Aims/Description: Russian literature is famous for its great novels. But how did they emerge in a literary tradition which had only relatively recently established itself to become one of the most famous facets of Russian culture? We shall begin with works by Pushkin, Gogol and Turgenev to consider, among other things, how irony and satire and the connection between personal failure and the failings of wider society not only relate to ambitions for political and social reform but go beyond them. This development becomes more pronounced in the second half of the nineteenth century. The psychological intensity of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment is among the most striking of the literary reactions to the proto-revolutionary ambitions of the Russian radical intelligentsia. We will compare the responses of both to questions such as individual and social justice, freedom of action and human dignity. We then turn to Anna Karenina to see how Tolstoy's characters make the choices they do when faced with questions of war, sexual passion, illness, religion, family relations and, in the final analysis, good and evil? Throughout the module, we will think about the novel as a genre and the reasons for its enduring appeal far beyond Russia's borders.

Restrictions on availability: SLC students must be taking Russian language modules.

Staff Contact: FERGUS ADAM A
Teaching Methods: Seminars, Independent Study
Assessment: Course work

Information on the department responsible for this unit (Languages and Cultures):

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Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK