19th Century Russian Literature (RU 151)

Fall 2003

Prof. Thomas Beyer

Freeman T-3 W 10:15-11:00; F 11:00-12:00



My goal in this course is to have you 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 loose-leaf paper to be kept in a binder which you bring to class for every meeting. (While these thoughts are personal, they are not private!)

For each class you should prepare a one page single spaced journal entry. This one page entry should be typed in 12 point New York font (or its equivalent) on 8 1/2" by 11" paper with top and bottom, left and right margins of 1". The one sheet (and it must always be edited to one sheet) should contain a twenty-five word 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 analyzing some aspect of the work that appealed to you. Finally, write a single question at the end of each page to serve as a discussion question for the entire class.

If you read all the works on time, do all the 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. For each missed class you will lose 1/2 a grade. Each late or incomplete assignment is equal to 1/4 of a grade.


Books for course:

L. N. Tolstoy, War and Peace (Norton)

A.S. Pushkin, Complete Prose Fiction

M. Lermontov, Hero of Our Time

N.V. Gogol, The Overcoat and Other Tales

N.V. Gogol, Dead Souls trans. Pevear and Volokhonsky

I.S. Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

F. M. Dostoevsky, Brothers Karamazov trans. Pevear and

  • Volokhonsky
  • V. Terras, Handbook of Russian Literature (optional)



    Schedule of Readings


    Sept. 9 Introduction

    Sept. 11 War and Peace, Books I-II

    Sept. 16 W&P, III-VI

    Sept. 18 W&P, VII-VIII

    Sept. 23 W&P, IX-X

    Sept. 25 W&P, XI

    Sept. 30 W&P, XII-XV

    Oct. 2 W&P, Epilogues


    Oct. 7 Pushkin, The Tales of Belkin

    Oct. 9


    Oct. 14 Pushkin, "The Queen of Spades"


    Oct. 21 Lermontov, Hero of Our Times, Foreword up to "Bela"

    Oct. 23 Lermontov, Hero of Our Times, "Bela," "The Fatalist"


    Oct. 28 Gogol, "The Nose," "The Overcoat"

    Oct. 30 Gogol, Dead Souls, Part I, 1-6.

    Nov. 4 Gogol, Dead Souls, Part 1, 7-11.

    Nov. 6 Gogol, Dead Souls


    Nov. 11 Turgenev, Fathers and Sons, all

    Nov. 13 Turgenev, Fathers and Sons


    Nov. 18 Dostoevsky, Brothers Karamazov, Book I

    Nov. 20 Dostoevsky, Brothers Karamazov, II

    Nov. 25 Dostoevsky, Brothers Karamazov

    Dec. 2 Dostoevsky, Brothers Karamazov, III

    Dec. 7 Dostoevsky, Brothers Karamazov, IV