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Foreign Languages and Literatures

Russian 290 - Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know: Heroes and Heroines of Russian Literature

October 31, 2012

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What is a hero?  How and why do the travails of a fictional character enthrall us, and how do they help us make sense of the fictional world they inhabit – and ours? 

In this course, we will look at the complicated, maddening, irresistible men and women who are at the heart of one of the richest literary traditions in the world – the Russian tradition.  We will interrogate the idea of the hero by looking at the way the hero functions in key novelistic texts of the 19th and 20th centuries – we will look at Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, Lermontov’s A Hero of Our Time, Dostoevsky’s Notes from The Underground, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Zamiatin’s We and Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago. 

No prerequisites.  Taught in English

Spring 2013

TTH 1:50-3:20 pm

Fulfills the International Studies Requirement, counts toward the Russian Minor and Foreign Languages major (if Russian is one of your languages).

For more information, please contact Prof. Pyatkevich at


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