Slavic 245B: Russian Realism (1840s-1890s)

Th 2-5, 6115 Dwinelle. Instructor: Irina Paperno.

Units: 4

This graduate seminar will consider major trends, concepts, texts, people, and institutions of Russian Realism. Texts/topics include: the concept of Realism in literary history and literary scholarship; the beginnings of the realist aesthetics in literary ethnography (“fiziologicheskii ocherk” and “Zapiski okhotnika”); the rise of realism from personal documents and criticism (Belinsky); realism in poetry (Nekrasov); Goncharov’s Oblomov; Turgenev and the social novel; the institution of the “thick journals”; what is to be done with Tolstoy and Dostoevsky; literature and religion; Chekhov and the end of Russian Realism. All primary texts are read in Russian; discussions in English.

Requirements: Reading and class participation; paper or take-home final examination.

Prerequisite: solid Russian; graduate standing (or consent of instructor).