Slavic 245A: Russian Romanticism

W 2-5, 6115 Dwinelle. Instructor: Harsha Ram.

Units: 4

The course will survey Russian literary production and debate during the first forty years of the nineteenth century, during which many of the founding texts of Russian poetry and prose were composed. Our goal will be to read a series of canonical works that provided the essential contours of Russian literary modernity.

Topics will include:

* Karamzinian sentimentalism, narratives of affect, problems of subjectivity and psychology, and the birth of the modern Russian author
* Eighteenth-century classicist poetics, its crisis, and the rise of romanticism
* The poetics and cultural politics of genre importation and genre combination
* The debates of the 1820’s-1830’s on poetic and literary language, the autonomy of art, political power, and the professionalization of the author
* The place of the Caucasus as a locale in Russian romanticism
* Eugene Onegin between the “encyclopedia of Russian life” and the ironization of  literary convention
* The correlation between the fantastic, the national and the social in the Russian short story
* Authorship and modalities of narrative voice in the short-story cycles of the 1830’s and the early Russian novel

Prerequisites: Graduate standing; consent of instructor. Adequate knowledge of Russian.