Maxim Gorky, Na dne [The Lower Depths]

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Gorky’s play

Na dne


The Lower Depths

], first performed in 1902, is universally known in the English speaking world by this translated title, now rather dated and misleading in its connotations. In German it was rendered as the


[Night Shelter, 1903], while the versions in English and French [

Les Bas-fonds

, 1936] are evidently linked. Gorky toyed with several titles, some of which have surfaced in various American translations, including “Without the Sun” [

Bez solntsa

], “On the Bottom of Life” [

Na dne zhizni

], before finally settling, on Leonid Andreev’s advice, for the abbreviated

Na dne

[At the Bottom, 1930]. Perhaps a better resonance was achieved by

Down and Out

[G. Noyes, A. Kaun, 1933].

The setting is a night shelter, and the characters are its inhabitants: the

2114 words

Citation: Marsh, Cynthia. "Na dne". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 April 2007 [, accessed 22 June 2024.]

20674 Na dne 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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