Izvestiya of Saratov University.

Philology. Journalism

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821.161.1.09-1+929[Бунин+К. Р.]

K. R. (Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich) – reviewer of Bunin’s early poetry

Chernysheva Veronika I., Saratov State University

The article deals with the critical review written by the Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich Romanov on the third and fourth volumes of Ivan Bunin’s collected works. These two volumes were published by the publishing house “Znanie” partnership. The review was written on February 17, 1909 in the city of Pavlovsk. Its purpose was to pass a resolution on whether or not Bunin should be awarded the Pushkin prize. Analyzing the original poems and translations of the award nominee, the critic K. R. comes to the conclusion that they deserve an honorable mention, but they are not worthy of the award. Nonetheless, acting as a reviewer, K. R. himself remains primarily a poet of the “Fet school”. He mainly overcomes the boundaries of the artistic and aesthetic paradigm, which Bunin’s work no longer fits, according to his own observations. At the same time, he manages not only to sensitively grasp the features of the artistic world of Bunin’s poems, but also to give the readers of the highest review an opportunity to evaluate it. The review of Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich is essential to understanding how Bunin’s early poetry was perceived by contemporaries in general, since K. R. himself entered literature as a poet only a little earlier than Bunin – in 1882. Just like Bunin, he considered himself a successor to the Pushkin tradition. Of his contemporaries, he valued Fet above all, and also considered Polonsky and Maikov to be his teachers. He published five collections of poems: Poems of K. R., 1886; New Poems of K. R. 1886–1888, 1889; The Third Collection of Poems of K. R. 1889–1899, 1990; Poems 1900–1910, 1911; In the Ranks. Poems, 1915. His literary and critical analysis of Bunin’s poetry is as biased as it is objective, not devoid of tendentiousness and at the same time it strives for completeness and detailed conciseness of analysis.


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