SLA195H1: Literature and Painting in Russia and the West


What makes literature ‘visible’? How do the verbal and the visual coexist? This seminar explores the relationship between words and images, texts and pictures through history, in Russia and the West. Special attention will be paid to the figure of the artist. Is it a writer’s alter ego, the incarnation of creativity, or just a character among others? Literary texts (mainly short stories) from Balzac and Gogol to Chekhov and O. Henry, Maugham and Bunin, Nabokov and Camus will be studied along with the paintings of some major 19th-20th century artists. The comparative dimension of the course will help students contextualize Russian literature and think about its relationship with the Western canon. We will also watch some 21st century films about artists (such as Julie Taymor’s Frida [2002], Milos Forman Goya’s Ghosts [2006], and Mike Leigh Mr. Turner [2014]). All texts will be in English. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Creative and Cultural Representations (1)