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EN338 Russian Narratives

Module Tutor: Peter Mack (H509)

In this module we shall read and discuss some of the greatest novels and short stories ever written and we shall learn about Russian history, culture and religion of the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries. We shall read narratives by Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov and Vasily Grossman.

In the nature of the material studied this module has a very heavy reading load. You will need to read at least Tolstoy’s War and Peace AND either Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov or Grossman, Life and Fate over the summer before the module begins.
The module will be examined by TWO 5,000 word essays, one due in week one of term two and one in term three (usually week 3 or week 4). In each term I will schedule individual consultations in weeks 7-9 so that we have the opportunity to discuss your intended essay.

Term One

1-2 Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, recommended translation S. Mitchell (Penguin Classics)
3 Gogol, Dead Souls (I strongly advise the Maguire Penguin Classics)
4 Short Stories by Gogol and Turgenev
5 Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

Reading week

7-9 Tolstoy, War and Peace, any translation will do; I’ll probably use Maude (Oxford)
10 (optional: for those who have already read it) Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Term Two

1-2 Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment
3-4 Dostoevsky, Brothers Karamazov (I’ll probably use Pevear/Volokhonsky but others are fine)
5 Chekhov, Short stories

Reading week

7 Chekhov, Short stories
18-19 Grossman, Life and Fate
20 Concluding Discussion: Reflecting on the module as a whole