This course examines the works of Russia’s great modernist writer, Isaak Babel’ (1894-1940). His chronicle of the bitter and bloody Polish-Soviet war, Red Cavalry, secured Babel’s early fame, and he confirmed this early promise in boisterous tales of Jewish gangsters (Odessa Stories), in dramas and films, and in his poignant, funny, and beautiful “Autobiographical” stories of his Odessa childhood. Babel’s murder at the hands of the Soviet secret police, on false charges of espionage, cut short one of the most original voices in 20th century Russian literature.
Examines the greatest authors and masterpieces of Russian literature, including Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov. All readings, discussions, and assignments in English.