RUSS-372 Modernism in Russian Literature
Fall for 2014-2015
At the end of the nineteenth century Russian literature and society went through a great upheaval that culminated in the Communist Revolution. Powerful ideas launched by Marx, Schopenhauer, Freud, Nietzsche reverberated through Russian society and literature and challenged long etablished political and moral values. Russian society became increasingly fragmented amid the political unrest and moral uncertainty. In this tumultuos and heady period from the 1890s to the early 1930s literature and art again expressed the rebellious search for meaning. The individual faced a brave new world of contingency that increasingly collided with Bolshevik doctrine. By the early 1930s Soviet authorities brought Russian modernism to an end.
How did the understanding of the world fundamentally change? What role did the Russian tradition play? What new values did modernist literature offer? How did modernism resonate in the new Soviet space of the 1920s? How did ideology and literature coexist?
These moments in Russian Modernism will be explored through the works of Tolstoy, Chekhov, the great poets of the Silver Age, Gorky, Biely (Petersburg), works of popular fiction, Pilniak (The Naked Year), and Gladkov (Cement).
Conducted in English. Fulfills the HUMW-II requirement.
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