Article: PDF
DOI: 10.51762/1FK-2021-26-03-12
Abstract: The article attempts at a new interpretation of one of the most “mysterious”, “encrypted”, and still not fully understood Gorky’s plays “The Counterfeit Coin”. The analysis of the most complex moral and philosophical problems and the avant-garde poetics of this drama is made taking into account the literary studies of recent years and all archival materials currently known. Gorky worked on the play for almost 15 years. The first edition of 1913 was written as a melodrama with a happy, bright ending. But the writer was dissatisfied with his work and did not have it print and staged. After the revolution, in 1924, he tried to remake “The Counterfeit Coin”, significantly updated its form, and introduced a fantastic character – a demon. This version remained incomplete. Finally, in 1926, Gorky created the final, third edition of the play, in which the devil turned into mentally ill Luzgin, and the main philosophical-ethical problem was the idea of the indistinguishability of the truth and lies in the modern world. The analysis of the ideological and artistic features of the play revealed the presence in it of the traditions of classical and modernist literature (F. M. Dostoevsky, A. P. Chekhov, L. N. Andreev) and at the same time the innovation of Gorky and his desire to update theatrical forms. The poetics of the experiment, which began to dominate his prose in the first half of the 1920s, turned out to be urgent for Gorky, the playwright. He actively used such modernist techniques as symbolic subtext, mirror-reflected parity of certain characters, and symbolic content of actions, gestures and phrases of some characters. The illusory nature of the artistic world of “The Counterfeit Coin” created by the author: the ambiguity, the personal complexity of its characters, the confusion of their ideas about good and evil, about the truth and lies, and the atmosphere of devilry as a symbol of general ill-being in human life and in the world – all this brought Gorky’s play closer to the modernist drama of the 1910s–1920s.
Key words: Philosophical problems; Russian writers; literary creative activity; literary genres; plays; drama; symbolism; modernism, poetics.

Для цитирования:

Примочкина, Н. Н. Пьеса М. Горького «Фальшивая монета»: новое прочтение / Н. Н. Примочкина // Philological Class. – 2021. – Vol. 26 ⋅ №3. – С. 138–149. DOI 10.51762/1FK-2021-26-03-12.

For citation

Primochkina, N. N. (2021). M. Gorky’s Play “The Counterfeit Coin”: A New Reading. In Philological Class. 2021. Vol. 26 ⋅ №3. P. 138–149. DOI 10.51762/1FK-2021-26-03-12.

About the author(s) :

Natalia N. Primochkina

Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russia)

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5536-7657

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