Slavic Languages and Literatures | Tolstoy
R533 | ALL | Durkin

An overview of Tolstoy's career and major works, with particular emphasis on his major novels, War and Peace and Anna Karenina.  Selected fiction from both his early and late periods ("Childhood," "The Sevastopol Sketches,"  "Family Happiness," "The Cossa
cks"/"The Death of Ivan Ilych," "Master and Man," "Father Sergius," "Kholstomer," and others), as well as attention to Tolstoy's dramatic works ("The Power of Darkness," etc.) and his autobiographical and polemical writings.  Discussion will focus on Tols
toy's contributions to psychological realism and his innovations in the form of the novel, as well as his significance as a social, moral, and educational reformer.

Lectures and student presentations, with grades based  on the presentations and subsequent papers.

Sample Syllabus:

Instructor:  A. R. Durkin  BH 574


NB:  It will be assumed that you will have read all assigned readings by the start of the week for which the title appears, even if classes run behind; classes will often involve detailed reference to the text and discussion of specific passages, so famil
iarity with the text is essential.  In the case of the two long novels, War and Peace and Anna Karenina, you should plan on having a third or so of the text read by the start of that assignment and completing it while we are discussing the work.

Week of January 7    Intro

"           "  14   History of Yesterday; Childhood
"           "  21   Boyhood/Youth; Sevastopol Stories
"           "  28   Woodfelling; The Raid; Family Happiness
Week of February 4   War and Peace
"           "   11   War and Peace
"           "   18   War and Peace
"           "   25   Three Deaths; Kholstomer; The Cossacks
Week of March 4   Educational writings (excerpts); catch-up class
"           "  11  Spring Break
"           "  18   Anna Karenina
"           "  25   Anna Karenina
Week of      April 1   Anna Karenina
"           "   8   Confession; Death of Ivan Ilych  Power of Darkness
"           "  15   The Devil; Father Sergius; Master and Man; Alyosha the Pot
"           "  22   Hadji Murad; What is Art; Writings on Religion
"           "  29   Exams


In the spirit of Tolstoy's ideas on education, I would like the course to be conducted (insofar as possible) as a colloquium, that is with as much student presentation, discussion, and independent discovery as possible, and the instructor functioning more
as a guide and monitor than as a fount of wisdom.  Each student will be asked to prepare one shorter work and one section of War and Peace or Anna Karenina in depth and to serve as the main presenter in the class devoted to that work or section.  Each to
pic thus presented will then be the subject of a paper (thus two papers for each student), one due at mid-semester (the end of February) and the other at the end of the course.  Papers will constitute two-thirds of the grade, the remaining third will be b
ased on presentations and general contribution to the class.