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A.M. Gorky Institute
of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

IWL RAS Publishing

A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Povarskaya 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia



Types of publications

  • Classification – name: Literary studies
  • Author: Zdeněk Pechal
  • Pages: 246–256
  • Publisher: A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IWL RAS Publ.)
  • Rights – description: Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 (СС BY-ND)
  • Rights – URL: Visit Website
  • Language of the publication: Russian
  • Type of document: Research Article
  • Collection: Maxim Gorky and World Culture: A Collection of Scientific Articles
  • DOI:
  • EDN:

  • Year of publication: 2023
  • Place of publication: Moscow
  • PDF

  • Pechal, Z. “Maxim Gorky’s Irony and Silence: A Drama of Overloaded Memory.” Maxim Gorky and World Culture: A Collection of Scientific Articles. Ed. L.A. Spiridonova. Мoscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2023, pp. 246–256. (In Russian) 1 Electronic Optical Disc. Text: Electronic.

Information about the author:

Zdeněk Pechal, DSc in Philology, Professor, Head of the Department of Slavic Studies, Palacký University Olomouc,  Křížkovského, 10, 77180 Olomouc, Czech Republic.

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The article mentions the main facts about M. Gorky’s translations in the Czech Republic. Gorky’s story belongs to narrative genres that have their roots in the oral tradition. Gorky’s narrator wants to tell something objectively and how the passing narrator observes what is happening, but, basically, does not comment on the observed reality. Thus, the artistic meaning is not given on the basis of author-narrative statements, plot movement, or causal relationships and consequences, but follows independently through the variety of chaotic reality unfolding before the narrator. The narrator’s consciousness continuously  and spontaneously absorbs the impulses of the current reality. Since the passing observer is not able to comprehend and organize the abundance of facts of reality, all these various and uncontrolled impulses overload his consciousness and lead him into a state of chaos. The element of the current variety of overloaded memory contributes to the mortification of not only the consciousness, but also the petrification of the whole personality of the hero and the narrative point of view. Thus, the author’s raw registration of the current variety of reality, petrification of the narrator’s and hero’s consciousness become essential semantic elements of Gorky’s texts. Overloaded memory leads the passing hero-observer to a state of internal mortification, a kind of petrification of the personality, and the registered impulses of chaotic reality give birth to a meaning beyond the author’s control. Therefore, the reality outside the authority of the one who observes and the one who has something to tell us something, creates meaning, which is independent of the authority of the author’s true meaning is born, regardless of the author and is derived independently of natural diversity often antinomic images, the observer and passing the Registrar is not able to give a perceived unifying sense, as he does not understand and can not understand what he saw; in the end, sense is born spontaneously and author of “silent”. This is the irony of Gorky, since he is able to tell something objectively, but is not able to give a unifying meaning to this chain of images. Thus, Gorky’s “silence” can be understood as a drama of overloaded memory and the author’s irony in relation to the desire to give an authoritative meaning to what was said.

Keywords: M. Gorky, genre, story, registration of current reality, overloaded memory, spontaneous birth of meaning, symbol, author’s silence, irony.


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