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A Matter of Life and Death: Fiction in the Soviet Era
RUSS 206
Spring 2011
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: REES 206, RULE 206

In this course we will study the greatest Russian prose works of the twentieth century, including the modernist masterpiece PETERSBURG by Andrei Bely, a phantasmagorical depiction of Russia's most legendary city during the 1905 Revolution; Isaac Babel's terse and devastating stories of the Civil War; Bulgakov's MASTER AND MARGARITA, in which the Devil visits Moscow in the 1930s, when mass arrests are making people "disappear"; and Solzhenitsyn's pioneering report from the Gulag, ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH, which he dared to submit for publication during Khrushchev's Thaw. The course will also consider the lingering impact of Russian imperialism on Soviet and post-Soviet life, as the Soviet state tries to extend its "civilizing" influence to central Asia (Platonov, SOUL; Trubetskoi, letters from Uzbekistan) and as the post-imperial Russian state wages war to hold onto its territories in the Caucasus (the 1996 film! PRISONER OF THE CAUCASUS; reportage by Anna Politkovskaia). The course ends with Ulitskaya's 21st-century novel MEDEA AND HER CHILDREN, a kind of summing-up of the Russian 20th-century experience. Students who wish to read excerpts from the course offerings in the original Russian should see the instructor to enroll in a half-credit tutorial.

Essential Capabilities: Intercultural Literacy, Interpretation
Interpretation: Both class discussion and papers will be designed to develop skills of interpreting literary and filmic texts.

Intercultural literacy: The course work will involve developing a deep understanding of Russian culture and history.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA RUSS
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (REES-MN)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUL-15-2024
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