Monday, 22 October 2018

"A bad review... 

...may spoil your breakfast, but you shouldn't allow it to spoil your lunch." 

Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1933, when he had already been residing in Paris for thirteen years. He was the first Russian to be presented with the highest of literary distinctions for "... the strict artistry with which he carried on the classical Russian traditions in the writing of prose and poetry." 

Russia's last classic author, who was born on this day in 1870, " ...made everybody uncomfortable. 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, a fellow author and member of the Moscow literary group that Bunin used to attended, once said.   

This texture of his works is known as the "Bunin brocade" and is considered to be one of the richest in the language. You can listen to the author reading "Jericho", one of the poems he also wrote, here. Unfortunately it is in Russian but you can still get the sense of the language and his speech. 

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