Listed in: Russian, as RUSS-17
Stanley J. Rabinowitz (Section 01)
A course that examines the stories and novels of rebels, deviants, dissidents, loners, and losers in some of the weirdest fictions in Russian literature. The writers, most of whom imagine themselves to be every bit as bizarre as their heroes, include from the nineteenth century: Gogol (â€œViy,â€ â€œDiary of a Madman,â€ â€œIvan Shponka and His Aunt,â€ â€œThe Nose,â€ â€œThe Overcoatâ€); Dostoevsky (â€œThe Double,â€ â€œA Gentle Creature,â€ â€œBobok,â€ â€œThe Dream of a Ridiculous Manâ€); Tolstoy (â€œThe Kreutzer Sonata,â€ â€œFather Sergiusâ€), and from the twentieth century: Olesha (Envy); Platonov (The Foundation Pit); Kharmsâ€™ (Stories); Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita); Nabokov (The Eye, Despair); Erofeev (Moscow Circles); Pelevin (â€œThe Yellow Arrowâ€). Our goal will be less to construct a canon of strangeness than to consider closely how estranged women, men, animals, and objects become the center of narrative attention and, in doing so, reflect the writer Tatyana Tolstayaâ€™s claim that â€œRussia is broader and more diverse, stranger and more contradictory than any idea of it. It resists all theories about what makes it tick, confounds all the paths to its possible transformation.â€ All readings in English translation. Limited to 35 students. Not open to first-year students. Fall semester. Professor Rabinowitz.