About M.E. Sharpe
Sharpe Reference
Sharpe Online Ref.
Sharpe Focus
Author Guidelines
Subject Catalogs
Catalog Request
Library Rec. Form
North Castle Books

An Anthology of Russian Literature from Earliest Writings to Modern Fiction: Introduction to a Culture, with interactive multimedia CD
Edited by: Nicholas Rzhevsky

Cloth ISBN: Not Available Paper ISBN: 978-0-7656-1246-5
Cloth Price Paper Price
N/A USD: $45.95
Discount Code:
Discount Code:
Available to all countries
Information: 608pp. Photographs, bibliography, resource guides, CD-ROM.
Publication Date: December 2004.  


Description: Russia has a rich, huge, unwieldy cultural tradiiton. How to grasp it? This pathbreaking classroom reader was designed to respond to that problem. The literary works selected for inclusion in this anthology introduce the core cultural and historical themes of Russian civilization. Each text has resonance throughout the arts--in Rublev's icons, Meyerhold's theater, Mousorgsky's operas, Prokofiev's symphonies, Fokine's choreography, and Kandinsky's paintings. The reader is supported by introductions, helpful annotations, bibliographies of resources, and a companion multimedia CD that brings the anthology's cultural references to life.

Intended for courses in Russian literature, Russian culture and civilization, and comparative literature, the anthology:
--introduces Russian literature from the Igor Tale to village prose
--integrates literature into the larger fabric of history, culture, and the arts
--presents both new and classic translations, with helpful annotations
--elucidates historical and cultural contexts and thematic continuities and variations
--features useful rsource guides to related works in all media
--includes a multimedia CD with a background narrative, historical and biographical information, and vivid excerpts from central works or Russian film, music, dance, theater, and graphic arts

Selected Contents:

I. Cultural Beginnings 1. The Tale of Igor 2. Anonymous, "Boris and Gleb" 3. "The Life of Alexis, Holy Man of God"
II. The Emerging Self 4. Avvakum. The Life Of Avvakum
III. The Search for Identity 5. Gavrila Derzhavin, "Felicity" 6. "The Firebird and Princess Vasilisa" 7. Nikolai Karamzin, "Poor Liza" 208. Alexander Pushkin, "The Bronze Horseman" 9. Mikhail Lermontov, "Borodino" 10. Mikhail Lermonotov, "Taman"
IV. Subversions of Secularization 11. Alexander Pushkin, Boris Godunov 12. Alexander Pushkin, "The Queen of Spades" 13. Nikolai Gogol, "The Overcoat" 14. Ivan Turgenev, "Bezhin Meadow" 15. Fedor Dostoevsky, "The Meek One" 16. Nikolai Leskov, "Lefty" 17. Leo Tolstoy, "Holstomer"
V. New Aesthetic Languages 18. Anton Chekhov, "The Lady with the Lapdog" 19. Anton Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard , Act One 20. Alexander Blok, "The Puppet Show" 21. Anna Akhmatova, "The Gray-Eyed King" 22. Vladimir Mayakovsky, "Listen!" 23. Marina Tsvetaeva, "I ask the mirror for a glimpse..." 24. Marina Tsvetaeva, "Verses about Moscow" 25. Valery Briusov, "Barely a Tenth" 26. Andrei Bely, from Petersburg: "The Escape"
VI. Thresholds: Soviet Culture and Beyond 27. Isaak Babel, "The King" 28. Sergei Esenin, "Farewell, my friend, farewell" 29. Ilf and Petrov, from Twelve Chairs: "The Sword and the Plow" 30. Mikhail Sholokhov, Virgin Soil Upturned , Ch. 7, Bk. 1 31. Mikhail Zoshchenko, "Crime and Punishment" 32. Osip Mandelstam, "We live without feeling..." 33. Anna Akhmatova, "The Last Toast" 34. Daniil Kharms, "Makarov and Peterson" 35. Chapayev Anecdotes 36. Mikhail Bulgakov, from The Master and Margarita: "Black Magic and Its Exposure" 37. Boris Pasternak, "Hamlet" 38. Vladimir Vysotsky, "Morning Exercise" 39. Fedor Abramov, "Wooden Horses"

Comment(s): "The multimedia CD provides a valuable opportunity for the student to see the complex ways in which cultural texts circulate in Russian society. Its multi-referentiality considerably expands the student's intellectual access to key themes, articulated in a broad range of media and stylistic registers." -- Nancy Condee, University of Pittsburgh

"The voiceover and illustrations blend geography, history, politics, art, architecture, and major literary figures and major works in a dense, visually attractive and varied fabric (with portraits, stills, maps, movie clips, etc.)." -- Caryl Emerson, Princeton University

"An astonishing anthology. ... A vivid, diversified introduction to one of the world's most provocative cultures." -- Caryl Emerson, Princeton University

"Strikes a good balance between 'Russianness' and accessibility to an American reader." -- Victor Terras, Brown University

"A splendid introduction. ... Highly original and appealing." -- Vladimir Alexandrov, Yale University

"As a teacher of Russian culture, I was pleased to find that Professor Rzhevsky's choice of literary texts is very sound; his volume contains most of the items that I have been assigning as reserved library reading or in xerox packets. ... The choice of literary texts is excellent. The introductory essays are interdisciplinary and wide-ranging in scope." -- Maria Carlson, The University of Kansas

"I used Russia and Western Civilization (along with Rzhevsky's Anthology of Russian Literature with CD) in our Introduction to Russian and Eurasian Studies. It was a very successful choice for the course. The chapters cover the most important issues in Russian history and culture in a way that is both accessible and engaging for students, and offer an excellent basis for class discussion. The two books complement each other very well and together provide a great way to introduce students to Russian culture." -- Scott Kenworthy, Miami University of Ohio

Review(s): "Provides an introduction to a vast national culture, covering the 10th to the 20th centuries. ... The range of selections in this ambitious book is thoughtful, the introductions to the sections are well written and researched, and each selection is followed by a bibliography listing primary and secondary sources as well as related works in other media (opera, painting, architecture, etc.). ... Recommended for reference collections." -- Library Journal

"One of the most comprehensive anthologies of Russian literature in English ever published, in terms of its chronological span and inclusion of genres." -- British East-West Journal

"It will undoubtedly prove popular for college cultural studies courses throughout America, and should also prove useful for the many comparable university courses that have arisen in Britain over the past two decades. ... The selection was made largely, though not entirely, on the basis of how much cultural resonance each work or excerpt contained, and the result is refreshingly different from the many repetitive anthologies of hallowed favourites. ... Its inventive and at times ingenious intertextuality could provide stimulation not only for its principal student audience but their teachers also. ... A vividly fresh and individual yet broad introduction to the rich panoply of Russian culture." -- Europe-Asia Studies

"Rzhevsky's Anthology, now with a companion CD-ROM titled Thresholds to Russian Culture, will be a welcome sight for the many teachers who use this volume in the classroom. ... a great contribution to the art and science of teaching Russian cultural and literary history to the students of the English-speaking world. ... The new companion CD-ROM ... is essentially a multi-media version of Rzhevsky's introductory essays. ... a sampling of the 'inter-representational resonance' of the anthology's texts. ... The segment on 'The Tale of Igor' is a particularly rich example of what one can do with the technology: excerpts from Borodin's Prince Igor, video of the Bolshoi troupe performing Fokine's ballet, portraits of Diaghilev, Fokine, and others, and examples of visual art inspired by the Tale accompany Westphalen's narrative." -- Slavic and East European Journal

Book Subjects
Exam Request
Award Winners
Forthcoming Books
New Releases