Keys to Russian Literature

Examination task: I. From the list of topics provided below choose one story from the early and 19th – century literature and another story from the 20th -century as topics for you two final examination essays. Write your two examinations essays on these topics. If you want to write one of these two essays on the two stories or poems by the same author, you may also do so (not required). Your second essay must, obviously, be on the different author from the different time period. Requirements for each essay: II. In each of your two essays, you must answer the following questions: – Which period of Russian history does this story or poem belong (19th or 20th century)? – What is/are the main theme/-s of this story/ poem? What are the ideas discussed by the author in it? (Note: Do not retell the story; analyze its topics and ideas instead); – Name the protagonist (s) and other characters of this story/poem. Analyze their relations. Be specific: use quotations, if necessary; – Elaborate on the story’s/poem’s structure by outlining the most important components in its beginning, development of action, culmination, and in the end; – Provide your conclusions on this story/poem. Why is this work worth reading today? III. Essay length: minimum three – maximum five pages for each essay. The total number of pages – minimum six, maximum ten for the two essays, double-spaced, Time New Roman 12, standard margins. IV. The structure of each of your two essays must include the introduction, main part, conclusion, and may also include a select bibliography. V. The content of your essays must adhere to the following requirements. Your essays must be well-written, with clear arguments and use of quotations, and must represent your own analysis of the stories or poems included in this exam. In the introduction, you should unfold an argument in which you make a claim about the assigned topic/question. In the main part, you continue with explanation of your reasons for believing your claim, and support (back up) your reasons with evidence in the form of quotations from the course texts. You are not required to use any outside sources to write your essays, but if you do consult a secondary source (e.g. for historical information), be sure to cite it, preferably in Chicago format: . The language in which you write need not be excessively formal – in fact, the closer you can stick to your “natural,” RUSS 155, Fall 2020, Final Examination Essays 2 everyday voice, the better – but it should be carefully proofread to make sure that it says what you want it to say; that your sentences are clear and grammatically sound; that the logic of your transitions from sentence to sentence and from paragraph to paragraph is made clear to the reader (who should never have to read your mind); and that it conforms to the basic expectations of standard written English. In the end, you should lay out your conclusions about what you have written, including the statement on how this topic is related to other readings completed in this course.


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Topics for the Final Examination Essays Early and 19th century literature: 1. “The Tale of Igor,” pp. 11-20. 2. “Boris and Gleb. The Narrative and Passion and Encomium of the Holy Martyrs Boris and Gleb,” 21-32; 3. Gavrila Derzhavin, “Felicity,” 91-98; 4. Nikolai Karamzin, Poor Liza, 104-117. 5. Aleksander Pushkin, “The Bronze Horseman,” 118-131; 6. Aleksander Pushkin, “The Queen of Spades,” 236-258; 7. Mikhail Lermontov, “Bela,” pp. 26-44 (Course Materials – Texts – 155 Coursepack) 8. Mikhail Lermontov, “Taman,” from A Hero of Our Time, 136-146; 9. Nikolai Gogol, “The Overcoat,” 259-284; 10. Nikolai Gogol, “The Nose,” pp. 45-55 (Course Materials – Texts – 155 Coursepack); 11. Ivan Turgenev, “Bezhin Meadow,” 285-302; 12. Fedor Dostoevsky, “A Meek Woman: A Fantastic Story,” 303-337; 13. Fedor Dostoevsky, “The Dream of a Ridiculous Man. A Fantastic Story,” 71-83 (Course Materials – Texts – 155 Coursepack); 14. Nikolai Leskov, “Lefty,” 338-367; 15. Leo Tolstoy, “Holstomer: The Story of a Horse,” 368-399; 16. Leo Tolstoy, “Three Deaths,” 65-70, (Course Materials – Texts – 155 Coursepack) ,…….. 20th -century literature: 17. Anton Chekhov, “The Lady with a Lapdog,” pp. 407-421; 18. Isaak Babel, “The King”, 466-472; 19. Ilya Il’f and Evgeny Petrov. From The Twelve Chairs, 474-484; 20. Daniil Kharms, choose and write on any two – or more – stories from the following list: “The Drawback,” “The Plummeting Old Women,” “A Sonnet,” “Pushkin and Gogol,” “Mashkin Killed Koshkin,” “There Once Was a Man,” “The Red-Haired Man,” “An Encounter,” pp.106-108 (Course Materials – Texts – 155 Coursepack); 21. Mikhail Sholokhov. From Virgin Soil Upturned. Chapter 7, Book 1, ARL, 485-489; 22. Fedor Abramov, “Wooden Horses,” 529-552; 23. Vladimir Nabokov, “Spring in Fialta,” pp. 109-117 (Course Materials – Texts – 155 Coursepack); 24. Russian 20th -Century Poetry: Choose one or more poets studied in this course: Aleksandr Blok, “Puppet Show,” 438; Vladimir Mayakovsky, “Listen,” 443-444; Boris Pasternak, “Hamlet” from his novel Doctor Zhivago, 525; Osip Mandelstam, “We live without feeling,” 504; Sergei Esenin, “Farewell, my friend, farewell…” 473; Anna Akhmatova, “The Grey-Eyed King,” 441; “Requiem,” pp. 118-128 (Course Materials – Texts – 155 Coursepack); Marina Tsvetaeva, “I asked the mirror for a glimpse….” 445- 446, “Verses about Moscow,” 447-448; 25. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago (Course Materials- Texts); 26. Victor Pelevin, “Nika” (Course Materials- Texts).

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