Russian and Russian Studies 298. Experimental Courses
Russian Sci-Fi and Dystopia
Russian literature is associated with deep philosophical novels and with dissident, anti-authoritarian Soviet literature. But most people do not know that Russian literature has a long tradition of science fiction as well. All three of these threads come together in the dystopian novel. The 19th century saw attempts to describe socialist utopias, which sparked an immediate reaction and started a dystopian tradition.
After 1917 visions of the future become a way of critiquing the Soviet Union and even to this day are used to comment on the problems Russia faces as it deals with its Soviet past. Readings will include works by Dostoevsky, Zamyatin, Bulgakov, Nabokov, Pelevin and Tolstaya.