A lively boy’s eye view of travelling in a boat and looking through a porthole. Maxim Gorky (1868-1936) was a small child when his father died and his widow and son were obliged to go and live with Gorky’s grandfather. It was the abrupt end to a short period of innocence and safety. Even his baby brother, born a matter of days before, prompted by their mother’s loss-shock, died in his turn and was travelling with them, swathed like a package ready for burial.
I clambered up on to the piles of luggage and trunks, and looked out of the porthole, which was round and bulging like a horse’s eye.
Source: Maxim Gorky, My Childhood, trans. Ronald Wilks (Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 1966), p. 16
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