In this second volume of his major work on Ivan Bunin, the neglected master of Russian letters, Thomas Marullo recreates the writer's life in exile, chiefly in Paris, after escaping from his newly bolshevized country in 1920. Drawing from Bunin's correspondence, his diaries, and his stories, and translating most of these materials into English for the first time, Mr. Marullo gives us a vivid picture of a man suddenly and agonizingly without a country.
Bunin's life and art, which depended so heavily on traditional Russian values, seemed to be overthrown in a moment, and the writer found himself marooned amidst western culture, clinging to his old ideals. Though he was still able to write and publish - indeed, his work and its attendant criticism continued to be available in the Soviet Union - Bunin was despondent and frequently bitter about the course of his native country and about his own position in the literary galaxy. He struggled to have his work read and his ideas accepted.
Through Bunin's writings we are also provided a window on the lively but despairing and often fractious community of Russian emigres in Paris in the 1920s, which included Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, Chaliapin, Prokofiev, Chagall, Kandinsky, Pavlova, Diaghilev, and Zamyatin. The volume ends in 1933, when Bunin became the first Russian to receive the Nobel Prize in literature.
A highly skillful and scholarly compilation.--John Bayley "The New York Review "