IA Bunin. not recognizing the division of literature into prose and lyrics, created a collection of stories “Dark alleys”, amazing in beauty and tragedy of the world outlook. The story of the life of the heroine of the story “Cold Autumn” is penetrating and poetic, seemingly simple, set out in dry language. As in the entire collection, two themes are tightly interwoven here: love and death.
Love is perceived by Bunin as the ultimate gift of human destiny. But the purer, more perfect, more beautiful the feeling, the shorter it is. True love always ends in tragedy, for moments of happiness heroes pay with anguish and pain. A high love experience is associated with the idea of infinity and mystery, to which a person can only touch.
In the story there is no traditional plot structure – it lacks intrigue. The story is easy to retell, but the true meaning of the text is barely noticeable. Bunin has no causal relationship, everything is based
only on sensations, and life is therefore perceived in a pure, undistorted form.
With tenderness, the heroine recollects her youthful love, a feeling of aching sadness, longing for the unfulfilled, unrealized happiness hidden behind her every word. But the death of a beloved is spoken of as something ordinary, the most terrible event in life is represented instantly in a series of events.
Bunin is the subtlest psychologist. There is no vivid expression in the text, there are no open experiences, but behind the external calm lies the carefully suppressed desire to once again enjoy the gulp of happiness that the cold autumn once gave. The woman speaks about the series of ridicule of fate. What was her life like? All of it is concentrated only in that cold autumn evening, when happiness was so possible. And then only a string of events and faces. As for something that is not disturbing, unimportant is the heroine talking about the famine that does not know the mercy, about the death of her husband, the flight of her relatives, the distance of her daughter. The most dry mention is the words about the death of
a loved one. The stronger the pain, the more emotions it absorbs, burning the soul. The unique, lively intonation is connected only with the description of that instant, the “lightning of happiness”, which was lucky to know the heroine.
The text of the story contains an oxymoron. The coldest evening is the hottest, exciting, tender time. And autumn is a symbol, a time when winter, death, oblivion during life are near. Only hope to meet there, somewhere outside of being and space, everything that sustained the existence of heroin.