Maxim Gorky: Military museum; soaking the dirt and dust of the earth with copious blood

Antiwar literary selections


Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Russian writers on war

Maxim Gorky: Selections on war


Maxim Gorky
From The Specter (1938)
Translated by Alexander Bakshy


In the morning, performing however reluctantly the duty of the traveler, armed with a red Baedeker guide-book, Samghin strode through the streets of the city of stone, and this tidy, bleak city depressed and bored him. The damp wind scattered people in all directions; the iron shoes of shaggy-legged horses clanked; soldiers marched; a drum rattled; occasionally an automobile honked by, lumbering like an elephant, and the Germans stopped, respectfully according it the right of way and following it with friendly eyes. Samghin found himself in a square with a number of mountainous buildings spaced neatly over it, above each of them, between blue-gray clouds, its own piece of blue sky shining. Every one was a museum. Before Samghin could decide…

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