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The Great Russian Novel: Tolstoy and Dostoevsky (SLAVIC 346)

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Instructor
Term
  • Winter
Subject Code
SLAVIC
Course Number
146
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The Great Russian Novel: Tolstoy and Dostoevsky (SLAVIC 346)

The two giant novels we will read and discuss closely were above all urgent actions taken in the heat of present crisis. War and Peace (1865-1869), Leo Tolstoy's epic family saga of Russia's historic resistance to Napoleon and the modern "will-to-power," and The Brothers Karamazov (1878-1880), Dostoevsky's tragicomic investigation into the roots of familial perversion, crimes of individual thought and collective performance, fascinate us with the striking contrasts of their novels' aesthetic responses and innovations. The final focus of the course will be on several of Anton Chekhov's short stories that re-play the themes of the Russian novel with compressed indirectness, pushing the great realist novel's dominance firmly into "history."