Gorky about America: "This is not life, but madness"

The classics of Russian literature usually leaving abroad in youth or already at might. Gorky took a long journey with 36-year-old, at the peak of creative opportunities, when Alexei Peshkova’s pseudonym thundered around the world, but the program "mother" and "Life of Klim Samgin" were not created. The trip took place for a number of reasons: friends wanted to protect the writer who took part in the 1905 uprising, from Tsarsky Angel, and he also took up Lenin’s request to collect money for the party. But, as often happens in the life of talented people, the journey turned into completely unexpected experience.

"Vulcan of human energy"

On April 10, 1906, a statue of liberty appeared right on the course of a steamer "Kaiser Wilhelm der Gross", the skyscrapers of Manhattan grew, and behind them – all the huge New York. It was there that the Russian passengers of the liner were held and held the way: Maxim Gorky, his civilian wife Maria Andreeva and accompanying them Bolshevik Nikolai Burenin. Memoirs of the latter add a lot of details to this journey, because the bitter himself was not from those who admire the architecture for a long time or examines the picture in the gallery. It was more interested in socialism and the liberation of humanity than clothes, tastes and life of people who came to meet him.

On the shovel of the writer, fans of his creativity, journalists and guardians of order. "The chain of the police in gray helmets, in blue uniforms, with white batons surrounded the crowd. When we went down to the pier, people broke out through the cordon, grabbed Gorky by hand, kissed him a wide cape, and women hugged Maria Fedorovna, they stretched to kiss her, "recalled Burenin. Henry Wilshir was the main meeting – an American businessman and a politician who ran into the Congress from New York and presented his name to Los Angeles Boulevard. He sponsored the arrival of guests from Russia to the United States, removed the rooms for them in the Belleclaire’s fashionable hotel at the intersection of Broadway and the 77th street, and also organized the meeting of the meeting "Petrel" with the cultural elite of the country.

Five streets all day pour people to her, precisely potatoes from bags, people crowd, run, and again the streets draw them into their esophagues

For the first time in life, Alexey Maksimovich saw so much technology, huge buildings and electric lights in one place. New York has become for him "Human Energy Volcano". "Amazing fantasy of stone, glass and iron … All these Berlin, Paris and other cities – trifles in comparison with New York," he reported in a letter. Nevertheless, Gorky noted the opposite side of this magnificence: "There are twenty-storey houses on the shore, silent and dark "Sky scrapers". Square, devoid of desire to be beautiful, stupid, heavy buildings rise up sullenly and boring. In each house, there is a passing dish, his height, its deformity. There are no colors in the windows and not visible children. ".

The view from the hotel window was described in the same colors: "Five streets of a whole day pour people to her, accurate potatoes from bags, people crowd, run, and again the streets draw them into their esophagues. The area of ​​the circle and dangle as a pan, on which the meat was fried for a long time, but never had it yet. Four tram lines run on this close circle, almost every minute slide on rails, sharply swinging on roundings, wagons stuffed with people. They scatter an alarming-hurry rumble of iron, over them and under the wheels, they irritably buzz electricity. In the dusty air sown painful trembling glasses in the windows, a sighty cry of friction wheels about rails. Cursed Music Cursed Continuously – Wild Fight of Rough Sounds ».

The day after the arrival of Gorky in America, he was arranged a solemn reception in a university club, where cultural figures were gathered, including brand of tween. Alexey Maksimovich used this case to ride the subway. If other classics abroad attracted museums, the bitter was primarily interested in society. Went down to the subway, visited the parades, street concerts and even entertainment events. Especially memorable was a walk in the park on Koni Island – Gorky never visited similar places with attractions assembled on a large area.

"Here on the top of the iron tower, two long white wings are slowly swing, at the ends of the wings hang cells, in cells – people. When one of the wings is seriously overlooked to the sky, the faces of people in the cells become sadly serious, and they all equally tensely and silently look with round eyes to the ground coming from them. And in the cell of another wing, which at this time carefully lowers down, the faces of people bloom with smiles, and satisfied with screaming, "says bitter. Among the fun, there was a hell from Paper-Masha, where Satan sit in red trico on a cardboard stone, distorted with a variety of grimaces her thin brown face, and rubs his hands like a person who made a profitable case ".

"The city of Yellow Devil"

The first days of Gorky stay in the United States were filled with events. On April 12, he again has a meeting with writers and journalists – this time at the Aldine Restaurant. Already planned rallies in Boston and Philadelphia. "I watch with greed of savage American culture … America is a country in which you want to have four heads and 32 hands to work, work, work," – continues the writer. But bitterness in the tour added publication in a large New York newspaper on April 14. The publication reported that Maria Andreeva was not at all a writer’s wife, but he himself threw a real spouse in Russia with two children. Heroes of the article, naturally, were exhibited in an unsightly light. On the Puritan soil it provoked a scandal.

