Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Sunday, July 11, 2021

“In Paris” - A Short Story by Ivan Bunin - 1942- translated from the Russian by Robert Chandler. 2005.

 “In Paris” - A Short Story by Ivan Bunin - 1942- translated from the Russian by Robert Chandler. 2005.

I read this story in Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida- edited and introduced by Robert Chandler.

In Paris - A Short Story by Ivan Bunin - 1942

Website for Paris in July 2021- Hosted by Thyme for Tea

Works read so far for Paris in July 2021

  1. Lost in Paris by Elizabeth Thompson - 2021
  2. Loving Modigliani by Linda Lappin - 2020
  3. Russian Émirgé Short Stories from Bunin to Yanovsky - edited by Bryan Karetnky. 2018 - an overview 
  4. Pancakes in Paris - Living The American Dream in France by Craig Carlson - 2016
  5. The Paris Apartment by Kelly Bowen- 2021
  6. The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure - 2013

A Paris in July 2021 post.  The event is now in its tenth year.  

Ivan Bunin

“What the Russian Revolution turned into very soon, none will comprehend who has not seen it. This spectacle was utterably unbearable to any one who had not ceased to be a man in the image and likeness of God, and all who had a chance to flee, fled from Russia.”

October 22, 1870 - Born Voronezh, Russia

March 28, 1920 - moves to Paris where he Will spend The rest of his Life, with countryside interludes

1933 - first Russian to win the Nobel Prize

November 8, 1953 - dies in Paris 

Last month I read “A Gentleman from San Francisco” by Ivan Bunin.  I found it very worth of a Nobel Prize.  “In Paris” shows us two lonely Russian Émigrés living in Paris.  It also shows how Émigrés stayed largely within their own culture.

The man is forty, once a general in the White Army.  His wife left him for a rich Greek.  He makes his living writing articles for Russian language publications.  One evening he stops for dinner at a Russian delicatessen.

The waitress is a Russian, she thinks her husband is fighting in still in the White Army but to her he is lost.  Bunin has great descriptive power. We see the man scrutinizing the woman, wondering if she has a rich boyfriend as her attire is beyond that of a waitress.  There are lots of food descriptions to enjoy. Emigrates of all countries hate to give up their food.

He comes back and asks her to a movie.  Their cab driver is a Russian.  In a very erotic scene they go to his apartment.  The ending is tragic.

“In Paris” is a beautiful story.  To me it conveyed the feel of being a Russian émigré  in Paris, trying to survive, keeping your culture, knowing you once had better times.

There is a deep sense of resignation to fate feel to the work.

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