RUSSIAN 346 - Russian Literature from Romanticism to Realism
Section: 201
Term: SU 2010
Subject: Russian (RUSSIAN)
Department: LSA Slavic Languages & Literatures
Requirements & Distribution:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course familiarizes undergraduates with a broad range of issues raised and hotly debated by Russian writers throughout the 19th century. Objectives are to (1) help each student understand a broad set of cultural topics; (2) develop students’ ability to analyze literary texts; and (3) help each student to improve his/her writing skills. This course will also prepare our concentrators and minors to carry out informed analysis of various aspects of Russian literature and culture.

This course addresses a broad range of issues dealing with issues of national identity, gender relations, intellectual movements, political reforms, and cultural transformations, with topics such as love and modernity, the metaphysics of beauty, utopia, East-West and metropolis-colony relations, ethnic intolerance, gender and religious issues. It approaches 19th-century Russian fiction as a powerful vehicle that expresses various interpretations of crucial social and religious issues. The texts will be analyzed in their broad historical, social, ideological, and cultural context, and in relation to comparable European developments, particularly to the common narratives of Romanticism and Realism. Students also examine how texts are structured and how style creates meaning. The course familiarizes students with strategies of literary analysis and introduces them to Russian cultural distinctiveness.

This course provides an introduction to the major masterpieces of 19th century Russian fiction. We will be reading such classics of world literature as Pushkin’s and Chekhov’s short stories, Turgenev’s novels, Tolstoy’s sketches, and Dostoevsky’s essays. The classes begin with exploration of Russian Sentimentalism and Romanticism, to be followed by a detailed discussion of Russian Realism and its specific features. Our focus on relatively short texts will allow us to cover major intellectual and artistic developments of the entire century and discuss a broad range of religious, social, and moral issues raised by the best Russian writers. We will trace the evolution of the distinctive Russian narrative traditions and emphasize the formative role of ideas in Russian literature. Texts will be analyzed in the context of the political and intellectual changes Russian society was undergoing throughout the century: from the victorious Patriotic War (1812-1815) to the assassination of Alexander II (1881), followed by a period of political reaction. Topics include gender relations, love, death, and crime, modernity and utopia, reform and stagnation, the intelligentsia, Russia and the West. No prior knowledge of Russian literature, language, or history is presupposed.

Crs Requirements: Attendance at lectures, participation in class discussions, and a final exam covering the factual material and consisting of short broad essay questions and a few identifications. Three papers (each approximately 10-12 pages in length), submitted in two steps (first version and revision). These formal writing assignments are intended to help students develop their analytical skills by analyzing an assigned theme in a particular text, and to provide them with an opportunity to develop their expository writing skills by laying out their argument in a logical and persuasive fashion. Students majoring in Russian are encouraged to consult texts in the original language and are required to quote from them in Russian in their papers.

Intended Audience: Undergraduate students targeting Russian concentrators and minors, as well as all students interested in Russian literature and culture, history, comparative literary studies, philosophy, and the humanities in general.

Class Format: Combination of lecture and discussion. The instructor's lecture will sketch out the relevant literary, historical, and cultural context. Most of the class time will be devoted to lectures and a variety of discussion activities that emphasize interactive learning.

RUSSIAN 346 - Russian Literature from Romanticism to Realism
Schedule Listing
201 (LEC)
TuTh 4:00PM - 6:30PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

Additional readings will be available on C-Tools
ISBN: 0375405496
The collected stories, Author: Alexander Pushkin ; translated from the Russian by Paul Debreczeny with an introduction by John Bayley ; verse passages translated by Walter Arndt., Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Rev., expa 1999
ISBN: 9780199540402
First love and other stories, Author: Ivan Turgenev ; translated with an introduction and notes by Richard Freeborn., Publisher: Oxford University Press 2008
ISBN: 0810114070
Antonina, Author: Evgeniya Tur ; translated by Michael R. Katz ; introduction by Jehanne Gheith., Publisher: Northwestern University Press 1996
ISBN: 0060586974
Great short works of Leo Tolstoy, Author: with an introd. by John Bayley ; in the translations by Louise and Aylmer Maude., Publisher: Perennial 1st Perenn 2004
ISBN: 0553381008
Stories, Author: by Anton Chekhov ; translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky., Publisher: Bantam Books 2000
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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