Russian V3220, sec. 001

Prof. David A. Goldfarb

TTh 1:10-2:25 p.m., 227 Milbank (first day only), 409 Barnard (remainder of term)


9/7—Byron, “The Giaour” (photocopy)

9/12, 14—Pushkin, Eugene Onegin

9/19, 21—Lermontov, A Hero of Our Time; [Translator’s introduction (Read after you’ve read the text. Excellent for sorting out sequence of narrators and events!)]

9/26, 28, 10/3, 5—Gogol, Dead Souls; [Boris Eikhenbaum, “How Gogol’s ‘Overcoat’ is Made”]

10/10, 12—Goncharov, Oblomov (Read at least Part I)

10/17—Goncharov, (cont’d); Dobroliubov, “What is Oblomovshchina?” Review for midterm

10/19—Midterm Exam

10/24, 26—Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

10/31, 11/2, [Election Day--11/7--no class], 9, 14, 16, 21,—Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment; [Marshall Berman on Petersburg]

11/23-26—Thanksgiving Holiday

11/28, 30—Tolstoy, “Family Happiness” and “The Kreutzer Sonata”

12/5, 7—Chekhov, “Chameleon” (1885), “Grisha” (1886), “The Student” (1894), “The Teacher of Literature” (1889-94) and “The Lady with the Dog” (1899). Summary of course, review for final exam.


Material in brackets is optional but recommended.

Grades will be weighted as follows:

 Participation    15%
 Short Essays     20%
 Midterm Exam     25%
 Final Exam       40%


READING—The readings above are listed as they will be discussed in class and should be read in advance of the day they we will cover them. All materials except for the Byron will be available at Labyrinth Books.

Detailed assignment sheets will be provided in class for the papers:

SHORT ESSAYS—Brief essays on individual works will be assigned throughout the term as a way of developing close reading skills required for the understanding of literary texts on an advanced level. The number of essays will depend on the needs of the class.

EXAMS—The exams will be in essay format covering all the readings in the course. The questions will be comparative in nature and will require careful reading of individual works as well as connections between works. Some works from the first half of the term will appear on the final exam as well as the midterm, so be sure to include them in your review.


This portion of your grade includes your productive oral participation in class, attendance, the extent to which your written assignments reflect that you are listening actively in class, and the improvement in your work over the course of the semester. Students enroll in the class with varying degrees of preparation. Even if you enter the class with a strong background in the subject, you must demonstrate that you are learning something from this class in order to do well in it--don’t be overconfident. If you are studying the subject for the first time, do not fear that you will forever be lagging behind the more advanced students. Hard work will be rewarded!

You are strongly encouraged to discuss the assignments with me at my office hours or in e-mail. There will be no opportunities for extra credit, but there is ample opportunity for extra preparation, if you sense that you are having particular difficulty with the material.

Required Texts

Chekhov, Anton. Anton Chekhov’s Short Stories. Selected and edited by Ralph E. Matlaw. Norton Critical Edition. New York: Norton, 1979.

Dobrolyubov, N. A. “What is Oblomovshchina? Oblomov, A Novel by I. A. Goncharov.” Selected Philosophical Essays. Trans. J. Fineberg. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1956. 174-217.

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment. Norton Critical Edition. Ed. George Gibian. New York: Norton, 1989.

Gogol, Nikolai. Dead Souls. Tr. Bernard Guerney and Susanne Fusso. New Haven: Yale, 1996.

Goncharov, Ivan Aleksandrovich. Oblomov. Trans. David Magarshack. 1859. New York: Penguin, 1954.

Lermontov, Mikhail. A Hero of Our Time. Trans. Vladimir Nabokov in collaboration with Dmitri Nabokov. Ann Arbor: Ardis, 1988.

Pushkin, Alexander. Eugene Onegin. Trans. James Falen. Oxford: Oxford U. Pr., 1995.

Tolstoy, Leo. Tolstoy’s Short Stories. Ed. and Trans. Michael R. Katz. Norton Critical Edition. New York: Norton, 1990.

Turgenev, Ivan. Fathers and Sons. Ed. and trans. Michael Katz. Norton Critical Edition. New York: Norton, 1995.

Highly Recommended Supplementary Text

Terras, Victor, ed. Handbook of Russian Literature. New Haven: Yale U. Pr., 1985.

Secondary Sources

Allen, Elizabeth Cheresh. Beyond Realism: Turgenev’s Poetics of Secular Salvation. Stanford: Stanford U. Pr., 1992.

Bakhtin, M. M. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Ed. Michael Holquist. Trans. Michael Holquist and Caryl Emerson. University of Texas Press Slavic Series 1. Austin: U of Texas P, 1981.

__________. Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics. Ed. and trans. Caryl Emerson. Introd. by Wayne C. Booth . Theory and History of Literature. Minneapolis: U. of Minnesota Pr., 1984.

Bayley, John. Tolstoy and the Novel. Chicago: U. of Chicago Pr., 1988.

Berman, Marshall. All That is Solid Melts Into Air, The Experience of Modernity. New York: Penguin, 1988.

Driver, Sam N. Pushkin: Literature and Social Ideas. New York: Columbia U. Pr., 1989.

Eikhenbaum, Boris. “How Gogol’s ‘Overcoat’ is Made.” Trans. John Fred Beebe and Elizabeth W. Trahan. Gogol’s “Overcoat”: An Anthology of Critical Essays. Ed. Elizabeth Trahan. Ann Arbor: Ardis, 1982. 21-36.

Fanger, Donald. The Creation of Nikolai Gogol. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard U. Pr. <Belknap>, 1979.

