cod. 15020

Academic year 2017/18
3° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Slavistica (L-LIN/21)
Letterature straniere
Type of training activity
36 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
course unit

Learning objectives

Reading and analysis of texts as an introduction to the tragic history of the twentieth century Russian.

This approach to Russian literature texts will offer to the students a basic knowledge and understanding in the field of the Russian literary culture in the XIX century.
During the course, the student learns to
- understand the early XXth century Russian literary scene and, through the prism of the studied poetry, to grasp the historical, political, cultural and artistic panorama where it has taken that specific form;
- approach to literary texts in the original language, highlighting the formal characteristics and linking them with all the vivid polemics of the Stalinism;
find independently additional information on the topics discussed bibliography using both in print and digital material;
make judgments informed and motivated, based on a careful decoding of the text:
- refine the method of slow reading by applying it freely to other texts, exposing their interpretations in the light of the critical literature on the subject.


An elementary knowledge of Russian

Course unit content

Doctor Zhivago: a Poet's Novel in the storm of History and Revolution.

Full programme


B.L. Pasternak, Il dottor Živago, Feltrinelli, Milano (trad. consigliata P. Zveteremich)
B.L. Pasternak, Il Salvacondotto (Passigli) or Autobiografia (Feltrinelli)
B.L. Pasternak and others: texts that will be available on the course page during the course on the platform
* All the texts may be read in Russian or in English. In our library Pasternak's Opera Omnia is available.


G. Carpi, La Storia della letteratura russa II. Dalla Rivoluzione d'Ottobre a oggi, Carrocci, Roma 2016, (pages 1-260, except the chapter on emigration)Di questo libro
L. Fleishman, Pasternak, Il Mulino, Bologna
M.C. Ghidini, Figure dell'immaginario europeo: Amleto (e Ofelia) in Russia, CoLab, Parma 2014 (ebook)

Facultative or obligatory for who has not attended the course:

A. Efron, B.L. Pasternak, Le tue lettere hanno occhi. Lettere 1948-1957, Rosellina Archinto, Milano, 1987
N. Ja. Mandel'štam, L'epoca e i lupi, traduzione e note a cura di Giorgio Kraiski, Serra e Riva, Milano 1990.
B.L. Pasternak, V. Šalamov, Parole salvate dalle fiamme. Ricordi e lettere, Rosellina Archinto, Milano 2009.


M. Aucouturier, Un poète dans son temps : Boris Pasternak, Editions des Syrtes, Paris 2015.

Bibliography and
useful materials will be found on the course page on the platform Elly, during the first semester.


Bibliography and useful materials can be found on the course page on the platform Elly.

Teaching methods

Class lections with audiovisual material and oral discussion. Workshops with Russian visiting professors about Russian Poetry of the period.
During the lectures the professor will introduce the main elements of the historical and cultural context, the author's profile and the novel, using both the bibliography of the course and additional visual or textual materials, that will be ​​available on the platform Suggestions for individual path of study and analysis will be provided, to stimulate a more original and independent approach to the subject.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral examination and elective papers.
The oral examination will check
- Knowledge of texts, authors, their ideological context and formal issues of the literary period in question;
- Adequate ability to study independently, to re-elaborate personally the material learned during the course, to propose individual insights that go beyond the topics covered in the course, to solve problems decoding complex texts, and make independent judgments.
In order to verify the achievement of such knowledge and skills, oral test questions are designed to assess the knowledge, the ability of independent and original reworking of such knowledge, and the ability to apply knowledge through the analysis of the text and to extend it through connections, comparisons and contrasts.
The examination won't be considerated sufficient when the student can't demontrate a minimum understanding of the course material and the necessary ability to work autonomously with the course's content. Sufficient evaluation (18-23/30) is determined by the demonstration by the student to have learned the basic and minimum contents of the course, a sufficient level of self-preparation, ability to solve problems related to information retrieval and decoding of texts, as well as the formulation of independent judgment. Scores between 24 and -27 are assigned to the student who produces evidence of a level more than sufficient (24-25/30) or good (26-27/30) evaluation indicators listed above. Higher scores (from 28/30 to 30/30 cum laude) are awardedin presence of a very good to excellent evaluation.

Other information

To attend the course it is useful to follow the course page on the university platform: