RUSS-485 Great Twentieth-Century Russian Novels
Students will be required to read the following four novels: Mikhail Sholokhov, Quiet Flows the Don; Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita; Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The First Circle; Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago. After a brief introduction to the author's life and time, students will consider each novel from a variety of perspectives, depending on the thematic density, linguistic richness and structural architectonics of the work. Possible areas of discussion include gallery of characters, symbolic layering, the philosophical dimension, occultist and folkloric elements, the "moral quotient" (Wayne Booth's term), the narrator's/narrators' role and stance, stylistic strengths and weaknesses, and reflections of the socio-political context in which the work was written. After the students have come to some appreciation of the writer's uniqueness and contribution to the development of Russian literature, they will be asked to read and discuss two seminal articles dealing with the work in question. Students will be required to write three 8- to 10-page papers, i.e., papers on three of the four novels. All readings, discussions, and papers will be in English.
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