Jun 18, 2024  
College Catalog 2022-2023 
College Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

RUSS 257 - Tolstoy’s War and Peace

In 1851, a dropout from the university, Lev Tolstoy volunteered to serve in the Caucasus, where he also launched his writing career. Later he examined Napoleon’s war with Russia in War and Peace , while gradually gaining fame for his stance against imperialist wars and violence. His doctrine of non-resistance against evil was to inspire his last piece of war writing, Hadji Murad as well as other thinkers from Gandhi to Martin Luther King. Though most of the semester will be devoted to the “non-novel,” “loose baggy monster,” War and Peace we interrogate it in the context of Tolstoy’s evolving ideas and 19th century Russia and Europe. We conclude with a close reading of Hadji Murad , Harold Bloom’s “personal touchstone for the sublime prose fiction.” While pondering Tolstoy and Russia, students are introduced to various critical approaches to literature and various reactions to Tolstoy both on page and on stage. In English. Lectures, discussion, writing, and oral presentations. Occasionally offered. (4 Credits)