First time I read the story One Autumn Night by Maxim Gorky nearly eight years ago. But I can still recall that memory.
It was a lovely afternoon. Sitting in my tiny room, I was searching for some good short stories to read. Suddenly, I found One Autumn Night on a website. The story was not that long. So, I printed it out and started reading right away.
When I finished reading the story, I was over the moon. Being overwhelmed by the magical writing of Maxim Gorky, I read the story again and then again. I felt so inspired by the story that I translated it from English to my own language Bengali within two days.
Gorky, in this story, revealed the mystery-land of a woman’s mind. He showed that a woman is not just a woman — she is a mother, a caregiver, a lover, a struggling soul who questions her existence in this vast universe.
The story is written in 1985. The plot goes like this —
The narrator found himself in a very unpleasant situation on one autumn night. With no money in his pocket, he was desperately searching for some food to eat. In that brutal weather, he found a girl named Natasha who was doing the same.
Later Natasha told the narrator her sorrowful story. She made it clear that she hates all men on earth and doesn’t care if anyone dies in front of her.
But at the end of the story, we find a different Natasha — a caring girl who does everything to save the narrator’s life.
Gorky depicted this transformation of Natasha from roughness to tenderness extraordinarily. It made a great impact on the narrator and us, the readers as well. With the narrator, we also feel love and deep respect for Natasha, therefore, all women.
This is how the story ends —
And when the dawn came, we crept from behind the skiff and went into the town… Then we took friendly leave of each other and never met again, although for half a year I searched in every hole and corner for that kind Natasha, with whom I spent the autumn night just described.
If she be already dead — and well for her if it were so — may she rest in peace! And if she be alive … still I say “Peace to her soul!” And may the consciousness of her fall never enter her soul … for that would be a superfluous and fruitless suffering if life is to be lived…
I read this story very often as I think good stories must be read frequently. It’s one of the best stories of Maxim Gorky .
The long sentences, the outstanding imagery, the depth of the subject matter, the settings, theme — to me — it’s a perfect blend. I know I am not exaggerating.
Read the story by yourself, and I believe you will love it.
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