chapter  9
15 Pages

A Sick Dostoevsky and Rich, Healthy Shopkeepers

Maxim Gorky’s Critique of America via Dostoevsky
WithErich Lippman

Maxim Gorky's visit to the United States in 1906 is perhaps one of the most famous or infamous examples of a 'failure to communicate' across cultural boundaries in the history of Russian-American relations. Gorky's opinion of the United States soon took a turn for the worse, due at least partly to the Russian embassy's understanding of American culture. Gorky's visit to the United States was organized by a host of literary and socially conscious luminaries, including William Dean Howells, Mark Twain, and Jane Addams. Perhaps due to the success of literary predecessors like Turgenev, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy, Gorky's unique voice caused his fame as a writer to increase exponentially during the first half of his lifetime. The Dostoevskian motif expresses itself quite clearly in the various stories and fictionalized interviews. Gorky wrote in the United States about the United States working on Mother.