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Russia's Storyteller Playwrights
RUSS 258
Spring 2012
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: REES 258, THEA 258, COL 288, RULE 258

Many of the classics of Russian theater were written not by pure playwrights, but by authors like Gogol, Chekhov, and Bulgakov, who dedicated themselves primarily to narrative genres of story and novel. This trend continues today: writers like Petrushevskaya, Sidur, and Ulitskaya are experimenting, both with plays and novels, as they work to create a new, post-Soviet Russian literature. Russian literature has been enriched by its playwright/story-teller tradition. When Gogol moved from writing short stories to writing plays in mid-career, he brought new principles of narrative form into the theater with him while at the same time embracing old conventions of dramatic comedy. When he exited the theater to write DEAD SOULS, he took with him principles of comedy that would shape his novel. A similar synergy can be seen in Chekhov, Bulgakov, and others. While reading play/story pairs by some of Russia's leading writers, this course will clarify essential formal differences between narratives and plays that operate in all literatures; and it will explore how Russian literature has blended dramatic and narrative forms in interesting new ways.

Essential Capabilities: Intercultural Literacy, Interpretation
This course raises the question: how can we in our culture, our period, understand stories written in other cultures, other periods. It answers this question in two ways: 1) by using our theoretical and literary readings to identify meaningful structures intrinsic to all stories; and 2) by providing insights into modern Russian social/cultural history that will enable students to understand our literary readings in their original context.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA RUSS
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (REES-Lang/Lit/C)(REES-Social Sci)(THEA)
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on APR-20-2014
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