About the author:
Maxim S. Shavlinsky, bibliographer of the 1st category, Central City Public Library named after V.V. Mayakovsky, Fontanka River Embankment, 46, 191025 Saint Petersburg, Russia; graduate student, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5156-8999
The research was carried out at the Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research in the framework of the scientific project No. 20-012-41004 “I.A. Bunin and Palestine”
The paper proposes to consider the “eastern” texts of Bunin as a single text and to trace the metamorphosis of poetics from the topos of Middle East to the Buddhist topos. To solve this problem, Bunin’s texts are examined in the historical context of the life and works of the writer. In 1899, Bunin had a “cherished dream” — to travel by sea to the shores of the Pacific Ocean (to Japan). The route from Odessa to Vladivostok becomes the main one against the background of all the “eastern” travels of the writer. Such a route was presented in the contemporary guidebooks of the “Dobrovol’nyi flot” (“Volunteer Fleet”) and the “Russkoe Obshchestvo Parokhodstva i Torgovli” (“Russian Society of Shipping and Trade”). Those guidebooks are considered as sources of the book “Hram Solntsa” (“The Temple of the Sun”), which is confirmed by a comparative analysis of the texts. In addition, the author analyzes historical works about the East known to Bunin (Maspero, Olesnitsky) and modern travelogues (Kondurushkin, Loti, Fedorov). These works are also considered the sources of the book “Hram Solntsa” (“The Temple of the Sun”). In 1911 both biographically and artistically, Bunin moves further to the East — to Ceylon. The article analyzes the essays from the book “Hram Solntsa” (“The Temple of the Sun”), as well as from the “Gorod Tsaria Tsarei” (“The City of the King of Kings”), which was included in the book in 1931. “Gorod Tsaria Tsarei” (“The City of the King of Kings”) seems to us a linking work to open a new, eastern stage of Bunin’s work. However, the project for the exploration of the East at all levels, biographical and creative, was not implemented. Bunin never made it to Japan, and an oriental novel was never written.