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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: Olga V. Nizova
  • Pages: 127–138
  • 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

  • Nizova, O.V. “Hermeneutical Experience in the Novel ‛The Life of Arseniev’ by Ivan Bunin.” 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. 127–138. (In Russ.)

About the author:

Olga V. Nizova, Assistant Teacher, Belarusian State University of Transport, Kirova 34, 246653 Gomel, Belarus.


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


The paper attempts to apply the categories and methods of German hermeneutics of the beginning and the middle of the 20th century, such as understanding of life, sympathetic re-living (W. Dilthey), being-in-the-world, being-with (M. Heidegger), dialogue with tradition, hermeneutic experience (H.-G. Gadamer) and others, to analysis of a famous lyrical novel, “The Life of Arseniev” by Ivan Bunin, to the extent of their correspondence to the philosophical content of the book. The autobiographical self-knowledge in the novel is considered in relation to the same experience expressed in Goethe’s “From My Life: Poetry and Truth”; the paper also describes the hermeneutical situation of the creation of an “autobiography of a fictional person”, traces the influence of Hindu culture, Orthodoxy and Catholicism in the hero’s understanding of the world; notes the cyclic character of time; reveals the love and beauty being the ontological characteristics of the world in the novel; shows the expansion of existence in sympathetic reliving of the past as well as the possibility of being-in-the-world as a poetic being; considers the hero’s acquisition of vocation, the choice of lifestyle and environment as well as the self-examination and self-reflection phenomena as the modes of self-knowledge experience; juxtaposes the understanding of life of the Bunin’s to with the Heidegger’s hermeneutics of factuality.

  • Keywords: Ivan Bunin, “The Life of Arseniev”, hermeneutics, understanding, self-knowledge, hermeneutical experience, being-in-the-world.


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