He was noted for the strict artistry with which he carried on the classical Russian traditions in the writing of prose and poetry. The texture of his poems and stories, sometimes referred to as "Bunin brocade", is considered to be one of the richest in the language. Best known for his short novels The Village and Dry Valley , his autobiographical novel The Life of Arseniev , , the book of short stories Dark Avenues and his — diary Cursed Days , , Bunin was a revered figure among anti-communist white emigres , European critics, and many of his fellow writers, who viewed him as a true heir to the tradition of realism in Russian literature established by Tolstoy and Chekhov. He had two younger sisters: Masha Maria Bunina-Laskarzhevskaya, — and Nadya that latter died very young and two elder brothers, Yuly and Yevgeny. He wrote in his autobiography:. Chubarovs, according to Bunin, "knew very little about themselves except that their ancestors were landowners in Kostromskaya , Moskovskaya , Orlovskya and Tambovskaya Guberniyas ".
|Published (Last):||19 April 2006|
|PDF File Size:||7.84 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||9.60 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
He was noted for the strict artistry with which he carried on the classical Russian traditions in the writing of prose and poetry. The texture of his poems and stories, sometimes referred to as "Bunin brocade", is considered to be one of the richest in the language. Best known for his short novels The Village and Dry Valley , his autobiographical novel The Life of Arseniev , , the book of short stories Dark Avenues and his — diary Cursed Days , , Bunin was a revered figure among anti-communist white emigres , European critics, and many of his fellow writers, who viewed him as a true heir to the tradition of realism in Russian literature established by Tolstoy and Chekhov.
He had two younger sisters: Masha Maria Bunina-Laskarzhevskaya, — and Nadya that latter died very young and two elder brothers, Yuly and Yevgeny. He wrote in his autobiography:. Chubarovs, according to Bunin, "knew very little about themselves except that their ancestors were landowners in Kostromskaya , Moskovskaya , Orlovskya and Tambovskaya Guberniyas ".
Ivan Bunin's early childhood, spent in Butyrky Khutor and later in Ozerky of Yelets county, Lipetskaya Oblast ,  was a happy one: the boy was surrounded by intelligent and loving people. Father Alexei Nikolayevich was described by Bunin as a very strong man, both physically and mentally, quick-tempered and addicted to gambling, impulsive and generous, eloquent in a theatrical fashion and totally illogical.
Young Bunin's susceptibility and keenness to the nuances of nature were extraordinary. Ivan Bunin's first home tutor was an ex-student named Romashkov,  whom he later described as a "positively bizarre character," a wanderer full of fascinating stories, "always thought-provoking even if not altogether comprehensible. It was Yuly who encouraged Ivan to read the Russian classics and to write himself. I wrote both poetry and prose fairly early and my works were also published from an early date," wrote Bunin in his short autobiography.
By the end of the s, the Bunins, plagued by the gambling habits of the head of the family, had lost most of their wealth. In Ivan was sent to a public school in Yelets, but never completed the course: he was expelled in March for failing to return to the school after the Christmas holidays due to the family's financial difficulties.
In January he moved to Oryol to work on the local Orlovsky Vestnik newspaper, first as an editorial assistant and later as de facto editor; this enabled him to publish his short stories, poems and reviews in the paper's literary section.
In August the couple moved to Poltava and settled in the home of Yuly Bunin. The latter helped his younger brother to find a job in the local zemstvo administration. Ivan Bunin's debut book of poetry Poems. Bunin spent the first half of travelling all over Ukraine. In Bunin visited the Russian capital for the first time. Bunin became involved with Gorky's Znanie Knowledge group. Another influence and inspiration was Leo Tolstoy whom he met in Moscow in January Admittedly infatuated with the latter's prose, Bunin tried desperately to follow the great man's lifestyle too, visiting sectarian settlements and doing a lot of hard work.
He was even sentenced to three months in prison for illegally distributing Tolstoyan literature in the autumn of , but avoided jail due to a general amnesty proclaimed on the occasion of the succession to the throne of Nicholas II. In — Bunin divided his time between Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Here the young writer made himself quite a reputation as an uncompromising advocate of the realistic traditions of classic Russian literature.
Having got this severe and sharp eye for real art, feeling acutely the power of a word, he was full of hatred towards every kind of artistic excess. In times when quoting Andrey Bely "throwing pineapples to the sky" was the order of the day, Bunin's very presence made words stick in people's throats," Boris Zaitsev later remembered. It was welcomed by both critics and colleagues, among them Alexander Ertel, Alexander Blok and Aleksandr Kuprin , who praised its "rare subtlety.
Falling Leaves was "definitely Pushkin-like", full of "inner poise, sophistication, clarity and wholesomeness," according to critic Korney Chukovsky. At the turn of the century Bunin made a major switch from poetry to prose which started to change both in form and texture, becoming richer in lexicon, more compact and perfectly poised. Citing Gustave Flaubert , whose work he admired, as an influence, Bunin was "demonstrating that prose could be driven by poetic rhythms, but still remain prose.
And for me the crucial thing is to find the proper rhythm. Once it's there, everything else comes in spontaneously, and I know when the story is done. In Znanie started publishing the Complete Bunin series;  five volumes appeared by the year In the early s Bunin travelled extensively. He was a close friend of Chekhov and his family and continued visiting them regularly until Scenes of "class struggle" there did not impress the writer, for he saw them as little more than the Russian common people's craving for anarchy and destruction.
In November Bunin's passionate affair with Vera Muromtseva began. The girl's family was unimpressed with Bunin's position as a writer, but the couple defied social convention, moving in together and in April leaving Russia for an extended tour through Egypt and Palestine.
Before them Bunin was mostly regarded as using his own words "a melancholy lyricist, singing hymns to noblemen's estates and idylls of the past. In the early s Bunin produced several famous novellas which came as a direct result of this change in perspective. This book caused controversy and made him famous. Its harsh realism with "characters having sunk so far below the average level of intelligence as to be scarcely human" prompted Maxim Gorky to call Bunin "the best Russian writer of the day.
He said he realised now that the working class had become a force powerful enough to "overcome the whole of Western Europe," but warned against the possible negative effect of the Russian workers' lack of organisation, the one thing that made them different from their Western counterparts. Again it left the literary critics divided: social democrats praised its stark honesty, many others were appalled with the author's negativism. Bunin and Muromtseva spent three winters — with Gorky on the island of Capri , where they met with Fyodor Shalyapin and Leonid Andreev , among others.
In Russia the couple divided their time mainly between Moscow and a Bunin family estate at Glotovo village nearby Oryol; it was there that they spent the first couple years of World War I. Dogged by anxieties concerning Russia's future, Bunin was still working hard. Bunin was a productive translator himself.
During the War years Bunin completed the preparation of a six-volume edition of his Collected Works , which was published by Adolph Marks in Throughout this time Bunin kept aloof from contemporary literary debates. Of literary circles I frequented only a few," he commented later. Pusheshnikov, of how insignificant he felt as a writer and how depressed he was for being unable to do more than be horrified at the millions of deaths being caused by the War.
In May the Bunins moved to Glotovo and stayed there until autumn. In October the couple returned to Moscow to stay with Vera's parents. Life in the city was dangerous residents had to guard their own homes, maintaining nightly vigils but Bunin still visited publishers and took part in the meetings of the Sreda and The Art circles. While dismissive of Ivan Goremykin the — Russian Government Premier , he criticised opposition figures like Pavel Milyukov as "false defenders of the Russian people".
In April he severed all ties with the pro-revolutionary Gorky, causing a rift which would never be healed. By Bunin was working for the Volunteer Army as the editor of the cultural section of the anti-Bolshevik newspaper Iuzhnoe Slovo. On 26 January , the couple boarded the last French ship in Odessa and soon were in Constantinople.
On 28 March , after short stints in Sofia and Belgrade , Bunin and Muromtseva arrived in Paris,  from then on dividing their time between apartments at 1, rue Jacques Offenbach in the 16th arrondissement of Paris and rented villas in or near Grasse in the Alpes Maritimes.
Much as he hated Bolshevism, Bunin never endorsed the idea of foreign intervention in Russia. I'd rather die in exile than return home with the help of Poland or England. As my father taught me: 'Love your own tub even if it's broken up'",  he once said, allegedly, to Merezhkovsky who still cherished hopes for Pilsudsky 's military success against the Bolshevik regime.
