Chekhov and the Russian Short Story (LIT2272.01)

Alexandar Mihailovic

Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) transformed the genre of the short story into a polished mirror for reflecting the dramatic shifts in Russia life at the cusp of the twentieth century. Chekhov’s short stories reflect the larger stories that culminated in the Revolution of 1917: the emancipation of women, the compensation of families freed from serfdom in 1861, and the struggles against rural poverty, illiteracy, and accelerated industrialization. We will examine Chekhov’s innovative reshaping of the short story from its earlier configuration in Russian literature—as a vehicle for either social realism, or uncanny urban folklore—into a kind of writing that was as much a photographic image of the moment, as it was an access point onto a psychologically realistic mode of writing that was characteristic of the Russian novel. We will consider the antecedents to Chekhov’s short stories in the fiction of Gogol, Lermontov and Turgenev, and trace his legacy up to twenty-first century political authors such as Liudmilla Petrushevskaya.

Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 4
M 6:30pm - 8:30pm; Th 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency:
This course is categorized as Four Credit, Literature, 2000, Alexandar Mihailovic, Monday and/or Thursday Afternoons, All courses.