19th Century Russian Literature

The Course and its Content

Posted by Thomas Beyer under on February 2nd, 2009.

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 should prepare a 25 word or 150 character or less description of the “who, what, where, when and why” of the reading assignment. This should be followed by a single well-constructed paragraph (200-250 words) analyzing some aspect of the work that appealed to you. Finally, write a single question at the end to serve as a discussion question for the entire class. These statements must be e-mailed to me 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 May 2 and will count for ¼ of your grade.
If you read all the works on time (pop-quizzes should be expected), do all the e-mail 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. A good e-reader program is STANZA. Please do not print them out. If you choose to purchase books, amazon.com may have inexpensive used editions. In some cases I will e-mail copies of short readings to you.

Schedule of Readings

Feb. 10       Introduction
Feb. 12       Karamzin, “Poor Liza”
Feb. 17       Pushkin, “The Shot,” “The Snowstorm,”
Feb. 19       Pushkin, “Station Master,” “Amateur Peasant Girl”
Feb. 24       Pushkin, “Queen of Spades”
Feb. 26       Lermontov, Hero of Our Time, to “Princess Mary”
March 3      Lermontov, Hero of Our Time, “Princess” to end
March 5      Gogol, “The Nose,” “The Overcoat”
March 10    Gogol, Dead Souls, I, 1-6
March 12    Gogol, Dead Souls, II, 7-11
March 17    Turgenev, Fathers and Sons, I-XIX
March 19    Turgenev, Fathers and Sons, XX-end

March 31    Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground, I
April 2        Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground, II
April 7        Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, I, II
April 9        Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment,  III, IV,
April 14      Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, V, VI
April 16      Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, Epilogue
April 21      Tolstoi, Anna Karenina, I, II
April 23      Tolstoi, Anna Karenina, III, IV
April 28      Tolstoi, Anna Karenina, V, VI
April 30      Tolstoi, Anna Karenina, VII, VII
May 5-7      Student projects


Pushkin , “The Snowstorm”

Pushkin, “Queen of Spades”

Lermontov, Hero of Our Times

Gogol,  “The Overcoat”

Gogol, Dead Souls

Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground

Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment

Tolstoi, Anna Karenina

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