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  1. 1. • Russian literature refers to the literature of Russia or its émigrés, and to the Russian-language literature of several independent nations once a part of what was historically Russia or the Soviet Union. • Roots of Russian literature can be traced to middle Ages, when epics and chronicles in Old Russian were composed. In the Age of enlightenment, literature had grown in importance, and from the early 1830s, Russian literature underwent an astounding golden age in poetry, prose, and drama. After the Revolution of 1917, Russian literature split into Soviet and white émigré parts. Soviet Union assured universal literacy and highly developed book printing industry, but also carried out ideological censorship.
  2. 2. • Russian authors significantly contributed almost too all known genres of the literature. Russia had five Nobel Prize in literature laureates. As of 2011, Russia was the fourth largest book producer in the world in terms of published titles. A popular folk saying claim Russians are "the world's most reading nation".
  3. 3. Early history • Old Russian literature consists of several masterpieces written in the Old Russian language (not to be confused with the contemporaneous Church Slavonic). Anonymous works of this nature include The Tale of Igor's Campaign and Praying of Daniel the Immured. Hagiographies (Russian: жития святых, zhitiya svyatykh, "lives of the saints") formed a popular genre of the Old Russian literature. Life of Alexander Nevsky offers a wellknown example.
  4. 4. Golden Age • The 19th century is traditionally referred to as the "Golden Era" of Russian literature. Romanticism permitted a flowering of especially poetic talent: the names of Vasily Zhukovsky and later that of his protégé Alexander Pushkin came to the fore. Pushkin is credited with both crystallizing the literary Russian language and introducing a new level of artistry to Russian literature.
  5. 5. • In the second half of the century Anton Chekhov excelled in writing short stories and became perhaps the leading dramatist internationally of his period
  6. 6. • Nineteenth century Russian literature perpetuated disparate ideas of suicide; it became another facet of culture and society in which men and women were regarded and treated differently. A woman could not commit the noble, heroic suicide that a man could; she would not be regarded highly or as a martyr, but as a simple human who, overcome with feelings of love gone unfulfilled and having no one to protect her from being victimized by society, surrendered herself.
  7. 7. New Realism of the 21st century • In the 21st century, a new generation of Russian authors appeared differing greatly from the postmodernist Russian prose of the late 20th century, which lead critics to speak about “new realism”.[23]Having grown up after the fall of the Soviet Union, the "new realists" write about everyday life, but without using the mystical and surrealist elements of their predecessors. • The "new realists" are writers who assume there is a place for preaching in journalism, social and political writing and the media, but that “direct action” is the responsibility of civil society.
  8. 8. Popular genres • Children's literature in Soviet Union was considered a major genre, because of its educational role. • While fairy tales were relatively free from ideological oppression, the realistic children's prose of the Stalin era was highly ideological and pursued the goal to raise children as patriots and communists
  9. 9. Themes in Russian books • Suffering, often as a means of redemption, is a recurrent theme in Russian literature. Fyodor Dostoyevsky in particular is noted for exploring suffering in works such as Notes from Undergroundand Crime and Punishment. Christianity and Christian symbolism are also important themes, notably in the works of Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and Chekhov.
  10. 10. • In the 20th century, suffering as a mechanism of evil was explored by authors such as Solzhenitsyn in The Gulag Archipelago. A leading Russian literary critic of the 20th century Viktor Shklovsky, in his book, Zoo, or Letters Not About Love, wrote, "Russian literature has a bad tradition. Russian literature is devoted to the description of unsuccessful love affairs."