Slavic 280, Section 1: The Novel

W 2-5pm, Dwinelle 6115. Instructor: Irina Paperno.

Units: 4

This course will focus on the novel as a paradigmatic genre of modern literature. We will examine the various theoretical approaches to the novel. (Theoretical readings will include selections from Lukacs, Bakhtin, Ian Watt, Dorrit Cohn, Fredric Jameson, Peter Brooks, Franco Moretti, and others.) We will trace the Russian novel in its European context from realism to modernism to the crisis of the novel, discussing how the novel is implicated in the evolution of literary movements and epistemological systems. Primary readings will be drawn from classic European novels, such as Balzac’s Père Goriot, Dostoevsky’s Prestuplenie i nakazanie, Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Andrei Bely’s Petersburg, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, and others (students may be already familiar with some of these novels). We will speak about the link (or gap) between the text and theory. In discussing the novels, we will pay attention to genre and narrative as well as consider the novel’s involvement with philosophical, psychological, and socio-political issues that fall into the domain of psychology (or psychoanalysis), philosophy, religion, and law. This course may be useful to students in both their research and pedagogical practice. For final papers, students will develop topics of individual interest in various aspects of the novel (in the 19th, 20th or 21st century).

Prerequisites: Berkeley graduate standing or consent of instructor (command of Russian is a must).

Books: books have not been ordered through the University store; you may want to obtain (e.g., at Michael McKeon’s collection Theory of the Novel: A Historical Approach (John Hopkins University Press, 2000; ISBN 0-8018-6397-X).

We will also use the Norton Critical Editions of  Père Goriot, ed. Peter Brooks (ISBN 0-393-97166-x) and Madame Bovary, 2nd ed., ed. Margaret Cohen (ISBN 0-393-97917-2). Readings will be reserved in the Slavic Library.

Requirements: weekly readings and participation in class discussions; brief oral presentations; research paper on a topic of individual interest, defined early and written throughout the semester. (Pass/No Pass registration involves doing all the readings and participating in discussion, but not writing the paper.)