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19th Century Russian Literature (RUSS0151a-s11)

Prof. Thomas Beyer

Freeman T-3 TTh 11:00-12:15

My goal in this course is for you to read several major works of Russian fiction of the 19th century. You should read actively and carefully, think about what you are reading, record your thoughts and be prepared to articulate those thoughts in class, both orally and in written form.

All reading must be completed before the beginning of each class. As you read you should keep your thoughts, observations, questions and comments on sheets of recycled paper that you bring to class for every meeting. (While these thoughts are personal, they are not private!)

For each class you will be responsible for a blog entry. Often this will be a response to question. The entry should be at 200-250 words. These statements must be posted to the blog before the start of class.

In small groups you will be asked to prepare a technologically sophisticated project devoted to one of the major writers we will read. Projects are due on April 19 and will count for ¼ of your grade.

If you read all the works on time (pop-quizzes should be expected), do all the blog entries on time, and participate actively in each class, you can expect a grade of B or better. The “better” depends upon clear demonstration of exceptional effort and care in your work, including the project.  Each late or incomplete reading assignment is equal to 1/4 of a grade (B to B-). For each unexcused missed class you will lose 1/2 a grade (B to C+). (There are legitimate reasons to miss a class, illness, family emergencies, job interviews. If you must miss contact me before it happens to discuss an alternative way to master the material).

In trying to be sensitive to the economic and environmental impact of books and paper I am providing you with links to e-texts to some of the texts. Please do not print them out. Unfortunately the quality of some translations is so poor that I have ordered some texts for the course, several of them very inexpensive.  But for three major works you MUST have the Pevear and Volokhonsky translations. If you choose to purchase books, amazon.com may have inexpensive used editions. In some case I will e-mail copies of short readings to you.

Schedule of Readings

Feb. 8               Introduction

Feb. 10             Karamzin, “Poor Liza”

Feb. 15             Pushkin, “The Shot,” “The Snowstorm,”

Feb. 17             Pushkin, “Station Master,” “Amateur Peasant Girl”

Feb. 22            Pushkin, “Queen of Spades”

Feb. 24             Lermontov, Hero of Our Time, to “Princess Mary”

March 1            Lermontov, Hero of Our Time, “Princess” to end

March 3            Gogol, “The Nose,” “The Overcoat”

March 8            Gogol, Dead Souls, I, 1-6

March 10          Gogol, Dead Souls, II, 7-11

March 15          Turgenev, Fathers and Sons, I-XIX

March 17          Turgenev, Fathers and Sons, XX-end

March 22          Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground, I

March 24          Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground, II

April 5              Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, I, II

April 7              Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment,  III, IV,

April 12            Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, V, VI

April 14            Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, Epilogue

April 19                        Student projects

April 21                        Student projects

April 27              Tolstoi, Anna Karenina, I, II

April 29              Tolstoi, Anna Karenina, , III, IV

May 3 Tolstoi, Anna Karenina, V, VI

May 5 Tolstoi, Anna Karenina, VII, VII

e-links and books

Pushkin, Purchase text from Dover.

Pushkin , “The Snowstorm”


Pushkin, “Queen of Spades”


Lermontov, Hero of Our Times




Gogol,  “The Overcoat”


Gogol, Dead Souls Purchase translation by Pevear and Volokhonsky


Turgenev, Fathers and Sons


Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground


Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment Purchase translation by Pevear and Volokhonsky


Tolstoi, Anna Karenina Purchase translation by Pevear and Volokhonsky


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