SLAV-S320 Russia's Literature of Dissent (Braley) (A&H) Fall 2010 (2nd 8 weeks)
This course introduces students to dissident writing in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia, beginning with the Revolution and reaching through the period of reconstruction (perestroika). Primary works and genres covered include: POETRY past and present, from Akhmatova to Akhmadulina and Pasternak to Prigov; DRAMA, from Mayakovsky's satirical The Bathhouse to Aitmatov's anti-Stalinist The Ascent of Mt. Fugi; and FICTION, from Bulgakov's Heart of a Dog and Zamyatin's dystopian sci-fi novella We to Pelevin's postmodern tales and Petrushevskaya's depictions of post-Soviet Russia (There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor's Baby: Scary Fairy Tales). Other categories examined are biographical sketches of prison camp life during Stalin's purges (Shalamov's Kolyma Tales), protest literature and performance culture (60's-70's), and several philosophical essays. Documentary film clips and web-based media supplement historical context given during lectures. Class discussion focuses on literary aspects of readings with periodic reflection on the changing shape of dissent over time. Weekly reading quizzes, three in-class assignments, midterm and final.