Twenty-six Men and a Girl

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"Twenty-six Men and a Girl" (Russian: Двадцать шесть и одна, Dvadtsat’ shest’ i odna/Dvadcatj šestj i odna) is a short story written by the Russian writer Maxim Gorky in 1899, and is one of his most famous.


"Twenty-six Men and a Girl" is a pioneering story of Social Realism (predating Soviet socialist realism), and is a story of lost ideals. Twenty-six men labor in a cellar, making kringles in an effective prison. They are looked down upon by all around them, including the bun bakers. Their only seeming solace is the sixteen-year-old Tanya who visits them every morning for kringles they give her.

A new baker, a soldier, joins the bun bakers. Unlike all others they know, he befriends them, boasting of his virility with women. He ultimately seduces Tanya.

Upon learning about this, the bakers surround Tanya and yell abuse at her. After regaining her composure, she rebukes them. Afterwards, Tanya never stops by at the bakery for morning biscuits again.[1]


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