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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: Ildiko Maria Racz
  • Pages: 545–556
  • 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

  • Racz, I.M. “‛In Search of Lost Time’. On the Traces of Memories of I. Bunin and V. Nabokov.” 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. 545–556. (In Russ.)

About the author:

Ildiko Maria Racz, Ph.D., University Lorand Etvesh, Faculty of Humanities, st. Museum, 6–8, 1088 Budapest, Hungary.


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


Memory is like art: a creative, constructive act, which is perfectly felt in the works of Ivan Bunin and Vladimir Nabokov. The kinship of memory with creativity is also confirmed by the fact that the inner emotional world of the creative subject is decisive in both processes. One of the points of connection and particular sensitivity of the art of Bunin and Nabokov is precisely the fact that they do not believe in time. The time of consciousness is also separated from the physically measurable time of reason in Nabokov’s first novel and Bunin’s story “Mitya’s Love”. In the world of their heroes a key role belongs to various forms of manifestation of memory: individual, historical, and even archaic. The connection with the past expands the boundaries of the personal existence of their heroes, allows the individual to feel himself part of the One Whole. Bunin’s characters, who embodied the ideal of eternal feminine, tend to come to life in memory as well. And like the rose of Jericho, in the stories of Bunin written in exile the historical Russia also comes to life again, becoming a timeless theme of historical memory. The act of remembrance moves us away from the present, thanks to it, we can relive the past with a “living life”.

  • Keywords: Ivan Bunin, Vladimir Nabokov, Marcel Proust, Henri Bergson, memory, eternal feminine, émigré literature.


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