Slavic Languages and Literatures | Russian Literature: Pushkin to Dostoevsky
R263 | ALL | Staff

Andrew Durkin

This course will offer a survey of major works,authors, and trends in
Russian literature from the end of the eighteenth century to the latter part
of the nineteenth, the golden age of Russian literature.  Readings (all in
translation) and discussion will focus primarily on masterworks of prose
fiction, but some drama and poetry may also be included. Attention will be
paid to the social and historical background of the readings, as well as to
developments in other arts in Russia and to cultural relations between
Russia and other countries. Authors whose work we will read include Pushkin,
Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Dostoevsky, and others.

Requirements: for section (COAS Intensive Writing):

midterm and final test; four papers of six pages

minimum for section:

midterm and final; one paper of six pages minimum and shorter writing

R263/R563                             N. Perlina

Russian Literature of the First Half of the 19th Century

Purpose of the Course:

The course covers Russian literature from the beginning of the 19th century
(Karamzin) to approximately mid-sixties (Dostoevsky). An introductory
lecture will consist in giving the historical and cultural background; the
early 19th century  will be introduced only by Karamzin's story "Poor Liza".
Each of the works rmentioned in the reading list will be submitted to close
textual analysis, in addition to a general discussion of the author and his

The authors to be covered show the evolution from Sentimentalism (Karamzin)
to realism (the tendency that emphasizes the limitations that real life
imposes on the individuals and shows the effects). Elements of literary
criticism will be introduced in order to attain at a better understanding of
the authors' intentions and artistic achievements.

We will discuss the works' historical setting in order to see better how
they represent the period's primary social forms, and how the authors
portray the Russian polite society and the simple people. We will also treat
the works' relation to human experience: how do the characters decide
between their true "I" and the roles the society imposes on them? How do men
and women reveal their feelings and affectations? How do social and
philosophical problems find their way into the work of arts? Who is the
hero/heroine of Russian literature of the 1800's-1850's?

You will learn, how to discuss specific problems and how to express your
critical opinions effectivelly. You will also learn, how to do
bibliographical research and how to use auxiliary sources for your papers.
You are encouraged to consult with me papers you will have to write.

Attendance, Writing Assignments, Grades:

You are allowed a total of three cuts during the semester. Since so much of
the work of this course takes place in the classroom, any more cuts will
affect your grade. You will be given questions which will help you to
organize your readings and discussions of the works. You will have to write
four papers for this course; you will have a choice of questions to write,
but you may suggest your own topics as well. Deadlines for the papers are
shown in the syllabus. There is no final exam for this course. The grades
will be determined by the following: 10%---attendance and class
participation; 20% ---first and second paper (each); 25%--third and fourth
paper (each).

Reading list (books are available from the IU Bookstore)

Carl Proffer, ed. Russian Literature from Karamzin to Bunin
A. Pushkin, Eugene Onegin
M. Lermontov, A Hero of our Time
N. Gogol, The Overcoat and Other Tales of Good and Evil
I. Turgenev, Fathers and Sons
F. Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment