Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Ivan Bunin "Dark Avenues"

I would like to come back to the topic of beauty that was discussed in earlier posts. I re-read the "Easy Breathing" by Ivan Bunin, and could not but admire his talent. Piercing story,  it takes, maybe, fifteen minutes to read the story but the memories of it you have for the rest of your life. The protagonist is a young girl who, I would say, represents a symbol of joy of life, of everything sincere in us. And her death makes you deeply sad, as if something in you died.

I find this story is a perfection from all points of view. Chekhov said that writing for him meant striking out. Bunin  demonstrated that rule brilliantly. For example, the author does not describe the image of Olya Meshcheriyakova in details, he leaves it to the reader's imagination. He emphasizes the important thing - her presence in life, ease and elegance, which contrast with gloomy environment. Easy breathing is an association with a slight breeze, something beautiful and elusive to which we all aspire.

The image of the school mistress is interesting - an old spinster, a complete opposite to the main character. She is one of those who live long and poorly, stuck to a fictional dream or some other idea. After the death of Olya, she regularly visits the young girl's grave as if servicing funerals of her own soul.
Somehow, I have associations with Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany's, I don't know, probably you will have different ones.

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