Ivan Bunin

Bunin, Ivan Alekseyevich

Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin (bōō´nĬn, Rus. ēvän´ əlyĬksyā´yəvĬch bōō´nyĬn), 1870–1953, Russian writer. Born of a poor aristocratic family, he was encouraged in his literary precocity. His first volume of verse was published in 1891. He traveled extensively, writing while working as a librarian and statistician. Bunin won the Pushkin Prize in 1903 for his own verse and for his translations of works by Byron and Longfellow. The Village (1910, tr. 1923), a novel in the Turgenev tradition, won him international fame. It depicts the ugliness of peasant life before the Revolution of 1905. The novella "Dry Valley" (1911) describes the decline of the country gentry. Bunin is best known for his short stories, particularly for the title story of the collection The Gentleman from San Francisco (1915, tr. 1923), which treats powerfully the themes of vanity and death. His autobiographical novel The Well of Days (1930, tr. 1933) is equally celebrated. Bunin's Memories and Portraits (1950, tr. 1951) contains reminiscences of famous contemporaries. His elegant style, descriptive genius, and choice of themes place Bunin among the classic Russian authors. A nostalgia for the aristocracy contributed to his reactionary political stance, which compelled him to leave Russia in 1919. His last years were spent in France. Bunin was awarded the 1933 Nobel Prize in Literature.

See study by S. Kryzytski (1971).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Ivan Bunin: Selected full-text books and articles

The Dreams of Chang: And Other Stories By Ivan Bunin; Bernard Guilbert Guerney A. A. Knopf, 1923
Authors Today and Yesterday: A Companion Volume to Living Authors By Stanley J. Kunitz; Howard Haycraft; Wilbur C. Hadden H.W. Wilson, 1933
Librarian’s tip: "Ivan Bunin 1870-" begins on p. 110
FREE! A Guide to Russian Literature (1820-1917) By Moissaye J. Olgin Harcourt, Brace & Howe, 1920
Librarian’s tip: "I. Bunin (1870-)" begins on p. 110
Russian Women's Studies: Essays on Sexism in Soviet Culture By Tatyana Mamonova; Margaret Maxwell Pergamon Press, 1989
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "The Shadowed Paths of Ivan Bunin"
Twentieth-Century Russian Literature By Harry T. Moore; Albert Parry Southern Illinois University Press, 1974
Librarian’s tip: "Emigre Literature: Bunin, Nabokov, and Others" begins on p. 30
From Chekhov to the Revolution: Russian Literature, 1900-1917 By Marc Slonim Oxford University Press, 1962
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Ivan Bunin begins on p. 167
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