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The article is devoted to an important problem of a new reading of the works of A.P. Chekhov and M. Gorky, namely the authors’ understanding of humanism. “Chekhov's values” are the guarantor of the preservation of Russian culture and its moral values. The article examines the ideological and moral searches of the heroes- intellectuals in Gorky's "The Life of Klim Samgin (Forty Years)” in comparison with the searches of the heroes in the story "My Life" by Chekhov – in the light of "Chekhov's values." There is a "discussion field" in the texts of the classics devoted to the “mission” of the intelligentsia in the revolutionary era, which means that there is a need to study it. Each author, in his own artistic way, depicts and comprehends the personality of a Russian intellectual and the fate of the intelligentsia in connection with the era. In the light of their own axiology, the writers express a warning to their contemporaries – about the dangerous consequences for a person of all kinds of inertia, limitations, the lack of development, as well as the danger of radical "steps". The interpretation of "Chekhov's values" (his "holy of holies") in Gorky's narration is observed at the level of content (the struggle of the populists "for freedom and culture", against slavery in all its manifestations, the spread of Marxism at the end of the 19th century) and at the level of poetics. A complex of different methods is used in the article: a historical and literary method, a typological method and comparative analysis. “The matrix of interpretations is becoming practically boundless”, – this is the opinion of literary critics of the 21st century [16, 19]. The article polemically focuses on the problem of an objective approach, clarifies the views of Russian literary criticism on the phenomenon of the Russian intelligentsia, the specifics of understanding of the moral values at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries, these values great Russian literature still preserves for future generations.

Key words

M. Gorky, «The Life of Klim Samgin», A. P. Chekhov "My Life", humanism, Russian intelligentsia.