Maxim Gorky’s (1868-1936) childhood was scored with regular beatings, some life-threatening, by his grandfather.  His resilience, emotional as much as physical, is humbling, underlined by his capacity to see his grandfather as a full, complex human being. 

Here, his grandfather’s words have a way of sticking in him even if he would rather forget them.

Much of what he told me I didn’t want to remember, but, without any instructions on Grandfather’s part, many things stuck in my memory like painful splinters. 

 

Source: Maxim Gorky, My Childhood, trans. Ronald Wilks (Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 1966), p. 86

Photo credit: David Boca at unsplash

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