About the author:
Evgeny R. Ponomarev, DSc in Philology, Leading Research Fellow, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia; Professor, The Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, 48624 Moika Emb., 191186 St. Petersburg, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5508-6532
The research was carried out at the A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences with the financial support of the Russian Science Foundation (project No. 17-18-01410-P “Academic Bunin. Source studies, textual criticism, methodology”)
The paper describes the experience of preparation of the first academic edition of Ivan Bunin’s prose work: the “Life of Arseniev” novel. In author’s opinion, the choice of the main text is obvious, but the former publishers have made a wrong choice. There are two new suggestions made in the paper. The first one concerns the type of spelling. It is suggested to reconstruct Bunin’s idea for the 1952 edition with combination of “old” and “new” Russian spelling. This idea was only partly applied by the Izdatelstvo imeni Chekhova Publ. The second idea is to split the commentary in two, traditional commentary and the “attempt at (auto)biographic commentary”, which is quite new in academic editions of literary classics. This (auto)biographic commentary should include a special research: a parallel development of the two lives, the life of Bunin and the life of Arseniev. In conclusion the history of the text is mentioned, text reductions and text variants are discussed.