20th Century Russian Literature

Prof. Thomas Beyer

The goal in this course is for you to read several major works of Russian fiction of the late 19th and 20th centuries. You should read actively and carefully, think about what you are reading, record your thoughts and be prepared to articulate those thoug hts 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 loose-leaf paper to be kept in a binder which you bring to class for every meeting. Write at lea st one question at the end of each page to serve as a discussion question for the entire class. (While these thoughts are personal, they are not private!)

For each class you must complete the "How does a story mean?" form. This one-two page entry must be typed and answer all the questions. You may answer the broad topics (characterization, action, point of view, etc.) either in short s ingle complete sentences or in a summary paragraph.

If you read all the works on time, do all the informal and formal journal 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.

Books for course:

Reading Assignments

Feb. 13 Introduction
See Supplementary Assignments
Feb. 15 Chekhov, "Confession," "Nincompoop," "The Kiss."

Feb. 20 Sologub, The Petty Demon, I-XVII
Feb. 22 Sologub, The Petty Demon, XVIII-end

Feb. 27 M. Gorky, Mother, I
Feb. 29 M. Gorky, Mother, II

March 5 A. Bely, Petersburg, 1-5
March 7 A. Bely, Petersburg, 6-end

March 12 Sholokhov, Quiet Flows the Don, I, II
March 14 Sholokhov, Quiet Flows the Don, III

March 19 Sholokhov, Quiet Flows the Don, IV
March 21 Zamyatin, We

April 2 Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago, I
April 4 Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago, II, 5-10

April 9 Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago, II, 10- end
April 11 Bulgakov, Master and Margarita, 1-13

April 16 Bulgakov, Master and Margarita, 14-23
April 18 Bulgakov, Master and Margarita, 24-end

April 23 Nabokov, Despair, 1-7
April 25 Nabokov, Despair, 8-end

April 30 Solzhenitsyn, One Day
May 2 Shukshin, "Snowball Berry Red" in Proffer, CRP

May 7 Iskander, "Belshazzar's Feasts" in Proffer, CRP
May 9 Rasputin, "Downstream" in Proffer, CRP