THE MOTIF OF THE HOMELAND IN IVAN BUNIN'S EMIGRÉ POETRY
The motif of the homeland had appeared in the poetry of Ivan Bunin (1870-1953) even before he finally left Russia in 1920. Yet it plays the most important role in the poems he wrote in exile. Bunin created pictures of 'the small homeland': well-known, safe and peaceful area with the family circle and home in the centre of it. The main components of his world are home and the nearby cemetery. Bunin often identified these two concepts ('the grave as the man's last home', 'the home as the grave'), which determines the specific character of his idea of homeland: it is a sacred area, definitely opposed to the external, amorphous and valueless world. The homeland in Bunin's emigré poems has also an onirical nature, it exists only in memories and dreams of the lyrical ego, it resembles the 'paradise lost', an imaginary, idyllic Arcadia. The pictures of the homeland are connected with the theme of exile. The condition that the emigrant Bunin interpreted as his 'own Golgotha' caused by the tragic end of his earlier life and the solitude in exile.
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