society"?
  Alexander Kalyuzhny was from noblemen, from a good, even an influential, family. He was born in 1853 in the Poltava province. Gogol's fellow countryman. He have graduated the Poltava gymnasium. He studied at the Kharkiv university. He participated in the movement of "Narodnaya Volya". Arrests have followed. Perhaps, - the Kara katorga (penal servitude). The life in Siberia. Further since 1890 - the service in Tiflis in the Management of the Caucasian railroad.
  I will dare to assume that since some moment a revolutionary activity has ceased to enthrall Alexander Kalyuzhny; he has departed from a "movement".
  In Tiflis, far from St. Petersburg, Alexander Kalyuzhny has got a job, which was demanding an intelligence and education. But his oppositional past was known. In some sense he has departed from one a layer, and into the other circle he not returned, for the time being. He became similar, may be, to a person "out of society". Perhaps, vital cataclysms, a personal experience have created the man, approaching forty-year age, with the special views, with an aspiration to do a good.
  In the summer of 1892, having sent family in a country house, Kalyuzhny invited me, - during this period I earned a living by work of the loader at the railroad, - to move to his apartment. He provided me the free room.
  For me, the foot traveler, such invitation opened opportunities: to live in "human" conditions, not to pay for rental housing, to communicate with the cultural, educated, skilled, experienced person.
  I told him about my adventures during my travels. Once he heard a story about my encounter with the Gypsy man on the banks of the Danube. Kalyuzhny got up, took my arm and led me in the provided room.
  - A paper is on the table, - he said. - Write down what I was told. And until you write, I won't release you!
  It was difficult to write. But Kalyuzhny nothing wanted to listen while the story wasn't ready.
  The free room and a "human" conditions have played a role. I have managed to concentrate. I have written "Makar Chudra".
  I have handed the essay-byl'-story to the employee of "The Caucasus" newspaper. The friend of Kalyuzhny - the journalist Vladimir Tsvetnitsky - took my text.
  Working at the loader's position, I had no opportunities to find out biographic details concerning the people who have taken part in my first publication. About Vladimir Tsvetnitsky I almost have no data. I can make the presumable judgment that Vladimir Tsvetnitsky was also to some extent a person "out of society". Perhaps, he was from Malorossiya. If so, then Kalyuzhny and Tsvetnitsky were fellow countrymen - such fact meant much in Tiflis, the city far from the center of Russia.
  Vladimir Tsvetnitsky, it seems, has begun to get religious education in the homeland, but has been for some reason expelled from educational institution. A religious education, let and not finished, gave a good preparation. In Tiflis, - far from St. Petersburg and Moscow, - where the level of the professional competition was rather not high, the seminarist of not full course (according to my presumable data) Tsvetnitsky has got a job in the newspaper. Again I will emphasize that my information about Vladimir Tsvetnitsky - is not confirmed by a documents.
  I assume that the employee of the newspaper Tsvetnitsky has paid a special attention to the text delivered by me. With the Kalyuzhny's recommendation I was "not the stranger" for Tsvetnitsky.
  After a while my meeting with the editor (the head of the edition office), the thin old man in gold eyeglasses, has taken place. I have come to the edition office not as "a passerby from a street", but as the person famous to the employee of the Management of the Caucasian railroad Kalyuzhny and the employee of the newspaper Tsvetnitsky.
  The editor attentively read the story "Makar Chudra". The publication was - judging by a conversation - kind of predetermined. The question was in another.
  - So...- the editor has told, having terminated reading, and with surprise has inspected my, somewhat clumsy, a figure. - However there is no signature. How to sign this work? Who are you?
  I hesitated. The absence some long discussions concerning the text of "Makar Chudra" has given me the chance to concentrate. At last, having waved a hand, I have told with a resolute look: "Well, sign so: Maxim Gorky".
  In three days after writing "Makar Chudra" has been published in "The Caucasus" newspaper, in N 242 of September 12, 1892.
  Usually the fact of my first publication in the Tiflis's newspaper "The Caucasus" attracts a special attention. But a successful choice of literary pseudonym - is an event of a smaller value?
  Listeners were silent.
  - After this moment any lover of literature had the opportunity to read a "Gypsy spell" (or rather - "byl'" [legend]), to memorize this legend, and - after the memorizing, - all long life to be a free bird, - jokingly added Gorky. - I personally so and have made.
  - The new personality and the new name has appeared in the literature! - stated someone from the audience.
  Gorky has kept silent. After the drinking a sip of coffee, he continued:
  - The newspaper "The Caucasus" as it is possible to understand, was close to government circles. It seems, someone used a word combination: "the newspaper close to the governor". I don't warrant for an accuracy. Using a modern terminology, it is possible to call it the pro-government newspaper.
  So, thanks to the pro-government newspaper and two benefactors, persons "out of society", one of which was the oppositionist who has departed from "affairs", and the other, perhaps, - the former seminarist, I am a foot traveler and the loader, the frequenter of libraries and the fan of literature - I got the opportunity of the first publishing of my first work.
  Pay attention, dear listeners, that in "Makar Chudra" there is no special "criticality". There is no "negative" in relation to the existing social system. "You is walking? And go your way, without a turnings aside. Directly go. By own way. Maybe you will not disappear in vain. So! And nothing else! Be a Falcon!"
  Gorky kept silent. Again drank a sip of coffee. Then, smiled:
  - And so my the "Song of an old oak" has been published... Somehow smoothly everything has turned out? Tiflis - Kalyuzhny - Tsvetnitsky - "The Caucasus" newspaper - the publication of my work? The test, the probation has been sent to me - before the all this successful "set of events". Read about the test in my story "My Satellite".
  Gorky has hardly visibly sighed.
  Readers have accepted the memories by Gorky a burst of applause.
  - "I have come to the world to not to agree". "To be a novator", - Gorky has smiled, summing up the conversation and completing the memories about the first publication.
  June 17, 2017
  Translation from Russian into English: April 29, 2018 10:31. The translation adjustment: April 23, 2020, 09:14.
  Владимир Владимирович Залесский 'Диалог о первой публикации М. Горького'.
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