Key Issues in Russian Literature and Culture
Over the last seven hundred years Russia has emerged as a distinctive and creative civilization. Russia’s achievements and contribution to the world culture are undisputable. It is literature that has traditionally been Russia’s main cultural depository. At the same time, the development of Russian literature went hand in hand with the development of Russian society. Authors have persistently tried to engage in the tasks that are the territory of historians, sociologists and philosophers. Thus Russian literature was often a tribune for the discussion of topical political and social issues. In this course we shall examine some of the key issues of Russian literature and culture, such as Origins and Identity, Traditions and Modernity, Russia and the West, and others. For that purpose, we shall take a look at major Russian literary works, among which are those by Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Mayakovsky, Zamiatin, Bulgakov, and other authors. While our focus will be literature, we shall also use illustrations from other art forms, such as theatre, visual arts, and music.