Russian literature 3

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course is reserved for third year students and aims to complete the presentation of the literary and cultural history of Russia carried out in the two previous courses. An introduction to Russian history between the late nineteenth and early twentieth century is proposed, with particular attention, on the one hand, to the political context, and on the other to the different artistic currents that animated the Russian cultural scene of the early twentieth century; in a second stage the course focuses on the Revolution of 1917 and on the reflection that revolutionary events had on Russian literary production in the first half of the twentieth century.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge: The student demonstrates full knowledge of the main facts of Russian social history and Russian literature of the studied period.
Skills: The student achieves good proficiency in the analysis of the thematic and formal elements of the literary text and is able to re-elaborate the problems faced during the course and of the critical essays examined.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
The course is called "1917: The End of a World, or the Beginning of a New Dawn?". It consists of the following three teaching units: a) Introduction to Russian historical and literary background, from the death of Alexander III to the 1905 revolution b) The 1917 Revolutions and the civil war in Russian literature c) The awakening

The course provides 9 CFU, therefore all students will stick to the complete program (units A, B and C). In Unit A we will take into consideration the main stages of Russian history and literature from the 1890s until the eve of the Revolution. During this part of the course the teacher will provide the basic knowledge, the essential interpretative categories and the methodological tools necessary to encourage the subsequent personal deepening, which remains the student's responsibility. In Unit B, the reflection of the 1917 revolution in the work of some Russian writers will be examined. We will retrace the different phases, from the initial excitement about the construction of a 'new life' and a 'new man', to civil war and red terror. A part of unit B will be dedicated to reading, analyzing and commenting on Ivan Bunin's Okajannye dni. In Unit C the traces of the painful awareness will be examined, as it is well summarized by the words of the protagonist of Boris Pasternak's Doctor Živago: "Life is never a material, a substance. Life is an element that continually renews itself and is re-elaborated by itself, which is constantly made and recreated by itself, always so much higher than all our obtuse theories ".
Prerequisites for admission
The course, which is held partially in Russian, the materials and the exam bibliography require specific skills in Russian literary history, use of terminology and critical analysis acquired in previous courses.
Teaching methods
During the course the following teaching methods will be employed: frontal lessons; reading and commenting on scenes from the scheduled works; viewing and commenting of documentaries and films.
Teaching Resources
The course has a site on the Ariel online teaching platform ( Compulsory reading works for each of the teaching units are indicated below.

Unit A

Storia della civiltà letteraria russa, a cura di M. Colucci e R. Picchio, UTET, Torino 1997, vol. II (a selection of chapters, available on Ariel)

N. Werth, Storia della Russia del Novecento, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2000 (chapters 1-8)

One text among the following ones:

Sologub, Il demone meschino
Gor'kij, La madre
A. Belyj, Pietroburgo
M. Bulgakov, La guardia bianca
M. Bulgakov, Il Maestro e Margherita
Zoščenko, Novelle moscovite

Furthermore, a selection of poetic texts (available on Ariel).

Unit B

All the following texts:

V. Zazubrin, La scheggia
M. Bulgakov, Cuore di cane
E. Zamjatin, Noi
A. Platonov, Čevengur

Furthermore, selection of pages from I. Bunin, Okajannye dni (available on Ariel)

Critical essays:

V. Šklovskij, L'arte come procedimento; Ju. Tynjanov, L'evoluzione letteraria da I formalisti russi, Teoria della letteratura e metodo critico. A cura di Tzvetan Todorov, Torino, Einaudi

Unit C

B. Pasternak, Il dottor Živago (any edition)

Other materials (slides, videos) will be available on Ariel.

Program for non-attending students

Non-attending students will stick to the program for attending students, but they will have to choose three texts (not one) from the following list:

Sologub, Il demone meschino
Gor'kij, La madre
A. Belyj, Pietroburgo
M. Bulgakov, La guardia bianca
M. Bulgakov, Il Maestro e Margherita
Zoščenko, Novelle moscovite
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an individual interview, which includes questions asked by the teacher and the analysis and commentary of one or more excerpts taken from the works scheduled. The interview has a variable duration and takes place in Italian. Students will also have to demonstrate that they can read the analyzed pages of Okajannye dni correctly in Russian and comment on them adequately in Italian. The interview aims to check the knowledge of the texts read, the ability to contextualize authors and works and to use specific terminology, the ability to critically and personally reflect on the issues proposed. The final mark is expressed in thirtieths, and the student has the right to refuse it (in this case it will be recorded as "withdrawn").
International or Erasmus incoming students are invited to promptly contact the teacher. The examination procedures for students with disabilities and / or with DSA must be agreed with the teacher, according to the competent Office.
Unita' didattica A
L-LIN/21 - SLAVIC STUDIES - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
L-LIN/21 - SLAVIC STUDIES - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
L-LIN/21 - SLAVIC STUDIES - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Educational website(s)