Russian Literature 3 (2017/2018)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Stefano Aloe
Stefano Aloe
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Semester 1 dal Oct 2, 2017 al Jan 20, 2018.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course fulfills the three-year path, which points to the acquisition of the basic concepts in literary and cultural history of Russia. Therefore, it is connected with the courses helding in the previous years, adding notions and examining more carefully the topics regarding literary movements and works in Russia. The final aim is to give the students those historical and methodological knowledge that can let them be able to read analytically and to interpret a text relating it to its context. At the end of the course, students must recognize the basic mechanisms of history and literature in Russia during the last two centuries, they must be able to carry out a textual and comparative analysis, and to value, showing an autonomous judgement, the historical, artistical and cultural facts studied during the course and included in the programme.


«October’s literature and utopia: in search of new forms for a new reality»

The October Revolution (1917) is not only a historic break with a world impact. It was preceded, prepared and accompanied by complex philosophical and artistic activities but, among them, the role of literature was essential in creating the idea of the “new man” (idea that will soon be turned into that one of the “soviet man”) and the strategies to read and interpret the changed reality. Between utopia and distopia, realism and avantgarde the years following the Revolution are some of the richest in artistic experimentations. Each artist had the clear conscience of the necessity to find new adequate forms for an irretrievably changed conscience.
Among the topics taken into consideration: the cultural climate and literature during the Silver Age; literature and revolution; the battle reportage and the new poetry; narrative experiments; Futurism and Proletarian Art; poetical visions of the Revolution; film and the revolution of the editing.

An anthology of selected texts will be provided at the beginning of the course in the form of lecture notes. Other materials will be uploaded on the e-learning platform.
Besides, every student must read and study the following works:

o Aleksandr Blok, I dodici. Gli Sciti (Александр Блок, Двенадцать. Скифы)
o Isaak Babel’, L’armata a cavallo (Исаак Бабель, Конармия)
o almeno uno dei seguenti romanzi:
• Michail Bulgakov, La guardia bianca (Михаил Булгаков, Белая гвардия)
• Andrej Platonov, Čevengur (Андрей Платонов, Чевенгур)
• Boris Pil’njak, L’anno nudo (Борис Пильняк, Голый год)
• Konstantin Vaginov, Le opere e i giorni di Svistunov (Константин Вагинов, Труды и дни Свистунова)

- Киноправда (1922-25), реж. Дз. Вертов
- Аэлита (1924), реж. Я. Протазанов
- Броненосец Потемкин (1925), реж. С. Эйзенштейн
- Октябрь (1927), реж. С. Эйзенштейн

Storia della letteratura russa, diretta da E. Etkind, G. Nivat, I. Serman e V. Strada. Il Novecento, Vol.II, Torino, Einaudi, 1989.
G. Struve, Storia della letteratura sovietica, Milano, Garzanti, 1977
V. Strada, Tradizione e rivoluzione nella letteratura russa, Torino, Einaudi, 1969

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
E. Etkind, G. Nivat, I. Serman e V. Strada (a cura di) Storia della letteratura russa, Il Novecento, Vol.II Einaudi, Torino 1990
G. Struve Storia della letteratura sovietica Garzanti, Milano 1977
V. Strada Tradizione e rivoluzione nella letteratura russa Einaudi, Torino 1980

Assessment methods and criteria

the aim of the exam is to verify:
- The acquisition by the students of the basic space-temporal and conceptual coordinates learned in the course
- The appropriate knowledge concerning the topic and the instruments analysed during the course and/or planned in the programme
- The ability to value independently and with a full knowledge of the situation the peculiar historical, social and cultural phenomena of Russia, above all those ones concerning the period analysed in the course.

The exam will be about the contents included in the programme and about the literary, artistic and historic cultural materials analysed during the course.

Methods for conducting:
The exam is oral and is an interview during which the student must present with precision and showing the ability to judge independently about what has been learned during the course and the individual preparation. The programme is the same for both the attending and non-attending students: the last ones can find the necessary materials to study in the programme, in the lecture notes and on the e-learning internet page; they could ask the professor for additional material or explanations during the office hours if needed.

Arrangements for evaluating:
Single vote in thirties.