"Distant death" in Maxim Gorky's short story "Obsession"
The paper analyzes the short story "Obsession" written by Maxim Gorky in the Nizhny Novgorod period of his work, which has been given little attention in philological works. On the one hand, the author himself defined its genre as a Christmas tale; on the other hand, this work cannot be brought into line with Christmas tales and short novels by Gogol and Dostoyevsky, since in Gorky's story, no miracle occurs. However, this small text still deserves literary scholars' attention. The short story introduces an interesting paradox of artistic space and time: in outward appearance, the action takes place within one room, on the couch, but the hero's internal experiences, his conflict with the alter ego carry the reader into the distant past, the Christmas days of the main character's family, and then the imagination, vision that visited Foma Mironovich come to the fore and become a plot-forming feature. The form in which the story content is presented (obsession, dream, delusion) is typologically similar to the structure of Russian folklore tales telling about encountering the phenomena of the "other world". The results of the study may be of interest to both literary and cultural scholars.