Dedicated to classics and hits.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

The Mother (1907) by Maxim Gorky

The Mother by
 Maxim Gorky
p. 1907

  Russian Literature is a pretty decent sized category on this blog.  17 different works: 8 films and 9 novels/short stories. There are also some unreviewed novels: War and Peace, Crime and Punishment that just haven't made it up yet.  Russian literature is interesting because it is, in a sense, outsider literature and in the way that all outsider literature functions, it reflects brightly on the source material, in this case, the English novel of the 19th century and the European Cinema of the mid 20th century.  But generally I'm interested in literature that moves from the outside to the center.  In terms of the interest level in Russian Literature- several of the review here have more then 100 page views: When The Cranes Are Flying, the 50s Russian Film, has 551 page views.  Anna Karenina has 110 page views. Dead Souls has 113 page views.  Those are decent numbers.  At the other end of the spectrum: The Nose, Virgin Soil, On the Eve, Oblomovka-- all under 50 page views a piece.

  The Mother is notable because it is late- 1907 publication date, and the hey day of the Russian Novel being well over.  There was plenty of real world turmoil in Russia during the beginning of the 20th century that certainly interfered with the production of cultural documents.  The Russian Revolution proper happened in 1917, and The Mother, with it's overtly Revolutionary message, functions as an example of Art in as being vanguard or avant garde.  Despite the revolutionary political message that is overtly part of the narrative, The Mother itself is not particularly avant garde/modernist in terms of narrative structure or development.  Rather, The Mother is a Russian take on the realist/social literature of Emile Zola.

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