In the World, Autobiography Part II
Published in 1916, ‘In the World’ is the second volume in Maxim Gorky’s autobiography. Gorky demonstrates how his views and opinions were shaped by his life and what he saw around him. After a tricky childhood, life did not get much easier for Gorky, and alcoholism, gambling, and his shattered dreams all feature, as well as shocking descriptions of the terrible working conditions he noted all around him. Full of agony and tragedy, ‘In the World’ provides valuable insight into the mind and workings of Gorky – a key figure in Russian literary history. Maxim Gorky (1868-1936) was a Russian author, playwright, and political activist. Orphaned at the age of eleven, Gorky ran away from home and survived by taking on a variety of menial jobs whilst travelling around Russia – experiences which would influence his writing in later life. He often worked as a journalist for local newspapers and his first short story ‘Makar Chudra’ was published in a newspaper in 1892. His first book, ‘Essays and Stories’ was published in 1898 and was an immediate success, allowing Gorky to concentrate fully on his writing. His focus was on those struggling and outcast from society and he was dedicated to portraying their worth and humanity – viewing his literary work as a moral obligation and a political act. He became associated with the Marxist movement and was critical of the Tsarist regime, resulting in his numerous arrests, imprisonments, and periods of exile. Some of his best-known works include ‘The Lower Depths’, ‘My Childhood’, ‘Mother’, and ‘Children of the Sun’. He was a five-time Nobel Prize nominee for his services to literature.