Slavic 134G: Tolstoy and Dostoevsky

TuTh 5-6:30, Dwinelle 243. Instructor: Irina Paperno.

Units: 4 Satisfies L&S Arts & Literature or Philosophy & Values breadth requirement.

In this class we will read the works of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky (Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, and some short works) focusing on concerns literature shares with philosophy, religious thought, and psychology. We will discuss how novels explore the workings of the human mind; the drama of interpersonal intimacy; the relationship between self and other; the choice between faith and nonbelief; the idea of transgression, crime, justice, and redemption; and more. It has been suggested (by readers and scholars alike) that such things are so complex that they can only be explored by novels. More than other writers, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky used the novel to explore the human condition. Great books are interesting, inspiring, and sometimes disturbing; in this class students will enjoy reading great books.

Prerequisites: None. Readings and lectures are conducted in English. Students who know or study Russian are encouraged to do at least some reading in the original.

 Requirements: Intense reading (about 100 pages per week); regular attendance and participation in classroom discussions; homework assignments (reading tasks); take-home midterm and final (midterm and final are focused on close reading of textual excerpts).

 Books: Please purchase the following editions (in book form):

Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, the Maude translation, George Gibian, ed. A Norton Critical Edition, Second Edition; ISBN-10: 0393966429; ISBN-13: 978-0393966428

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment ed. George Gibian, the Coulson translation. Norton Critical Edition. Paperback. ISBN 0-393-95623-7 (this edition please).

Additional options:

Students who do reading in Russian can earn additional 1 unit with concurrent enrollment in Slavic 100L, Advanced Readings in Russian,. Consent of instructor required.

With concurrent enrollment in Slavic 100R (1 unit), Research in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, students can write a research paper on a topic of individual choice. Consent of instructor required.