Slowly and painfully, overcoming physical and mental stress, Bunin returned to his usual mode of writing. Scream , his first book published in France, was compiled of short stories written in —, years he referred to as the happiest of his life. In France Bunin published many of his pre-revolutionary works and collections of original novellas, regularly contributing to the Russian emigre press.
He said he belonged to "the old world, that of Goncharov and Tolstoy , of Moscow and Saint Petersburg, where his muse had been lost, never to be found again. There was Russia, inhabited by a mighty family, which had been created by the blessed work of countless generations. What was then done to them? They paid for the deposal of the ruler with the destruction of literally the whole home and with unheard of fratricide. A bastard, a moral idiot from the birth, Lenin presented to the World at the height of his activities something monstrous, staggering, he discorded the largest country of the Earth and killed millions of people, and in the broad day-light it is being disputed: was he a benefactor of the mankind or not?
Bunin and Zamyatin had correctly understood that the Soviet experiment was destined to self destruct," Marullo wrote. In the s and s Bunin was regarded as the moral and artistic spokesman for a generation of expatriates who awaited the collapse of Bolshevism, a revered senior figure among living Russian writers, true to the tradition of Tolstoy and Chekhov.
Bunin for his part praised the Swedish Academy for honouring a writer in exile. Overwhelmed by the congratulations and telegrams that began to flood me, I thought in the solitude and silence of night about the profound meaning in the choice of the Swedish Academy. For the first time since the founding of the Nobel Prize you have awarded it to an exile.
Who am I in truth? An exile enjoying the hospitality of France, to whom I likewise owe an eternal debt of gratitude. But, gentlemen of the Academy, let me say that irrespective of my person and my work your choice in itself is a gesture of great beauty.
It is necessary that there should be centers of absolute independence in the world. No doubt, all differences of opinion, of philosophical and religious creeds, are represented around this table. But we are united by one truth, the freedom of thought and conscience; to this freedom we owe civilization.
For us writers, especially, freedom is a dogma and an axiom. Your choice, gentlemen of the Academy, has proved once more that in Sweden the love of liberty is truly a national cult. In France, Bunin found himself, for the first time, at the center of public attention. Then all of a sudden our writer received an internationally acclaimed prize! And not for some political scribblings, but for real prose! After having been asked to write a first page column for the Paris Revival newspaper, I stepped out in the middle of the night onto the Place d'Italie and toured the local bistros on my way home, drinking in each and every one of them to the health of Ivan Bunin!
It was during this time that Bunin's relationship deteriorated with Zinaida Gippius and Dmitry Merezhkovsky a fellow Nobel Prize nominee who once suggested that they divide the Prize between the two, should one of them get it, and had been refused.
His travels throughout Europe featured prominently on the front pages of the Russian emigre press for the remainder of the decade. In he allowed calligrapher Guido Colucci to create a unique manuscript of "Un crime", a French translation of one of his novellas, illustrated with three original gouaches by Nicolas Poliakoff. The writer who caught cold and fell ill after the night spent under arrest responded by writing a letter to the Paris-based Latest News newspaper. The incident caused disbelief and outrage in France.
In Bunin began working on what would later become a celebrated cycle of nostalgic stories with a strong erotic undercurrent and a Proustian ring. These stories assumed a more abstract and metaphysical tone which has been identified with his need to find refuge from the "nightmarish reality" of Nazi occupation.
In the West everything is cramped and enclosed, and this automatically produces a turning towards the self, inwards. As World War II broke out, Bunin's friends in New York, anxious to help the Nobel Prize laureate get out of France, issued officially-endorsed invitations for him to travel to the US, and in they received their Nansen passports enabling them to make the trip.
8 Iwan Bunin stock pictures and images
The Village caused much controversy at the time, though it was highly praised by Maxim Gorky who from then on regarded the author as the major figure in Russian literature , among others, and is now generally regarded as Bunin's first masterpiece. Bunin's realistic portrayal of the country life jarred with the idealized picture of "unspoiled" peasants which was common for the mainstream Russian literature, and featured the characters deemed 'offensive' by many, which were "so far below the average in terms of intelligence as to be scarcely human. Ivan Bunin completed the first part of The Village in September , in Moscow, working, as his wife Vera Muromtseva attested, with extraordinary intensity. But in April he unexpectedly left for North Africa and stayed at Capri , so the publication was postponed.
Books by Iwan Bunin