TOLSTOY’S WAR AND PEACE
Instructor: Svitlana Kobets, PhD
Life Institute, The Chang School,
Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
8 Wednesdays, June 3-July 29, 2020 (no class on July 1)
masterpiece, War and Peace (1869)
defies straightforward categorization. It is a family novel, a Bildungsroman, a psychological novel as
well as a historical novel. In this class we will explore a wide scope of its
themes, which embrace the meaning of human existence, family values, one’s
spiritual quest, love and selfhood. We will approach this novel through the
close reading, which will go parallel to several background mini-lectures
presenting the nineteenth-century European and Russian history, Russian culture
as well as Tolstoi the artist, religious thinker, and philosopher.
We will read War and Peace in Peaver/Volokhonsky
translation (Vintage Classics, 2008). Assignment for the first class: Vol. 1,
Part 1, pages 3-111.
Harrold Bloom (ed.) Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Chalsea, 1991.
George R. Clay, Tolstoy's Phoenix : from method to meaning in War and peace. Northwestern University Press, 1998.
Harry John Mooney, Tolstoy's Epic Vision: A Study of War and Peace and Anna Karenina. University of Tulsa, 1968.
Laura Jepsen, From Achilles to Christ: The Myth of the Hero in Tolstoy's War and Peace. Tallahassee,1978
Kathryn B. Feuer, Cornell University Press, 2008.
Donna Tussing Orwin, Tolstoy’s Art and Thought, 1847-1880. Princeton University Press, 1993.