LITTRANS 204 Lecture 6: LITTRANS204 - Lecture 6 - The Gentlemen from San Fransisco and We

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LITTRANS204 - Lecture 6 - The Gentleman from San Francisco and We (1/30/17)
The Gentleman from San Francisco
Author: Ivan Bunin
1870 - 1953
Died in Paris
name lost among great poets and writers of his time
Recognized for prose and short stories before the Russian Civil War
Left Russia in 1919
Translator of foreign works
Mostly realist stories focused on general Russian life
“The Gentleman from San Francisco”
Based before World War I - the gentleman easily travels around Europe and reads in a
newspaper about the war in the Balkans indicating he was traveling before WWI
American perception of Europe with an expectation already set and ready to spend
money to feel upper class
The Gentleman is 58 years old, which is old for the 1910’s
Takes daughter to see if she can find a potential mate due to her being close to her 20’s
The descriptions of the ship develops a symbol of society and their celebration of toil and
The Europe he travels to doesn’t meet his expectations
His death is abrupt and the narrator explicitly says that he wasn’t thinking of anything
interesting or particular right before his death
Bunin prefers to gather an aura of biblical excerpts without a detailed copy of the bible
Gentleman is a very flat character
Symbolized the monotony of the upper class and the social order
Characters are simple for a reason
Play a particular role to convey a message similar to past myths in the bible and
other mythological stories
Individuals need to undergo reformation before society undergoes reformation
Many believe that the complexity and drive for wealth and power in Europe
amalgamated into WWI
Bunin asks:
What is wrong with civilization that is brought self-destruction upon itself?
We by Zamyatin
Historical Background
1905: First Russian Revolution
Peaceful demonstrators massacred in St. Petersburg
Confrontation between government and society, primarily urban society
Rural uprisings
Burning of estates
Burning of churches
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