Russian literature of the 19th century is among the richest, most profound, and most human traditions in the world. This course explores this tradition by focusing on four giants: Ivan Turgenev, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy, and Anton Chekhov. Their works had an enormous impact on Russian understanding of the human condition.
And, just as importantly, these works have been one of Russia's most significant exports: Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Chekhov have become part of our literary heritage. And our understanding of the novel is based in large part on the masterpieces of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, while Chekhov has defined modern notions of the short story. In this course, Knapp acquaints you with the authors, their lives and their times, and their most important works.