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A.M. Gorky Institute
of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

IWL RAS Publishing

A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Povarskaya 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia



Types of publications

  • Classification – name: Literary studies
  • Author: Elena M. Boldyreva
  • Pages: 56–66
  • Publisher: A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IWL RAS Publ.)
  • Rights – description: Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 (СС BY-ND)
  • Rights – URL: Visit Website
  • Language of the publication: Russian
  • Type of document: Research Article
  • Collection: I.A. Bunin and his Time: Context of Life — History of Work
  • DOI:
  • Year of publication: 2021
  • Place of publication: Moscow
  • PDF

  • Boldyreva, Е.М. “Ivan Bunin’s Organic Poetics of Memory (‛The Life of Arseniev’) and Ars Memorativa of M. Proust (‛In Search of Lost Time’).” I.A. Bunin and His Time: Context of Life — History of Work. Ex. eds. T.M. Dvinyatina and S.N. Morozov; Eds. A.V. Bakuntsev and E.R. Ponomarev. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2021, pp. 56–66. (In Russ.)

About the author:

Elena M. Boldyreva, DSc in Philology, Professor, Institute of Foreign Languages, Southwest University, China, 400715 Chongqing, Baybay region, Tyanshen st., 2.


E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


The paper examines various oppositions of autobiographical models of Bunin and Proust and the difference between the mnemonic actions of the autobiographical subjects of Bunin and Proust, whose ars memorativa principles are an ambivalent combination of rational efforts and ‘involuntary memory’. For Bunin the memory is an instinctive-irrational entity that ensures the integrity of the subject and the ontological essence of the reality of his consciousness, while for Marcel Proust it is an tool, which when stubbornly used allows to structure the reality of the past and overcome the state of epistemological uncertainty painful for Proust (but blissful for Bunin). Where Bunin stops in an indistinct, incomprehensible delight in front of the mystery and unpredictability of life, Proust is uncomfortable with the inability to clearly identify the phenomenon or impression and analytically decomposes memory into components, inventing ‘mnemoforming’ and ‘mnemosaving’ technologies. The author concludes that, unlike Proust, whose modernist project exposes numerous processes of interaction between reality and consciousness, memory and creativity, Bunin’s autobiographical discourse is characterized by a fusion of life and creativity in the organic fabric of the memorial ornament.

  • Keywords: autobiographical discourse, category of memory, autobiographical modeling, organic poetics of memory, mnemonic activity, modernist autobiography.


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