Seminar: The Moscow Literary Group “Sreda”
A powerhouse of young talent, the “Sreda” [Wednesday] circle met from 1899-1916 and included artists, musicians, and quite a few notable names in literature at the time, such as Ivan Bunin, Maksim Gorky, Alexander Kuprin, and Leonid Andreev. All four were instrumental in the continuation of the best traditions of Russian classical literature during a time when most of art world was pulsing with anti-realist modernism. These authors persistently carried on the realist democratic tradition of criticism and protest in their prose despite the huge popularity of avant-garde innovators like abstractionist painter Vasily Kandinsky, futurist author Vladimir Mayakovsky and ground-breaking composer Igor Stravinsky.
Enjoy classic pieces from this era that every Russian knows and every student of Russian should—Bunin’s “Gentleman from San Francisco,” Gorky’s “Birth of a Man,” Kuprin’s “Seasickness,” and Andreev’s “The Abyss”—and get a better handle on the complex artistic and literary atmosphere of the early 1900s. Final project is a 7-10 page paper that will take shape in gradual stages (brainstorming, thesis proposal, outline, rough draft, final draft) through peer review and individual consultations with the professor.
Honors credit available.