Russian Literature 1 LM. Forms, genres, and critical approaches (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Anna Giust
Anna Giust
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre (Lingue e letterature straniere) dal Sep 30, 2019 al Jan 11, 2020.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

During the course the analyses of specific topics and critical approaches related to Russian literature will be carried out. At the end of the course students will be able to: 1) gain the necessary critical knowledge to understand the literary issues focused on during the course and in particular referring to narrative and poetical forms and genres (LM37), as well as to history of relations between Russian literature and the publishing world (LM19); 2) carry out a deep and coherent textual and comparative analysis using the acquired knowledge; 3) express autonomous and complex opinions about specific moments in Russian literary history and its methodological issues.


Theatre and music theatre in 18th-Century Russia

1. Chronology of the main events in the history and culture of 18th-Century Russia. (see file «Записки из российской истории»)
2. Vocabulary in the field of theatre and music-theatre studies: tragedy, comedy, commedia dell’arte, intermezzo, opera, libretto, aria, recitativo, opera seria, opera buffa, tragédie lyrique, comédie larmoyante (sentimental drama)
3. The reign of Anna Ioannovna and the introduction of Italian opera in Russia in the 1730s.
4. The early stagings in St Petersburg: first Italian troupes coming from Dresden and the Italian company of Francesco Araja
5. Opera seria at the court of Elisabeth Petrovna: La clemenza di Tito and the role of opera seria
6. The foundation of the Russian troupe
7. A. P. Sumarokov's teatre (notably Cephalus and Procris)
8. The troupe of Giovanni Battista Locatelli and the introduction of comic opera in Russia; Araja's departure.
9. The theatre at the time of Catherine the Great: theatre buildings, companies, composers and repertoires; the shift from opera seria to opera buffa in the court celebrations; the Italian troupe disbanded and the remaining troupes (Astaritta etc.)
10. The influence of sentimental drama on Russian theatre and the birth of the Russian comic opera: subjects, roles, language.
11. The early nationalist issue
12. Texts and their presentation (seminar): Mikhail Popov's Aniuta and Ablesimov's Mel'nik as models of a genre.
13. Music folklore and comic opera
14. Ya. B. Knyazhnin's Misfortune from a Carriage and The Miser.
15. The operas by Catherine the Great: The Ill-Fated Knight and The Early Reign of Oleg.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Simon Karlinsky Russian Drama from its Beginnings to the Age of Pushkin University of California Press 1985 0520052374
Vsevolod Vsevolodskij-Gerngross Teatr v Rossii pri imperatrice Elisavete Petrovne Giperion 2003 5-89332-066-2

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam
Students will study and expose:
- two monographs indicated in the section books (Karlinsky and Vsevolodskij-Gerngross) (in Italian),
- the librettos that will be analysed during the lessons (in Russian)
- one critical essay among those indicated during the lessons and in the list (which will be updated regularly) (in the language of the essay - English or Russian).