abstract « A journey through Russian literature »

« A journey through XIXth and XXth century Russian literature »

Catherine Dalipagic.

 

My lecture is entitled: « A journey through XIXth and XXth century Russian literature ».

I  invite you to a journey going from the Middle Ages through modern times.

At the beginning of the XIXth Century, Russia was seen as bacward although throughout the XVIIIth century Russian writers and noble classes looked to the West and were very much influenced by European culture, especially after the reign of Peter the Great and the foundation of the very westernized city of S-Petersburg.

The XIXth century marks a shift of influences as Russian literature  becomes part ot European literary culture and enriches European litterature with its humanistic approach expressed by reknowned writers such  as Alexander Pushkin, Nikolaj Gogol, LeoTolstoy (with his two masterpieces War and Peace and Anna Karenina), Fyodor Dostoyevsky (with such novels as Crime and Punishment or the Brothers Karamazov). Another XIX th century writter who also made much of an impression abroad with his short stories and plays is Tchekhov.

The XX th century Russian literature is very rich despite or maybe thanks to the fact that Russia went through tremendous and numerous social and political upheaval (two World Wars, three Revolutions, periods of frost and thaw in the political and cultural world, the collapse of USSR and, closer to us, the Afghan and Chechen wars). All these events had an impact on  literary works .

Russia’s XXth century’s literature has brought to the world five Nobel prizes: B.unin, (1933) Pasternak (1958), Sholokhov (1965) Solzhenitsyn (1970), the latter being famous by resisting dictatorship and the poet Brodsky (1987) .

After the collapse of Soviet Union in 1991, Russian literature shedded its rigid ideological frame and has ever since shown remarkable liveliness and fecondity.

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