Russian Literature for Dummies

If you want to tell the difference between Chekhov and Dostoevsky, join the course!
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  • Lectures 23
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 4/2015 English

Course Description

This course is for everyone: for those who like Russian culture and for those who know nothing about it, for those who think Russian classics wrote only about the struggling and for those who know it is such a multi-faceted diamond and an absolute must read for any educated person.

We will learn who were the poets and writers of the Golden Age (Unit I), Silver Age of the Russian literature and Modern Russian and Soviet writers and poets (Unit II). At the end of the course you may write some essays on the topics that we would have discussed in class. If you are already in possess of some literary lexis it will make the comprehension of the course easier but if not, it is not a problem: the course is made in a funny game way to be even more interesting and you will learn some curiosities that not every Russian knows!

In downloadable materials you will find some books that you should read to understand better the course. Those are the works of the writers that we discuss in class.

Why take this course? Simply because you are finally going to be able to discuss literature with your mates and actually give them some information they would never learn!

I need to alert that this short course can't embrace all the literature and poets and writers, so, to be continued. And for now, let's explore this world together!

What are the requirements?

  • You should be ready to read a lot!
  • Being familiar with some literature basics and lexis is a big plus

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Understand the essential information about Russian literature and be able to discuss it with anyone
  • Write the essays about Russian literature to make your position about one matter or another firm and precise
  • Enjoy reading with your peers and broaden your mind thanks to our lectures
  • Learn some particular facts that not every Russian knows

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is for all those who know nothing about Russian literature and for those who want to uderstand better Russian mentality
  • After completing the course you will be able to not only show your knowledge in the discussions with your peers but also become a real star of your conversations about literature and culture

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: XIX Century
Intro Lecture

The first Lecture is about, probably, the most well-known writer, Leo Tolstoy.

In this Lecture you will learn something new about his life, his works and his philosophy.

You can also download the books of the author from the attached files.

Answer the question: What background helped Tolstoy to describe so precisely the high-society reality, though he lived mostly as a peasant?

Tolstoy - Text of the lecture

The second author is Alexandr Pushkin, a very important writer and poet of Russian Golden Age of Literature.

In this Lecture we discuss his life and personal peculiarities that influenced a lot his works.

There are also some books in the Downloadable Materials for your consideration!

Answer the question: How can you describe the creative path of Pushkin?

Pushkin - Text of the Lecture

This Lecture is about Nikolay Gogol, a surrealist of Russian and Ukrainian literature, a very particular writer that made a huge impact on the ongoing literary development.

Enjoy the lecture and download the book Government inspector.

Also here you have a link to watch the old USSR series of Evenings on the Farm near Dikanka

Answer the question: What were the peculiaritites of Gogol's and did they influence his works?

Gogol - Text of the Lecture

The next Lecture focuses on Fyodor Dostoevsky, who became a writer due to the complicated life circumstances and became a new breath of fresh air for Russian Literature.

Read also some books of this incredible author!

Answer the question: How did gambling addiction caused the writing career of Dostoevsky?

Dostoevsky - Text of the Lecture

The last author of this Unit is Ivan Turgenev, a great creator of many notable works that reveal the problems of a man within society.

Enjoy your lecture and don't forget to download the books of the author!

Answer the question: What themes did Turgenev revealed while writing his novels?

Turgenev - Text of the Lecture
XIX Century
5 questions
Section 2: XX Century

The first author of this Unit is Anton Chekhov, the most important playwright and of Russian literature that made also a huge impact on the International literature with his immortal plays and short stories.

After the lesson you can read some plays of the author.

Answer the question: How can the expression of Chekhov "If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired" characterize his works?

Chekhov - Text of the Lecture

The next writer to discuss is Mikhail Bulgakov, the author of many great works, like "Master and Margarita", "Heart of a Dog" etc.

Don't forget to download the works of the author.

Answer the question: How would you describe the particular style of Bulgakov?

Bulgakov - Text of the Lecture

In this Lecture we are going to discuss the works of Boris Pasternak, an author that had to renounce to the Nobel Prize due to the complicated relationship with USSR Government, and a great poet that influenced a lot the development of Modern Russian Poetry.

Read the poems of the author after the lesson!

Answer the question: Analyze the common points between Pasternak's writing and his actual career.

Pasternak - Text of the Lecture

This Lecture is dedicated to an outstanding woman of Russian Poetry of XX Century, Anna Akhmatova. She was the relief for many women of her period, made the Russian poetry gain new features and stood strong in front of severe USSR policy against some radical poets and writers of that period.

Enjoy the lecture and don't forget to download the books related!

Answer the question: Could you say that Akhmatova was one of the first Russian Feminists? Why?

Akhmatova - Text of the Lecture

A poet "in exile", Iosif (Joseph) Brodsky was an outstanding figure of Russian and American Poetry with his sharp style and marvelous stories behind his works.

You will definitely want to read the other poems of this marvellous author!

Answer the question: How did the exile of Brodsky influence his career?

Brodsky - Text of the Lecture
XX Century
5 questions

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Instructor Biography

I'm a teacher of Italian and English languages and literature, now studying Communication science in University of Bologna. I have 5-year working experience as a translator and interpreter, 4-year working experience as a teacher. I like traveling and can't live without books.

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