The Lower Depths Essay

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In the following essay, Erlich discusses Gorki's attitude toward truth and lying, suggesting that Gorki may have accepted the need to lie to further the truth but also realized the effect of lying upon people's perception of the truth.

The theme of truth versus illusion, of reality versus invention, haunts Maksim Gorky's oeuvre from his early story ''About the Siskin Who Lied and the Woodpecker Who Loved the Truth'' down to his interminable swan song The Life of Klim Samgin, whose unlovely hero is obsessed by the notion of having "invented" himself. Thus, what I will be offering here is no more than a few reflections on the Pushkinian dichotomy of "base truths" versus "the uplifting illusion" in Gorky's life and work or, to put it differently, no more than a gloss on Khodasevich's telling reference to Gorky's "extremely tangled attitude toward truth and lying, an...

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This section contains 3,766 words
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Buy The Lower Depths Study Guide
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