Slavic Languages and Literatures | Readings in Russian Lit I
R405 | 20899 | Kolodziej, J


Given limitations of time and desirability of representative sampling,
selection of material is restricted almost exclusively to the major
practitioners of the Russian short story (Pushkin, Lermontov,
Turgenev, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Bunin). For variety
(linguistic and cultural), R405 includes a fairy tale or two.
Occasional videos on major writers are shown and discussed and, if
there is student interest, a few poems are read and analyzed. Class is
conducted in Russian.

R405 begins with a brief introduction to Russian literacy terminology.
Whenever possible, dual language texts (facing page) are provided as a
time saving device. The focus in the course is not on translation, but
on literary analysis and self expression. To this end, students are
asked throughout the course to retell short stories in class and to
write out a brief summary of reading assignments. At the end of some
reading selections students write a composition about the theme.
Towards the end of the course, as students gain in proficiency,
retelling is deemphasized in favor of broader ranging discussion and
the writing of summaries is abandoned entirely. On the other hand, in
the second part of the course, students are asked to give two brief (5
minute) oral reports. The audience is encouraged to ask questions.

The goals of the course is to develop a keener awareness of literary
texts, to develop the ability to organize verbal material, and to
increase self-expression in Russian. Grades are based entirely on
class participation (30%), oral reports (20%), written summaries
(25%), and themes (25%). If it becomes necessary, the teacher reserves
the right to give translation quizzes and questions on the assigned text.