Russian guests expelled from Belleclaire – one of the many hotels in the United States, where the rooms in the table lies the Bible, and the cross hangs above the bed. However, American writer Leroy Scott immediately interceded for Gorky. Together with Nikolai Ruvenin, he went to the hostess of the hotel and "Scolded her on what the light stands, pounded with a fist on all the subjects in hand and, it seems that he was ready to break it great, but the hostess mastered us and insisted on their own: so that we immediately left and so that our spirit is not in the hotel ".

America is a country in which you want to have four heads and 32 hands to work, work, work

According to Burnin, "Mark Twain, in response to our phone calls to him, suddenly Zalenogozhi and disappeared from sight, but only on the eve of he hugged Gorky and assured him in his extraordinary love for him". Exiles sheltered in the writing club on the fifth Avenue, where they lived as if they were in siege, because there were hikes before the sensations reporters. It was even developed a plan according to which the bitter allegedly went to Pennsylvania. "In the House of Writers, they spoke in a whisper, the curtains on the windows overlooking the street were launched, and the bitter did not allow to approach the windows. At first we tried to hide from Maria Fedorovna what was written about her in the newspapers, but she saw us through. I was disturbed by the idea that the case entrusted to us was bursting, "Venin notes. Gorky comprehended the events in the creative key – in his imagination there was already an essay about the "city of Yellow Devil", where there is nothing more expensive than gold and cheaper than a person.

"Soup on a plate, feverish life, run, run, disappear in this boil, accurately grapple in broth like chips in the sea, small people. The city is roaring and swallows them one after another insatiable mouth. Some of the heroes lowered their hands, others raised them, stretching over the heads of people, warning:

Gorky about America

– Stopping! This is not life, but madness.

I first see such a monstrous city, and never people seemed to me so insignificant, so enslaved. And at the same time, I have never met them as tragicomically satisfied with myself, what are they in this greedy and dirty stomach, which fell from greed in idiocy and with wild curb cattle devouring brains and nerves. About people – scary and painful talk. The living person who thinks, creates dreams in his brain, paintings, images, give birth to a desire, wants, wants, denies, waiting, – a living person this wild howl, screech, roar, this shivering of the walls of the walls, the cowardly grated glass windows – all It would hurt him, "says Gorky in the article" City of Yellow Devil ".

The thing that did not have, according to Gorky, artistic value, was later published in the States. "I printed an article about New York in the same magazine, enthusiastic "City of Yellow Devil". Did not like. Senators write objections, workers laugh. Someone publicly expressed my perplexity: before the Americans always scolded, already lefting from America, and now, even staying in it, do not praise – how to understand it?"- not without smile reported a writer in a letter to a friend. However, not all Americans wanted to expel a living classic from their country. After history with the hotel Belleclaire, Gorky and his companion got a lot of invitations. One of them is Miss Prestonia Martin: "I can’t and I don’t want to allow a whole country to hit a lonely, weak young woman, and therefore I offer you my hospitality".

On the slopes Adirondaka

Spouse Martin arranged the best. At first they settled guests in their mansion on Staitan Island, where no one could penetrate. Then, closer to the hot season, Gorky and Andreeva moved to the estate located among the mountains Adirondak in the north of New York. "The estate Martin consisted of two major sections. One – in lowland, surrounded by mountains, the other – on the slopes of the Harricsein Mountain, described by Main Reed. The first site was called Sommer Brooke (in Russian – "Summer stream"), second – Arisponett. Gorky called Sommer Brooke for a joke sorvi-pants; For the American ear, it seems that it sounded like an American name, but we, Russians, mixed up, "- recalled Burenin.

It is here, looking at the picturesque landscapes around, Gorky worked especially fruitful. For one summer, held in the estate of Sommer Brooke, he graduated from the Cycle of Essays "In America", wrote a collection of pamphlets "My Interview" and the main part of the novel "Mother", which was subsequently one of the most famous works of the author. Evenings Alexey Maksimovich listened to the music of his beloved composer – Edward Griega. Her served for Writer Burenin. Sometimes guests came to the estate, which is very difficult to imagine next to the "Petrel". Among these were also Noyz’s spouses – Christian missionaries returned to America from Japan. They arranged for the Writer whole circus performances.

Over time, the hype around the connection of Gorky and Andreva went to no, and in response to the letters of people, still worried about his fate, the writer said: "My gratitude to the authors of letters for their wonderful feelings is limitless, that I and I testify. But they seem to me too worry and overly sharply formulate their opinions about the Americans. First of all – the dose of poison, drove by me here, is not so great, as it seems to those who, apparently, drank him. ".

In September, Alexey Maksimovich left the United States and opened the new chapter of his life – on the Italian island of Capri with periodic visits to his homeland. But this is a completely different story.

Gorky about America

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