Home > Uncategorized > Maxim Gorky: What we needed was a successful war – with anybody at all

Maxim Gorky: What we needed was a successful war – with anybody at all

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Russian writers on war

Maxim Gorky: Selections on war

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Maxim Gorky
From The Specter (1938)
Translated by Alexander Bakshy

Portrait of Maxim Gorky and Feodor Chaliapin

“I’m sick and tired of it. Just like a goose – gabble, gabble, gabble. Now there is a crime for you. We want a war. As far back as 1908 Isvolski declared to Suvorin that what we needed was a successful war – with anybody at all. And today this is a conviction with the majority of the ministers, the monarchists, and other – Nihilists.”

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“We Russians are much too prone to kneel, not only to the Czar and the government, but to those who preach to us. Do you remember –

“Master, at thy name
Let us humbly bend the knee.”

“That’s not quoted right,” declared the man in the corner, with relish.

“Observing the flexibility of the knee, Japan took advantage of it, and was followed up by the Germans, who compelled us to sign a trade-treaty profitable to them alone. This treaty is due to expire in 1914. The government is increasing the army, strengthening the navy, and encouraging war industries. This is forethought. Balkan wars have never yet been fought without our participation. It seems to me not improbable that in the year of the tercentennial jubilee, the autocracy will present the country with a fine war.”

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