Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Excerpt from the novel"The mother" by Maxim Gorky

Brian Crain & Rita Chepurchenko - Solitary Hill

Gustave Leonard de jonghe Art

From the novel "The mother" (Excerpt)
Maxim Gorky

Pavel arose and began to pace the room,folding his hands behind his back.

It goes all right," he said. "... At the same time, however, life itself is opening our eyes to its bitter meaning and is itself showing man the way to accelerate its pace. We all of us think just as we live."

"True. But wait!" Rybin stopped him. "Man ought to be renovated-- that's what I think! When a man grows scabby, take him to the bath, give him a thorough cleaning, put clean clothes on him--and he will get well. Isn't it so? And if the heart grows scabby, take its skin off, even if it bleeds, wash it, and dress it up all afresh. Isn't it so? How else can you clean the inner man? There now!"

Pavel began to speak hotly and bitterly about God, about the Czar, about the government authorities...

Here the mother intervened. When her son spoke about God and about everything that she connected with her faith in him, which was dear and sacred to her, she sought to meet his eyes, she wanted to ask her son mutely not to chafe her heart with the sharp, bitter words of his unbelief...and said firmly: "When you speak of God, I wish you were more careful. You can do whatever you like. You have your compensation in your work."
Catching her breath she continued with still greater vehemence: "But I, an old woman, I will have nothing to lean upon in my distress if you take my God away from me."

Her eyes filled with tears.

"You did not understand us, mother!" Pavel said softly and kindly.

"Beg your pardon, mother!"

"I did not speak about that good and gracious God in whom you believe, but about the God with whom they threaten us as with a stick, about the God in whose name they want to force all of us to the evil will of the few."

They have mutilated even our God for us, they have turned everything in their hands against us. Mark you, mother, God created man in his own image and after his own likeness. Therefore he is like man if man is like him. But we have become, not like God, but like wild beasts! ... mother; we must cleanse him! They have dressed him up in falsehood and calumny; they have distorted his face in order to destroy our souls!"

... In the heart and in the mind. There's the rub. It's this that makes all the trouble and misery and misfortune. We have severed ourselves from our own selves. The heart was severed from the mind, and the mind has disappeared. Man is not a unit. It is God that makes him a unit, that makes him a round, circular thing. God always makes things round. Such is the earth and all the stars and everything visible to the eye. The sharp, angular things are the work of men."

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