Classification – name: Literary studies
Pages: 139–148
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:
Language of the publication: Russian
Type of document: Research Article
Collection: I.A. Bunin and his Time: Context of Life — History of Work
Year of publication: 2021
Place of publication: Moscow


Author: Marina A. Khatyamova
Khatyamova, M.A. “Aesthetic Functions of a Tale in Ivan Bunin`s Prose.” 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. 139–148. (In Russ.)

About the author:

Marina A. Khatyamova, DSc in Philology, Professor, National Research Tomsk State University, Lenin Avenue, 36, 654050 Tomsk, Russia.


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


The tale (‘skaz’) is a rare object of interest for Bunin, therefore the organization of narration in the stories “The Good Life” (1911), “About the Fool Emelya, Who Came Out Smarter” (1921), “Rafter Man” (1930), “Iron Wool” (1944), representing different stages of work, is aesthetically significant and allows one to trace the narrative dynamics of the writer’s prose as a whole. While in the first three works the author chooses a characteristic ‘skaz’ as a way of self-exposure of the people’s consciousness, the folklore stylization in the latter serves to depict the conditioning of the author’s consciousness by national mentality and tradition. A characteristic tale used by Bunin in the 1910s and 1930s in order to discover and comprehend external reality (personality psychology, socio-historical modernity, national being) later gives way to folk stylization as a tool for discovering cosmic Eros in the archaics of national consciousness and in the unconscious of the author — the bearer of the archetypal structures.

Keywords: works of Ivan Bunin, tale, ‘skaz’, narrative, narrator.