3 DECEMBER 1948, Page 30

Shorter Notices

The Artamonov Business. By Maxim Gorki. Translated by Alec Brown. (Hamish Hamilton. 6s.) THIS new translation (one of the excellent Novel Library series) of Gorki's best-known book has much to recommend it beside its moderate price. ' Apart from a slight muddling of relationship at the end and an occasional over-roughness in an attempt at raciness, it is a good pungent version, quite free from that sense of stilted foreign-ness that so many translations from the Russian convey. Gorki's violence and yet sensitiveness to un-materialistic values, his turbulent, characters yet poetic pictures of the countryside, his con- fusion of incident which yet falls into such clear-cut shape at the end—all come through in an extremely readable form. The theme of the rise and fall of a family of three generations and the grim little linen factory has an intrinsic interest ; it also gives a lively picture of Russia between the freeing of the serfs and the First World War. It is a pity that the translation of the title is somewhat ambiguous.