The highest example of realistic art at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was the work of Ivan Bunin.
Ivan Alekseevich Bunin is a Russian prose writer and poet, translator. Great influence on the development of the writer’s talent of Ivan Bunin had a moral and religious philosophy of Leo Tolstoy and the artistic world of Anton Chekhov, whose literary traditions Bunin developed in his work. Ivan Alekseevich entered literature as a poet. In 1891, his first book “Poems 1887-1891” was published. Favorite theme of Bunin’s poetry is the theme of nature. In bright, life-affirming landscape poems, the author’s philosophy of life is easily discernible:
And again, – whatever I am, –
I will live and sweetly cry
In the depiction of nature Ivan Bunin continued the traditions of Russian classical literature. Russian poet and critic Vladislav Khodasevich noted that “… the Bunin landscape is true, accurate, alive and magnificent…”.
Although Bunin gained wide popularity as a prose writer, he did not change his poetic gift for the rest of his life. Ivan Bunin’s prose, like poetry, is distinguished by its representativeness, accuracy, concreteness and picturesqueness of images, penetrating lyricism, crystal purity of style. “… I do not recognize the division of fiction into verse and prose… poetic language should approach the simplicity and naturalness of colloquial speech, and the musicality and versatility of the verse must be learned in a prosaic syllable,” noted IA Bunin.
The most “Bunin’s work” is the story “Antonov’s apples”. The scattered pictures of the noble life, arising in the memory of the narrator, fully reflected the spirit of the former abundance and well-being of the “noble nests”. The author sadly talks about the irrevocability of those times when life was boiling in the estates, mourns the death of the noble culture, which meant so much to Russia.
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But the writer himself considered his book “The Dark Alleys” as his summit creature. All 38 stories included in the collection are devoted to one topic – love, its role in human life. In the pages of this “encyclopedia of love,” Bunin turns to various manifestations of this feeling – from low, but still ennobled by human suffering, to high spiritual, almost imperceptible.
A significant facet of the writer’s talent is his translation activity. Bunin translated the works of Byron, Tennyson, Mickiewicz, Shevchenko. And his translation of the poem of the American poet Henry Longfellow “The Song of Hiawatha” and to this day is considered unsurpassed.
Bunin did not receive the October Revolution and in 1920 he emigrated to France. His attitude to the events of 1917, he expressed in the diaries, which led at home in the first post-revolutionary years. Later, in 1935, they were published under the very eloquent title “Cursed Days.” In the emigrant period there are many collections of the writer, but the most significant work is the autobiographical novel “The Life of Arseniev,” whose separate chapters he began to print back in 1927.
In 1933, the singer of life and love, Ivan Alekseevich Bunin, the first of the Russian writers, “for the strict skill with which he develops the traditions of Russian classical prose,” was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. This event was very important, as it showed the world significance of Russian literature.
Ivan Bunin, introducing new elements, developed realistic traditions of Russian literature.