Certainly the strongest and most loving influence on Gorky’s troubled childhood was his grandmother.  Her capacity to maintain her belief in life and humanity despite repeated evidence of its worst aspects, is astonishing.  

Here Gorky pays tribute to the power of her presence in his own development and even survival. 

And I loved how she managed to weave ‘many-coloured lace’ out of their harsh lives.  She was also a maestro story-teller.  

Before she came into my life I must have been lying asleep in a dark corner, but now she had woken me up, brought me out into the light, and bound up everything around me into a continuous thread which she wove into many-coloured lace.  At once she became a friend for life, nearest to my heart, and the person I treasured and understood more than anyone else.  It was her unselfish love of the world that enriched me and nourished me with the strength I would need for the hard life that lay ahead. 

Enjoy another of his tributes to this remarkable woman.  

Source: Maxim Gorky, My Childhood, trans. Ronald Wilks (Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 1966), p. 20

Photo credit: johnrp at pixabay


  1. Bianca Nijhof

    Love it!!

    • beatriceotto

      Thank you so much Bianca, it’s a delight to me when a reader takes as much pleasure in these people as I do!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest