Academic year
2017/2018 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LM3070 (AF:231649 AR:139724)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Course year
The course, titled “The Russian Revolution of October 1917 and literature”, aims on the one hand at broadening the student’s knowledge of the Revolution and its crucial importance in Russian history, on the other it aims to encourage the understanding of the historical and social conditions which led to the Revolution. The course will enhance the students’ ability to use the knowledge on historical and social conditions to better understand the literary and cultural phenomena of the age. The course’s aim is to relate historical events and social dynamics to a broad scope of artistic phenomena, focusing both on artistic theories and on literary movements and institutions which came into being after the birth of the USSR. Students are expected to acquire independence of judgment concerning texts produced in the historical and literary period between WWI and the mid 1930s. After thorough study of the texts of the period, students are expected to be able to dissert on them adequately, highlighting the crucial aspects of form and content. By following this course and through the knowledge of the specific bibliographic sources, in print and online, students will gain interpretative instruments and will develop learning skills which will allow them to study the artistic and literary phenomena of this period within the context of the XX century in an autonomous manner.
Students are required to have a B2 knowledge of Russian language. Knowledge of the principal events and social issues of the last three centuries of Russian history is desirable.
As guideline, the course’s syllabus will focus on the following topics: the two revolutions of 1917; the years during the civil war and war communism; the different positions of intellectuals concerning the revolution; the first wave of Russian emigration; the new literary institutions; the “old rules” and “new objectives” in literature during the first two decades after the Revolution.
PRIMARY LITERATURE (the attending student must choose 5 of the texts below, motivating his choice):
- Babel’ I., L’armata a cavallo (trad. di R. Poggioli, prefazione di V. Strada). Torino : Einaudi, 2009
- Belyj, A. Cristo è risorto (trad. e introduzione di Cesare G. De Michelis). Milano : Ceschina, 1969
- Bulgakov M., La guardia bianca (trad. e cura di S. Prina). Milano : Feltrinelli, 2011
- Fadeev A., La disfatta (trad. di G. Langella). Torino : Einaudi, 1967
- Forš, O., Il vascello folle (trad. di C. D’Audino, prefazione di M. Colucci). Lucarini : Roma, 1991.
- Gor’kij, Maksim. Pensieri intempestivi : 1917-1918 (testi raccolti e annotati da G. Ermolaev; prefazione di B. Suvarin). Milano : Jaca Book, 1978
- Majakovskij Vl., 150.000.000, nel vol. 5 delle Opere (o nell’edizione Editori riuniti, Roma oppure nell’edizione PGreco, Milano)
- Pil’njak B. L’anno nudo (trad. di P. Zveteremich, prefazione di C. G. De Michelis). Torino : UTET 2008
- Rozanov, V. L’apocalissi del nostro tempo. Milano : Adelphi, 1979
- Šolochov M., Racconti del Don (trad. di A. Villa). Roma : Editori riuniti, 1962
- Zamjatin, E. Noi (trad. di A. Niero). Roma : Voland, 2015

The student will refer to the following for the historical background of the period:
Graziosi, A. L’Unione Sovietica 1914-1991. Bologna : Il mulino, 2011 (pp. 23-127).
A literary context will be provided by:
- Strada, V. “La rivoluzione e la letteratura”, in Storia della letteratura russa. Il Novecento. II. La rivoluzione e gli anni Venti. Torino : Einaudi, 1990, pp. 5-31.
- Storia della civiltà letteraria russa, diretta da M. Colucci e R. Picchio, vol. II. Il Novecento. Torino : UTET 1997, pp. 201-253, 271-317, 328-395.
Extra material will be provided in electronic format.

Non attending students will be expected to study the same program as those attending the course. However, the must chose 8 of the main texts of which above+Tzvetan Todorov "L'arte nella tempesta. L'avventura di poeti, scrittori e pittori nella rivoluzione russa", Milano: Garzanti, 2017. Non-attenders may negotiate an alternative program with the Professor for motivated reasons at least three months before the exam session.
Students will sit for an oral exam (in Italian) testing the following: a clear understanding of the general evolution of the history and literature in the first thirty years of the XX century in Russia (25%); the principle biographical and literary events of the authors of the texts they have read (25%); an in-depth understanding of the set texts and their context (50%).
Students enrolled in the Science of Language Degree may choose from this Module or Module 1 of the same course. Whether they attend both modules or only the second one, the students are required to be presents at the first lecture of the semester for extra information on the syllabus.
The cycle of lectures of mod. 1 and mod. 2 are held one after the other, respectively on the first and second half of the semester .
Information for the students enrolled in the module of History of Russian Culture: the course of History of Russian Culture (second year) is designed on the course of Russian Literature 1 module 2 (first year). The students which have a justified reason for having to sit for both Russian Literature LM001X (12 credits) and History of Russian Culture LM3280 (6 credits) in the same academic year must explain their condition to the professor in charge at the start of the second semester and must agree on an alternative syllabus at least 3 months before the exam.
  • Course with sustainable contents
  • University credits of sustainability: 6
  • Lecture notes, material for reference or for self-assessment available online or as e-book
  • Use of open-source software
Last update of the programme: 06/02/2018