By Ivan Bunin, Graham Hettlinger

"The Gentleman from San Francisco" is well the simplest identified of Ivan Bunin's tales and has accomplished the stature of a masterpiece. yet Bunin's different tales and novellas aren't to be neglected. over the past numerous years a very good a lot of them were freshly and brilliantly translated by means of Graham Hettlinger. jointly, besides 4 new items, they're now released in a one-volume paperback number of Bunin's maximum writings. In Mr. Hettlinger's renderings readers will see why Bunin was once seemed through a lot of his contemporaries because the rightful successor to Tolstoy and Chekhov as a grasp of Russian letters.

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The history of family, kin and clan, is always subterranean, convoluted, mysterious, often terrifying. But it's that long past, those dark depths and legends, that often give a family strength. Sukhodol had no more written record of its ancient history than some Bashkir encampment in the steppe, for legends took the place of all such writing in those early days in Rus. But legends and old songs are a sweet poison for the Slavic soul! Our former serfs from Sukhodol were ardent idlers and dreamers- and where could they in­ dulge their souls more freely than they did on our estate at Lunyovo?

And yet you don't notice that you're drowsing off with these strange sights and feelings, don't realize that you're slipping into a healthy, restful sleep, forgetting even that this room was once a chapel for the owner of the estate, an old man whose name is bound to grisly legends from the days of serfdom, and who died here, in this room, quite likely in this very bed. Sometimes it happens that you oversleep and miss the hunt. And then your rest is particularly pleasant. You wake up and lie in bed for a long time.

Sometimes your father would punish Gervaska for something at dinner-punish him with good reason-and then, in the evening, you'd look outside and see them playing balalaikas in the yard together. . " Natalya thought it over. "No, sir, I don't wish to lie: he looked a bit l ike a Kalmyk. And so serious! Insistent. ' . " "But then, grandfather lost his mind from love as well, didn't he? . "It was because of your grandmother. But that was a different kind of story. And the house was gloomy. . Not at all a happy place .

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