Makar Chudra

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"Makar Chudra"
The Gorky plaque on the wall of the house in Tbilisi where the story was written
Author Maxim Gorky
Original title"Макар Чудра"
Country Russia
Language Russian
Published inKavkaz newspaper
Publication date12 September 1892

"Makar Chudra" (Russian : Макар Чудра) is a 1892 short story by Maxim Gorky, first published by the Tiflis newspaper Kavkaz, in the No. 242, 12 September 1892 issue. [1]

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although, nowadays, nearly three decades after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia, the rise of state-specific varieties of this language tends to be strongly denied in Russia, in line with the Russian World ideology.

Maxim Gorky 19th and 20th-century Russian and Soviet writer

Alexei Maximovich Peshkov, primarily known as Maxim Gorky, was a Russian and Soviet writer, a founder of the socialist realism literary method, and a political activist. He was also a five-time nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Around fifteen years before success as a writer, he frequently changed jobs and roamed across the Russian Empire; these experiences would later influence his writing. Gorky's most famous works were The Lower Depths (1902), Twenty-six Men and a Girl (1899), The Song of the Stormy Petrel (1901), My Childhood (1913–1914), Mother (1906), Summerfolk (1904) and Children of the Sun (1905). He had an association with fellow Russian writers Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov; Gorky would later mention them in his memoirs.



"Makar Chudra" was the second published story by the author after "Emelyan Pilyai", and the first signed "M. Gorky". It was written in the summer of 1892 in Tiflis, where Gorky spent several weeks doing menial jobs, mostly for the Caucasian Railway workshops. Soon after the publication, in October, he returned to his native Nizhny Novgorod.

Nizhny Novgorod City in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russia

Nizhny Novgorod, colloquially shortened to Nizhny, is a city in Russia and the administrative center (capital) of Volga Federal District and Nizhny Novgorod Oblast. From 1932 to 1990, it was known as Gorky, after the writer Maxim Gorky, who was born there.

Instrumental in the publication was Alexander Kalyuzny, a leftist radical, who first encouraged his young friend to put to paper the story the latter had been relating to him verbally, and later handed the manuscript to his journalist friend Tsvetnitsky, who furthered it to the Kavkaz editors. In his 1925 letter to Kalyuzhny, Gorky wrote: "For thirty years I've been serving the Russian art, and all thanks to the impulse you'd given me." [2] [3]


The narrator meets an old Roma traveller Makar Chudra and has a conversation with him outside the camp, revolving mostly around the theme of freedom. Noticing his guest's interest in his daughter Nonka's singing, Makar warns him against falling victim to female charms and relates a story of a strong, handsome and fearless man Loiko Zobar and Radda, the latter's beauty matched only by her fierce sense of independence. Radda, well aware of her power over Loiko, orders him to kneel before her, in the presence of other men. His spirits crushed, he promises to do so the next day. Which he does, but only after putting his knife through the heart of his beloved one, to be promptly killed by Danilo, Radda's father.

The story ends with the narrator having a vision: bleeding Radda walking through the skies, and Loiko behind, never able to catch up with her.


In 1976 the Emil Loteanu film Gypsies Are Found Near Heaven came out, based upon "Makar Chudra", although fragments of "Old Izergil", another early story by Gorky, were incorporated into the plotline too.

Emil Loteanu Moldovan filmmaker

Emil Vladimirovich Loteanu was a Soviet film director born in Romania. He moved to Moscow in his early life. His best known films are Lăutarii, Gypsies Are Found Near Heaven, A Hunting Accident and Anna Pavlova.

<i>Gypsies Are Found Near Heaven</i> 1976 film by Emil Loteanu

Gypsies Are Found Near Heaven is a 1975 Soviet romantic drama film by Emil Loteanu, loosely based on short stories "Makar Chudra" and "Old Izergil" by Maxim Gorky. Set in early 20th century Austria-Hungary, the film tells a love story between the gypsy girl Rada and the horse thief Zobar of Gorky's early 1892 short story "Makar Chudra".

Old Izergil story by the Russian author Maxim Gorky

"Old Izergil" is a 1895 short story by Maxim Gorky, written in the autumn of 1894 and first published by Samarskaya Gazeta, issues 80, 86 and 89, on 16, 23 and 27 April respectively.

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  1. Commentaries to Макар Чудра. The Works by M.Gorky in 30 volumes. Vol.1. Khudozhestvennaya Literatura // На базе Собрания сочинений в 30-ти томах. ГИХЛ, 1949-1956.
  2. Commentaries to Makar Chudra // Горький М. Макар Чудра и другие рассказы. — М: Детская литература, 1970. — С. 195-196. — 207 с.
  3. Isabella M. Nefedova. Maxim Gorky. The Biography // И.М.Нефедова. Максим Горький. Биография писателя Л.: Просвещение, 1971.