Alexei Maximovich Peshkov (28 March 1868 – 18 June 1936), primarily known as Maxim (Maksim) Gorky , was a Russian and Soviet writer, a founder of the socialist realism literary method and a political activist. 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, The Song of the Stormy Petrel, The Mother, Summerfolk and Children of the Sun. He had an association with fellow Russian writers Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov; Gorky would later write his memoirs on both of them.
Gorky was active with the emerging Marxist social-democratic movement. He publicly opposed the Tsarist regime, and for a time closely associated himself with Vladimir Lenin and Alexander Bogdanov's Bolshevik wing of the party. For a significant part of his life, he was exiled from Russia and later the Soviet Union. In 1932, he returned to Russia on Joseph Stalin's personal invitation and died in June 1936.
Each of them (so I said to myself) must call his own, at least, three stomachs and a hundred and fifty teeth. I did not doubt that the millionaire ate without intermission, from six oÕclock in the morning till midnight. It goes without saying, the most exquisite and sumptuous viands! Toward evening, then, he must be tired of the hard chewing, to such a degree that (so I pictured to myself) he gave orders to his darkies to digest the meals that he had swallowed with satisfaction during the day. Completely limp, covered with sweat and almost suffocated, he had to be put to bed by his servants, in order that on the next morning at six oÕclock he might be able to begin again his work of eating.
Nevertheless, it must be impossible for such a manÑwhatever pains he might takeÑto consume merely the half of the interest of his wealth.
To be sure, such a life is awful, but what is one to do? For what is one a millionaireÑwhat am I saying?Ña billionaire, if one cannot eat more than every other common mortal! I pictured to myself that this privileged being wore cloth-of-gold underclothing, shoes with gold nails, and instead of a hat a diadem of diamonds on his head. His clothes, made of the most expensive velvet, must be at least fifty feet long and fastened with three hundred gold buttons; and on holidays he must be compelled by dire necessity to put on over each other six pairs of costly trousers. Such a costume is certainly very uncomfortable. But, if one is rich like that, one canÕt after all dress like all the world.