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RUSS 280 Notes 4/19/16

by: Julia Lensch

RUSS 280 Notes 4/19/16 Russ 280

Marketplace > University of South Carolina > Russian > Russ 280 > RUSS 280 Notes 4 19 16
Julia Lensch

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These notes cover the lecture on 4/19/16. Enjoy!
Intro to Russian Civilization
Prof. Kalb
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Julia Lensch on Tuesday April 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Russ 280 at University of South Carolina taught by Prof. Kalb in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Intro to Russian Civilization in Russian at University of South Carolina.


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Date Created: 04/19/16
Glasnot, perestroika, and the end of the Soviet Union, Tatiana Tolstaya, "Sleepwalker in a Fog," Film excerpt: Little Vera  Late Soviet Leaders o Brezhnev dies 1982 o Then Andropov and Chernenko o Mikhail Gorbachev comes to power in 1985  Hugely significant  They hate him in Russia, but everywhere else they thought he was amazing  Committed communist  Wants to reform the system o Important policies:  Perestroika => restructuring; take away privileges  Glasnost => "openness" "voiceness" = hearing opinions/free speech; you are allowed to complain; blame Gorbachev when people don't stop talking o Gorbachev starts losing control of the country  While Mikhail Gorbachev was in charge of Russia... o Loses control of country and of East European satellite nations o People are protesting (free speech) o 1986 Chernobyl disaster  Nuclear reactor blew (in Ukraine)  Soviet Government denied anything was wrong  No one knew of the nuclear reactor breach  Word got out and people believed the government was poisoning them; government cover up became a huge outrage o New and shocking cultural content  1988 film Little Vera o 1989 Communism collapses in Eastern Europe  Gorbachev lets this happen – he doesn't send in tanks or soldiers o 1990 Party's monopoly on power in Soviet Union rescinded o 1991 End of Soviet Union  Hugely popular in US, reviled in Russia  People are confused  Where is Russia going next; who are we?  Transition from Gorbachev to Boris Yeltsin o Yeltsin was Gorbachev ally who then became opponent o Elected President of Russian Republic in June 1991 despite Gorbachev's opposition o August 1991 defended Gorbachev from coup by hardliners in government opposed to Gorbachev's reforms o November 1991 bans Communist activities in Russia o December 1991 with Ukrainian and Belorussian leaders dissolves Soviet Union and creates Commonwealth of Independent States o December 25, 1991 Gorbachev resigns  Soviet Union is gone  Yeltsin gets old and decrepit o He nominates Putin  Yelstin's Russia, 1991-1999 o Transition to capitalism: "shock economics"  Market economy  People in streets selling everything they own to get money  People in dumpsters looking for food o Poverty, inflation, huge corruption, disillusionment o Incredible disparity of wealth  Tatiana Tolstaya o Born in Leningrad 1951 o Great grand-niece of Leo Tolstoy o Studied classics, then worked in publishing o Literary debut 1983 o Collection On the Golden Porch came out 1987, international sensation  Writes about Putin and what is going on in the world o Divides time between Moscow and US  "Sleepwalker in a Fog" o Tolstaya prizes style over plot o Revels in language o Compared to Chekhov o Became a writer specifically to explore the Russian language o Certain themes that she returns to over and over again o Sleepwalker in a Fog  Chaotic in transitions  Very internal  Obsession with maps and Australia, fiancé's Papa, and Aunt Rita  Geography is this surreal response to the fact that at this time, maps are being rewritten (no one knows their identity)  General disorientation of a sleepwalker in a fog resembles how people are feeling  Written like it was in a dream; nothing is making sense  This woman looks like his deceased Aunt Rita  Aunt Rita was arrested and then he didn't talk about her again, he just silently mourned her death  He decides that he wants to figure out a way to remember people  Metaphor in the sleepwalker in the fog => civilians of Russia  Early post-Soviet Russian Literature o Formerly forbidden themes flourished o Dissolution of empire, life expectancy down, huge environmental problems, despair, lack of meaning o This is why Putin is so popular, he restored faith and happiness and purpose in lives o One Russian critic at the time: "It is no longer the Gulag, but Russia herself, galling apart at the seams, that serves as a metaphor for life."


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