Enemies

Maxim Gorky
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ISBN 9780571232123 Format Paperback
Published 18/05/2006 Length 128 pages

About Book

1905. Russia is at a turning point. Zakhar Bardin is from the landowning class, but is now the uneasy owner of a factory. His managing director is determined to face down militant workers on a point of principle. But the shutting of the business has tragic consequences for everyone concerned.

Gorky's extraordinary play, which was written in exile and banned in his home country, presents a panoramic view of a restless society, with a bourgeoisie no longer sure of its own values, and a working class steadily facing up to the terrifying sacrifices ahead. Described by Ronald Bryden in the Observer in 1971 as 'a real discovery . . . the missing link between Chekhov and the Russian revolution', Enemies has a dramatic breadth, humour and ambition unique to Gorky.

Maxim Gorky's Enemies is adapted by David Hare and premiered at the Almeida Theatre, London, in May 2006.

  • About Maxim Gorky

    Maxim Gorky was born in 1868, suffered a deprived childhood and spent his early youth as a vagrant, but by the 1890s he was ranked with Tolstoy and Chekhov among Russia's leading writers. For long he was best known in the West as a novelist, notably for The Mother (1907) and for the three volumes of his Autobiography, with only The Lower Depths (1902) established on the stage; but in the last third of the twentieth century his other plays began also to be recognised for their portrayals of the painful pre-revolutionary decades. Besides Philistines (1901), these included Summerfolk (1904), Children of the Sun (1905), Enemies (1906) and Vassa Shelesnova (1910). After some equivocation and years in exile, he finally embraced the Revolution, and died in 1936.

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  • Translated By: David Hare

    David Hare was born in Sussex in 1947. He is the author of twenty-nine plays for the stage, seventeen of which have been seen at the National Theatre. These plays include Plenty, The Secret Rapture, Amy's View, Via Dolorosa, Stuff Happens, Gethsemane, The Power of Yes, Racing Demon, The Absence of War and South Downs. His many screenplays for cinema and television include Licking Hitler, Damage, The Hours and The Reader. He recently wrote and directed a trilogy of films for the BBC: Page Eight, Turks & Caicos and Salting the Battlefield.

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