Title: The Elaghin Affair & Other Stories
Publication Date: 1935
Edition: 1st Edition.
New York. 1935. Knopf. 1st American Edition. Some Wear To Both The Top & Bottom Of The Spine, Otherwise Very Good. No Dustjacket. Translated from the Russian & Selected by Bernard Guilbert Guerney. 297 pages. hardcover. keywords: Literature Russia Translated. inventory # 17297. FROM THE PUBLISHER - The Elaghin Affair contains two of the author’s greatest novellas, the title piece and Mitya’s Love, as well as a broad range of stories written between 1900 and 1940 and centered on themes of love, loss, and the Russian landscape, including several of Bunin’s most haunting stories from his final collection, Dark Avenues. Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin was the first Russian writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. The texture of his poems and stories, sometimes referred to as ‘Bunin brocade’, is one of the richest in the language. His last book of fiction, The Dark Alleys (1943), is arguably the most widely read 20th-century collection of short stories in Russia. Bunin was born on his parents’ estate in Voronezh province in central Russia. He came from a long line of landed gentry and serf owners, but his grandfather and father had squandered nearly all of the estate. He was sent to the public school in Yelets in 1881, but had to return home after five years. His brother, who was university-educated, encouraged him to read the Russian classics and to write. At 17, he published his first poem in 1887 in a St. Petersburg literary magazine. His first collection of poems, Listopad (1901), was warmly welcomed by critics. Although his poems are said to continue the 19th-century traditions of the Parnassian poets, they are steeped in oriental mysticism and sparkle with striking, carefully chosen epithets. Vladimir Nabokov was a great admirer of Bunin’s verse, comparing him with Alexander Blok, but scorned his prose. In 1889, he followed his brother to Kharkov, where he became a government clerk, assistant editor of a local paper, librarian, and court statistician. Bunin also began a correspondence with Anton Chekhov, with whom he became close friends. He also had a more distant relationship with Maxim Gorky and Leo Tolstoy. In 1891, he published his first short story, ‘Country Sketch’ in a literary journal. As the time went by, he switched from writing poems to short stories. His first acclaimed novellas were ‘On the Farm,’ ‘The News From Home,’ ‘To the Edge of the World,’ ‘Antonov Apples,’ and ‘The Gentleman from San Francisco,’ the latter being his most representative piece and the one translated in English by D. H. Lawrence. Bunin was a well-known translator himself. The best known of his translations is Longfellow’s ‘The Song of Hiawatha’ for which Bunin was awarded the Pushkin Prize in 1903. He also did translations of Byron, Tennyson, and Musset. In 1909, he was elected to the Russian Academy. From 1895 on, Bunin divided his time between Moscow and St. Petersburg. He married the daughter of a Greek revolutionary in 1898, but the marriage ended in divorce. Although he remarried in 1907, Bunin’s romances with other women continued until his very death. His tempestous private life in emigration is the subject of the internationally acclaimed Russian movie, The Diary of His Wife (2000). Bunin published his first full-length work, The Village, when he was 40. It was a bleak portrayal of village life, with its stupidity, brutality, and violence. Its harsh realism, ‘the characters having sunk so far below the average of intelligence as to be scarcely human,’ brought him in touch with Maxim Gorky. Two years later, he published Dry Valley, which was a veiled portrayal of his family. Before World War I, Bunin traveled in Ceylon, Palestine, Egypt, and Turkey, and these travels left their mark on his writing. He spent the winters from 1912 to 1914 on Capri with Gorky. Bunin left Moscow after the revolution in 1917, moving to Odessa. He left Odessa on the last French ship in 1919 and settled in Grasse, France. There, he published his diary The Accu. Bookseller Inventory # 17297
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