__________. Dostoevsky and Romantic Realism: A Study of Dostoevsky in Relation to Balzac, Dickens, and Gogol. Chicago: U. of Chigago Pr. <Phoenix>, 1967.

Freeborn, Richard. The Rise of the Russian Novel, Studies N the Russian Novel from Eugene Onegin to War and Peace. Cambridge: Cambridge U. Pr., 1973.

Fusso, Susanne. Designing Dead Souls: An Anatomy of Disorder in Gogol. Stanford: Stanford U. Pr., 1993.

Gifford, Henry. The Hero of His Time, A Theme in Russian Literature. London: Arnold, 1950.

Goldfarb, David A. “Lermontov and the Omniscience of Narrators.” Philosophy and Literature 20:1 (April 1996), 61-73.

Gustafson, Richard F. Leo Tolstoy Resident and Stranger: A Study in Fiction and Theology. Princeton: Princeton U. Pr., 1986.

Gutkin, Irina. “The Dichotomy Between Flesh and Spirit: Plato’s Symposium in Anna Karenina.” In the Shade of the Giant: Essays on Tolstoy. Ed. Hugh McLean. Berkeley: U. of California Pr., 1989. 84-99.

Jackson, Robert Louis. Dostoevsky’s Underground Man in Russian Literature. Slavistic Printings and Reprintings. The Hague: Mouton, 1958.

Maguire, Robert A. Exploring Gogol. Stanford, Ca.: Stanford U. Pr., 1994.

Maguire, Robert A., ed. Gogol from the Twentieth Century. Princeton: Princeton U. Pr., 1974.

Mandelker, Amy. Framing Anna Karenina: Tolstoy, the Woman Question, and the Victorian Novel. Columbus: Ohio State U. Pr., 1993.

Mathewson, Rufus W. The Positive Hero in Russian Literature. 2nd ed. Stanford: Stanford U. Pr., 1975.

Mirsky, D. S. A History of Russian Literature. New York: Vintage, 1958.

Moser, Charles A. Esthetics as Nightmare: Russian Literary Theory, 1855-1870. Princeton: Princeton U. Pr., 1989.

Nabokov, Vladimir. Translator’s Foreword. By Mikhail Lermontov. A Hero of Our Time. Trans. Vladimir Nabokov in collaboration with Dmitri Nabokov. Ann Arbor: Ardis, 1988.

__________. Lectures on Russian Literature. Ed. Fredson Bowers. New York: Harvest/HBJ, 1982.

Orwin, Donna Tussing. Tolstoy’s Art and Thought, 1847-1880. Princeton: Princeton U. Pr., 1993.

Paperno, Irina. Chernyshevsky and the Age of Realism: A Study in the Semiotics of Behavior. Stanford: Stanford U. Pr., 1988.

Pereverzev, Valerian. “The Evolution of Gogol’s Art.” Gogol from the Twentieth Century. Ed. Robert A. Maguire. Princeton: Princeton U. Pr., 1974. 133-54.

Popkin, Cathy. The Pragmatics of Insignificance: Chekhov, Zoshchenko, Gogol. Stanford: Stanford U. Pr., 1993.

Riasanovsky, Nicholas Valentine. A History of Russia. New York: Oxford U. Pr., 1963.

Scotto, Peter. “Prisoners of the Caucasus: Ideologies of Imperialism in Lermontov’s “Bela”.” PMLA 107.2 (1992): 246-60.

Shklovsky, Victor. Lev Tolstoy. Trans. Olga Shartse. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1978.

Sona Stephan Hoisington, ed. and trans. Russian Views of Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin. Verse passages trans by Walter Arndt. Bloomington: Indiana U. Pr., 1988.

Stilman, Leon. “The ‘All-Seeing Eye’ in Gogol.” Gogol from the Twentieth Century. Ed. Robert A. Maguire. Princeton: Princeton U. Pr., 1974. 376-89.

Š ilbajoris, Rimvydas. Tolstoy’s Aesthetics and His Art. Columbus: Slavica, 1991.

Terras, Victor. Belinskij and Russian Literary Criticism: The Heritage of Organic Aesthetics. Madison: U. of Wisconson Pr., 1974.

Todd, William Mills III. Fiction and Society in the Age of Pushkin: Ideology, Institutions, and Narrative. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard U. Pr., 1986.

Tolstoy, Leo. Anna Karenina. Ed. George Gibian. Trans. Louise and Aylmer Maude . Norton Critical Edition. New York: Norton, 1970.

__________. What is Art? Trans. Aylmer Maude. Introd. by Vincent Tomas . Library of Liberal Arts. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1960.

Vinogradov, V. V. Gogol and the Natural School. Trans. Debra K. Erikson and Ray Parrott. 1924. Ardis Essay Series. Ann Arbor: Ardis, 1987.

All required texts have been ordered by the Labyrinth Books, unless otherwise indicated. Be sure to use the editions assigned. Translations vary widely, and it may be difficult to follow in class if you use a different version. Some of these versions include valuable historical and contextual information, which you will not find in other editions. Even if you have read some of the works already in another version, it is wise to acquire the assigned texts for the reasons stated. Abridgements are unacceptable. Some of these books may be offered in other classes. Make sure you use the editions listed for this class.

If you know or are learning Russian, you are welcome to read in the original. Some of the works on the list (particularly Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Chekhov) should be quite accessible to students in the third-year course. If you would like some advice in this regard, please see me during the office hour. Even if you read in the original, you may still wish to acquire the assigned texts for the critical material and notes.


25 September 2005