Slavic Languages and Literatures | Russian Literature: Tolstoy to Solzhenitsyn
R264 | ALL | Staff
This course will offer a survey of major works, authors, and trends in Russian literature from the last decades of the nineteenth century to the present. Readings (all in translation) and discussion will focus primarily on masterworks of prose fiction, bu
t some drama and poetry will also be included. Attention will be paid to the social and historical background of the readings, including the Revolution, 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 Tolstoy, Chekhov, Maksim Gorkii, Andrei Belyi, Isaak Babel, Boris Pasternak, Vladimir Nabokov, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, as well as contemporary writers. Requirements: for section 4381 (COAS Intensive
Writing): midterm and final test; four papers of six pages minimum for section 4382: midterm and final; one paper of six pages minimum.
R 264/R564, Tolstoy to Solzhenitsyn.
Purpose of the Course:
The course traces the development of Russian literature from mid - 19th century to the present (Solzhenistyn and the young writers of the Former Soviet Union). An introductory lecture will consist in giving the historical and cultural background; the 19th
century will be introduced mainly by Leo Tolstoy and Nikolai Leskov (Anna Karenina and "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District"). The most interesting aesthetic phenomena of the turn of the century will be illustrated by a selection of short stories writte
n by Anton Chekhov, Ivan Bunin, Andrey Bely, and by a play "The Lower Depth" by Maxim Gorky (1902).
An allegorical tale "The Cave" by Evgeny Zamyatin will illustrate the destructive impact of a political upheaval on peoples' morality. Further varieties of ideological and aesthetic changes within the framework of Russian Soviet literature" will be illust
rated by the writings of Isaak Babel, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Iury Olesha, and Mikhail Bulgakov. The vast span of years separating Vladimir Nabokov's prose (1925) from that of Liudmila Petrushevskaya (1979) will be represented by a collection of short storie
s from Clarence Brown anthology The Potrable Twentieth-Century Russian Reader and by a collection of texts selected by the instructor.
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. For this course, you will have to write three papers and to present an oral discussion of a short story. 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. Topics for oral presentations are to be discussed with the instructor two weeks before your presentations. There is no final exam for this course. The grades will be determined by the following: 10%---attendance and class participation; 20% ---o
ral presentation and second paper (each); 25%--first and third paper (each).
Reading list (books are available from the IU Bookstore)
Carl R. Proffer, ed. From Karamzin to Bunin: An Anthology of Russian Short Stories (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1969)
Clarence Brown, ed. The Portable Twentieth-Century Russian Reader (Penguin, 1985)
Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita (Grove)
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (Bantam or Norton)
Instructor's Reader (will be made available from the Department by the beginning of February)