St. Petersburg and Its Texts
The course will examine a number of works of Russian literature and criticism that constitute the core of the so-called «Petersburg text» of Russian Literature. Among the authors to be discussed are Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Bely, Blok, Akhmatova, Bitov, and Brodsky. Special attention will be given to the historical conditions in which these texts were written and to the complex relationship of the selected literary texts to each other and to other ones, including some works that have been created relatively recently and others, that only in part can be considered Russian Literary heritage. Some basic concepts and terms of literary theory/poetics, necessary for the analysis, will be introduced on the way. The course will also explore the relationship between literary works and other art forms, particularly films—screen versions of the discussed literary works. Since the action in the texts selected for the course takes place in St. Petersburg, a walking tour of the city's literary sites is also planned.