Bunin was far from political clashes of the early 20th century; he did not belong to any of the well-known literary schools, but it was him who became the first Russian winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
“I come from an old and noble house.”
Ivan Bunin began writing prose and poetry quite early, and he quickly gained the recognition of the readers, and then the critics. At the end of the 19thcentury Bunin meet Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, Maksim Gorky, which gave him confidence in his abilities.
Some Milestone in Bunin Chronology
1900 – story “Antonovsky apples”, imbued with nostalgia.
1901 – poetry collection “Falling Leaves“, created in the classical lyric tradition. The collection immediately puts Bunin among the main talents in the Russian literature of the time.
The Revolution of 1905 had a strong influence on Bunin. He began thinking about the future of Russia:
1910 – novel “The Village” is riddled with hopelessness of village everyday life.
1912 – novel “Suhodol” shows the decay of nobility estates (somewhat autobiographical work).
1915-16 – collections of short stories, “The Cup of Life”, “Gentleman from San Francisco” describe that modern civilization in its fratricidal nature is far from being civilized (it can also be applied to our time, don’t you think?).
1920 – Bunin absolutely did not recognize the Bolshevik revolution and moved to France.
1925-43 – collections of short stories, “Mitya’s love”, “Sunstroke”, “Dark alleys” of unparalleled strength and depth of conveying the transmission of sensual romantic feelings of love, but all the stories in it end tragically.
1927-29 – novel “Life of Arsenyev” is autobiographical. It incorporates all of the experience and all the genius of the writer. In the novel Bunin confronts the perception of an artist and a huge, inexorable force of historical processes, and at the same time Bunin rejects recent changes by reviving forever lost former Russia.
“Bunin has reached, especially in this autobiographical work “The Life of Arsenyev,”the limit in prose, as described by Chekhov and Leo Tolstoy – to the point where the prose becomes an organic inseparable whole with the poetry, when one can no longer distinguish poetry from prose and every word touches the soul like a red-hot press.”
Without a doubt, the novel “Life of Arsenyev” is one of the most significant works in the Russian literature of the 20thcentury.
1933 – Nobel Prize in Literature. Interestingly, the award ceremony was attended by both Bunin’s wife and his last love interest that lived with them for about 15 years.
1941-45 – World War II reached Russia. The writer followed the events first with pain, and then, after the break in the war, with joy.
Despite his worldwide fame and his books having been translated into dozens of languages, Bunin finished his life in poverty.
Prose and poetry of Bunin preservethe traditions of classical Russian literature, yet at the same time Bunin works have a unique imagery, sensuality, brightperception of sounds, details and smells.
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