Demons and Angels in Russian Literature

RUSS 0320C S01 [CRN: 15283]

The literary images of fallen angels, as well as various poetic demonologies in Russian literature extend from the medieval apocrypha, up to famous works of the twentieth-century literature, like, for example, Bulgakov's Master and Margarita or Dostoevsky's Demons. Although, the Russian literary angels are in many respects related to their Western counterparts, the apocalyptic character of Russian spiritual culture makes them in many respects unique. Examining these images, the course addresses the important questions concerning the human condition in general. Angels as one critic said, "represent something that was ours and that we have the potential to become again"; their essence is otherness. Consequently, their literary representations explore the possibilities of human existence as well as its central paradigms like, love, rebirth, mortality, or 'fallenness.' The course will analyze the images of angels and fallen angels (devils) in the works of the nineteenth and the twentieth-century Russian prose, visual art, and film - from romanticism to 'postmodernism' - in the context of the world literature and culture. Authors to be studied: Byron, Lermontov, Balzac, Dostoevskii, Sologub, Bulgakov, Nabokov, Erofeev. We will also discuss films by Tarkovskii and Wenders, Russian icons, and paintings by Vrubel. In English. Enrollment limited to 19 first year students.
Fall 2018
Credit Hours
Maximum Enrollment
Course Attributes
Primary Instructor
15:00 - 17:30 Wed - from Sep 5, 2018 to Dec 21, 2018
Exam Group Code