Ivan Bunin’s first published work, The Village is a bleak and uncompromising portrayal of rural life in south-west Russia. Set at the time of the 1905 Revolution and centering on episodes in the lives of two peasant brothers – “characters sunk so far below the average of intelligence as to be scarcely human” – it reveals the pettiness, violence and ignorance of life on the land.
At once nostalgic for a bygone more innocent age and foreshadowing the turbulences of the twentieth century, Bunin’s narrative is a triumph of bitter realism, shot through with the author’s classical style and precision of language.
This edition contains detailed notes on the text, extra material about the author and a carefully selected bibliography. There is also an appendix containing the first few pages of The Village in the original Russian.
"I do not know any other writer whose external world is so closely tied to another, whose sensations are more exact and indispensable, and whose world is more genuine and also more unexpected."
"Like Chekhov, Bunin matches the most elegant, economical prose to the coarsest and most profligate characters."
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