Foma Gordeev


Foma Gordeyev (Russian: Фома Гордеев) is an 1899 novel by Maxim Gorky. It was first published by Zhizn magazine in February-September 1899 and came out as a separate edition in 1900, as part of the Zhizn Library (vol.3), with a dedication to Anton Chekhov.Gorky started working on Foma Gordeyev in 1898. "It is supposed to present the broad and true picture of the contemporary life, while featuring the figure of an energetic, healthy man, craving for space to realize his power's potential. He feels restricted. Life smothers him. He realizes that there is no place for heroes in it, they apt to being defeated by small things, like Hercules, the conqueror of hydras, crashed by hordes of mosquitoes," he wrote in a February 1898 letter to the publisher S. Dorovatsky. Gorky considered his hero an atypical figure in the context of Russian merchant community. "Foma is just a sprightly man looking for freedom but feeling thwarted by life's conventions," he wrote in the same letter, promising to soon embark upon another novel, telling by way of redressing the balance, the life of a 'true' tradesman, a smart and cynical crook, going by the name of Mikhail Vyagin (the project never materialized).In his correspondence Gorky complained about numerous cuts made by the governmental censors. He radically revised the text twice, in 1900 and 1903.The eponymous Soviet film by Mark Donskoy, based on the novel, came out in 1959.
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original title: Фома Гордеев
date of publication: 1899
genre: novel
movement: literary realism
narrative location: Volga Region

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