Maxim Gorki’s charge in the Isveztsia that Boris Pilnyak, one of Soviet Russia’s leading novelists, and who is now in the United States, had manifested anti-Semitism in some of his writings, was categorically denied by Mr. Pilnyak in a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
“I was amazed when I read Gorki’s statement as published in the American press,” Mr. Pilnyak declared. “Not only am I not an anti-Semite but I have the utmost admiration for the Jewish people who gave to the world so many geniuses from Christ to Karl Marx. And as a matter of fact I am of Jewish descent, my grandmother having been a Jewess.”
Mr. Pilnyak said that he could not understand on what Gorki based his allegation. “There must be some misunderstanding which I will, of course, seek to clear up on my return to Russia at the end of this month,” Mr. Pilnyak said. “But for the time being I simply want to make it clear that not only have I written nothing that can be characterized as anti-Semitic but on the contrary my two novels which deal with the subject of Jews, have been translated into Yiddish and Hebrew and enjoy the greatest popularity in Palestine.”