Gorky’s grandmother probably ensured his psychological and possibly physical survival, somehow rescuing him with her luminous spirit and her fantastic story-store. 

There seems to have been no end to the stories she spun, though it isn’t clear whether she made them all up, or pulled them out of a wider cultural hat.  It is clear that they were worth hearing. 

After a pinch of snuff she would begin her wonderful stories about good robbers, saints, and all kinds of wild animals and evil spirits. 

Enjoy other descriptions of the sing-song voice of this fable-making, sweet sleep-inducing, confidence-building, loving luminary of a grandmother. 


Source: Maxim Gorky, My Childhood, trans. Ronald Wilks (Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 1966), p. 21

Photo credit: freestocks-photos at pixabay


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