Description   |   Syllabus

Tolstoy and the Birth of Literary Realism
UC Berkeley
Spring 2011


Tolstoy, especially in War and Peace and Anna Karenina, was one of the great masters of the mid-nineteenth century realist tradition in the novel. The aim of the course is to read through the major novels, novellas, and stories of Tolstoy and some of his later political, philosophical, and religious writings. The class will be doing some readings as well in history and theory of the novel to try to get at the aims, achievements, and tensions inside that tradition in Tsarist Russia at the height of the century and as it was coming to its end.This will constitute a serious semester of reading. The format will be discussion. Students will be expected to develop and write a long essay on some aspect of Tolstoy's work. 


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1-18 Childhood, Boyhood, Youth (1853-57)

1-25 The Sebastopol Tales (1855-56)

2-1 The Cossacks (1863)

2-8 War and Peace (1863-69)

2-15 War and Peace

2-22 War and Peace

3-1 Anna Karenina (1873-77)

3-8 Anna Karenina

3-15 Anna Karenina

3-22 spring break

3-29 Confessions (1879)

4-5 Death of Ivan Ilych (1886) , Kreutzer Sonata (1890)

4-12 Master and Man (1899), Father Sergius (1898), Hadji Murad (1896-1904)

4-19 Resurrection (1901)

4-26 Resurrection


Childhood, Boyhood, Youth Penguin

The Sebastopol Sketches, Penguin

War and Peace, Pevear translation

Anna Karenina, Pevear translation

Great Short Fiction

Includes Family Happinss, The Coassacks, Death Of Ivan Ilych,

The Devil, The Kreutzer Sonata, Master and Man, Father

Sergius, Hadji Murad, Alyosha the Pot

Resurrection, Penguin

A Confession Penguin

Includes What Is Religion, Law of Love and Law

Of Violence

What Is Art, Penguin, Pvear translation

© 2021 Mark Danner