This collection of literary portraits forms a gallery of life-like representations of some remarkable Russian authors. Here we have Tolstoi -- "superhumanly wise," Chekhov -- "sagely modest," Korolenko -- "calm and of an extraordinary simplicity," Kotsubinsky -- "at home in the ideal world of beauty and good," Garin-Mikhailovsky -- "gifted, inexhaustibly cheerful," Prishvin, who wrote about "The Earth, our Great Mother." Gorky's unfailing interest in creative personalities, his keen observation, his ability to capture every characteristic word, gesture, intonation, his profound knowledge of the times producing these personalities, enabled him to penetrate the mysteries of such complex and self-contradictory individuals as Tolstoi, Chekhov, Korolenko, and many others. And in his contacts with his great contemporaries new and wonderful features of the author of these portraits -- Alexei Maximovich Gorky -- are unconsciously displayed.
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