BUNIN, IVAN ALEKSEEVICH. 1870-1953.
Photograph Signed "Iv. Bunin", 300 x 205 mm, by Mebius, Moscow, some foxing to matte with repaired tear.
EARLY PHOTOGRAPH, INSCRIBED IN VERSE on the mount to fellow poet SASHA CHORNY, in translation: "Thanks for your dear Privet / You talented 'black [chorny] poet' / Accept as a keepsake this portrait / Iv. Bunin Moscow, November 1912." I. A. Bunin was the first Russian writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. In his time he was considered to be the true heir to Tolstoy and Chekhov. Maxim Gorky and Aleksandr Blok were among the admirers of his work. Although he did not care much for the novels, Vladimir Nabokov compared Bunin's poetry favorably to that of Blok. He plays with Aleksandr Mikhailovich Glikberg's pseudonym "Sasha Chorny" or "Sasha Black" in his inscription. Chorny was a major Russian satirist and children's poet and a celebrated contributor to the magazine Satirikon. "When somebody gets an issue of the magazine, the first things he looks for are the Sasha Chorny poems," said Kornei Chukovsky. "There isn't a student, physician, or lawyer that does not know Chorny's verses by heart." Vladimir Mayakovsky was another admirer and Dmitrii Shostakovich set several of his poems to music. Vladimir Nabokov said that Chorny "left only a few books and a quiet, beauteous shadow." Both Bunin and Chorny emigrated to France after the Russian Revolution. An anti-Bolshevik, Bunin was the first Russian émigré writer to be published in the USSR during the Thaw.