Slavic Languages and Literatures | Twentieth-Century Russian Literature II
R508 | ALL | Beaver


This course will focus on Russian literature from the 1950s to the
1990s. Novelists to be discussed will range from Pasternak to Bitov to
Pelevin. Works of short fiction will include prose by Terts, Aksenov,
Shukshin, Tolstaia, and Petrushevskaia. A wide sampling of the poetry
of the period will include works by Slutsky, Okudzhava, Kushner,
Brodsky, Prigov, Shvarts, and Sedakova. A selection of secondary
literature will accompany the readings. All primary texts should be
read in Russian if possible.

Though each work will be treated on its own aesthetic terms, the
course aims to give a historical overview of Russian literature in its
cultural, social, and political context. This will mean primarily an
orientation toward dissent from the Soviet system and Socialist
Realism, but this context also includes a pronounced concern with the
aesthetic and literary tradition per se. As a way to examine both the
socio-political and the more strictly literary concerns of the
literature of the period, we will focus special attention on the
interrelationship of author, narrator, and hero, which reaches a peak
of complexity with the advent of Russian postmodernism.