COMP 257 Spring 2015 Chekhov and His Time (W)

Cross Listed as RUSS256
Anton Chekhov's influence throughout the world is hard to overestimate: he has been credited with forever redefining the way people write stories and act in plays, and with conveying universal lessons about art to an international audience. At the same time, Chekhov is very much a product of his own time and place, turn-of-the-century Russia. This course will venture to reconcile the universal and the Russian Chekhov. The course will consist of three parts. We will begin by analyzing the development of Chekhov┬┐s short stories from the early 1880s to the late 1890s, examining not only how they work, but also what they have to tell us about living deeply and well. In the second part of the course, we will contextualize Chekhov in his own milieu, looking at how his literary works address the most discussed social and philosophical questions of his time. We will conclude the course with three of Chekhov's mature plays--Seagull, Uncle Vanya, and The Cherry Orchard--analyzing how the plays recycle the situations, characters, and language of Chekhov's earlier stories and assessing Chekhov's debt to and influence on the Russian theater of his time, especially his complex relationship with Stanislavsky. Assignments will combine traditional literary analysis with more creative interpretations. Students will write their own Chekhovian stories and perform one of Chekhov's short plays of their choice.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: participation (30%), Chekhovian story (20%), midterm (20%), final paper (30%)
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Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: Russian and Comparative Literature majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division I,Writing Intensive
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Enrollment Limit: 19
Expected Enrollment: 12
Class Number: 3181
COMP 257 - 01 (S) SEM Chekhov and His Time (W) Division 1: Languages and the ArtsWriting Intensive Yuliya V. Ladygina
MR 1:10 PM-2:25 PM Hollander 158 3181
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