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    Maxim Gorky sells a manuscript to fund his political activism

    Maxim Gorky Autograph Letter Signed. One page, penned in Russian on recto only, 8.5" x 10.75", Moscow, n.d. Addressed to noted book collector James Carleton Young, the letter reads in full: "Sir, You proposed to me once to give you one of my manuscripts for your library. Today I offer you the manuscript of my drama 'Les enfants du soleil' [The Children of the Sun] written during my arrest in the fortress Pierre-Paul at St. Petersburg. The money which you desire to give me for the manuscript will be used for the work of deliverance of my people sunk under political burden. It is not proper for me, Sir, to indicate the price. I beg you to fix it according to your opinion, because you understand well that I ask you to help me. M. Gorky." Heavy toning, a few chips along edges. Large signature.

    Russian author and a founder of the socialist realism literary method, Maxim Gorky was also a fervent political activist. From 1906 to 1913, Gorky lived on the island of Capri, partly for health reasons and partly to escape the increasingly repressive atmosphere in Russia. An amnesty granted on the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty allowed Gorky to return to Russia in 1913, where he continued his social criticism, mentoring other writers from the common people, and writing a series of important cultural memoirs, including the first part of his autobiography. Gorky remained in Russia until 1921, left, and returned again in 1932. The letter offered here most likely was written between 1913 and 1921. Accompanied by a contemporary translation in French accomplished on the integral sheet, and a later translation in English.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2010
    14th-15th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
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