“…I would be happy to find a little bit of a place in Russian literature…”: Abraham Vysotsky’s letters to Maxim Gorky

Vladimir Khazan, Roman Katsman, Larisa Zhukhovitskaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The published materials are the correspondence of Maxim Gorky and Abraham Leibovich Vysotsky, which had been awaiting publication for many years. Publishers raise the question of A.L. Vysotsky’s place in Jewish literature in Russian and in Russian literature. It is noted that Vysotsky’s works, appreciated by M. Gorky, who published a number of them in the journals “Letopis’” and “Bese-da”, were not included in the canon of both Russian literature as well as its Russian-Jewish branch, and Israeli literature in Russian. The writer's biography, genesis and poetics of his works have so far remained beyond the attention of researchers, and one of the objectives of this publication is to try to fill this gap. In the introductory article, relying on archival materials, Vysotsky’s biography is reconstructed, a number of important facts are clarified, including his date of birth, information about his education, literary activity and connection with the Zionist movement is presented, the most significant periods of his life in Russia and Eretz Israel, where he repatriated in 1920, are described, and information on translations of his works into other languages and experiments on their staging is reported. Particular attention of the publishers is focused on the history of interaction between Vysotsky and Gorky who never met personally. This interaction developed exclusively in correspondence, which initially concerned Vysotsky’s attempts to offer his short stories to Gorky for publication in his journals. Letters are published according to autographs from the Gorky Archive (Institute of World Literature). The publication is supplemented by two appendixes containing Vysotsky's essay “Maxim Gorky and Zionism” and his drama “Blood of the Maccabees”.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-173
Number of pages59
JournalLiterary Fact
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Russian Academy of Sciences-A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature. All rights reserved.


  • Abraham Vysotsky
  • Maxim Gorky
  • Russian Jewish literature
  • the Zionist movement


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