Posted by: gdevi | June 11, 2013

English 499: Classics of Russian Literature in Translation

Hello, English 499 IS students:

We will get the D2L site set up only in the fall, but since this is a reading intensive course, here is our preliminary reading list. You might want to get a head start. I will post all of this information plus the syllabus on the D2L site when it becomes available.

I checked and all of these required texts are available there pretty cheap. Based on my familiarity with multiple translations, I am recommending certain specific translations, not just for readability, but also for how the translators give you a sense of the magnificent prose style of these writers.

Required Texts

Nikolai Gogol, The Nose, The Overcoat. Recommended translation: By Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, Vintage Classics.

Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse.  Recommended translation: James Falen, Oxford University Press World Classics.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment. Recommended translation: Constance Garnett, Dover Thrift Editions. The Brothers Karamazov is over 800 pages long. We might not have time to read it for the course, but, I highly recommend the novel, if you want to read it for fun. Buy the Constance Garnett translation.

Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons (or Children). Recommended translation: By Constance Garnett, Everyman’s Library.

Anton Chekhov, Anton Chekhov’s Short Stories. Recommended translation: Ralph Matlaw et al. Norton Critical Edition.

I am making reading packets for historical and critical materials on our writers, Russian fairytales and folktales, and readings by Leo Tolstoy, Mikhail Lermontov, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Mikhail Sholokhov, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Boris Pasternak, Osip Mandelstam, Anna Akhmatova, Yevgeny Samyatin, Bella Akhmadulina et al.

Have a lovely summer, and see you in September!

Here are a couple of pieces of Russian music, one of the most beautiful musical heritages in the world. Like its literature and painting, Russian music is distinct in its vigorous and direct emotional power. Listen to Khachaturian’s Lullaby — you can hear the mother’s or father’s voice, can’t you? Very beautiful piece.

Dmitri Shostakovich, Waltz #2

Aram Khachaturian, Lullaby


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