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 b
etween 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 assignments

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 introd
uced 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 time.

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 ord
er 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 experi
ence: 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 her
o/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 discussio
ns 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