ONLINE SEMINAR
February 16 | The Russian Short Story: Gogol and Chekhov

C$ 350.00

Nikolai Gogol and Anton Chekhov are not only Russia’s greatest short story writers, but also two of the world’s most highly regarded and influential practitioners of the genre.

Dostoevsky said, perhaps apocryphally, “We all came out of Gogol’s ‘Overcoat.’” Without a doubt, Nabokov called “The Overcoat” “the greatest Russian short story ever written.” In this masterpiece, in “The Nose,” and in other stories, the unimaginable and the mundane switch places. The resulting disorientation – for the reader if not for the characters – unsettles our assumptions about what it is that makes us human. Events are charged with meaning and nonetheless evade interpretation.

Chekhov shares with Gogol a sensibility both tragic and absurd. Like Gogol’s stories, Chekhov’s are less concerned with plot than with the evocation of a mood, characterized more by suggestion than dramatic action. In “The Lady with the Little Dog,” “Gooseberries,” “Rothschild’s Violin,” and other stories, the precise detail with which Chekhov renders the practical and spiritual crises of his characters gives his work its quiet, enthralling power. “You are right,” Chekhov wrote “to demand that an author take conscious stock of what he is doing, but you are confusing two concepts: answering the questions and formulating them correctly. Only the latter is required of an author.”

When: Six weekly sessions on Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, starting February 16, 2021

Duration: 2 hours per session

Cost: C$350 plus 13% HST (approx. US$273 plus 13% HST)

Group Size: 12-participant limit

How: We will be using Zoom; you will receive instructions on how to join upon registration. For your privacy, all our Zoom seminars are password-protected and are never recorded.

All seminar payments are nonrefundable. If you are interested in applying your Toronto Pursuits 2020 deposit to this seminar, please contact us.

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Description

LEADER

Mike Levine is an independent editor. He was previously an acquisitions editor at Northwestern University Press. Among the authors he published were Jen Beagin (Whiting Award winner), A. E. Stallings (National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, finalist), and Stephen Karam (Pulitzer Prize in Drama, finalist). He has also been a senior editor at the Great Books Foundation. Since 2000, he has taught literature and film seminars in several continuing education programs.

BOOK

The Nose and Other Stories, by Nikolai Gogol, translated by Susanne Fusso
(Columbia University Press, 2020)
ISBN-13: 978-0231190695

Anton Chekhov’s Selected Stories (Norton Critical Edition), edited by Cathy Popkin
(W.W. Norton & Co., 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-0393925302

These editions are required.

We encourage you to support local bookstores or other independent sellers, especially as alternatives to Amazon.

In the US and the UK, try Bookshop.org World of Books, or Ebooks (electronic books only)

In the US and Canada, try Powell’s Books, IndieBound, and Thiftbooks (used books only in Canada)

In Canada, try McNally Robinson or Indigo

Nikolai Gogol and Anton Chekhov are not only Russia’s greatest short story writers, but also two of the world’s most highly regarded and influential practitioners of the genre.

Dostoevsky said, perhaps apocryphally, “We all came out of Gogol’s ‘Overcoat.’” Without a doubt, Nabokov called “The Overcoat” “the greatest Russian short story ever written.” In this masterpiece, in “The Nose,” and in other stories, the unimaginable and the mundane switch places. The resulting disorientation – for the reader if not for the characters – unsettles our assumptions about what it is that makes us human. Events are charged with meaning and nonetheless evade interpretation.

Chekhov shares with Gogol a sensibility both tragic and absurd. Like Gogol’s stories, Chekhov’s are less concerned with plot than with the evocation of a mood, characterized more by suggestion than dramatic action. In “The Lady with the Little Dog,” “Gooseberries,” “Rothschild’s Violin,” and other stories, the precise detail with which Chekhov renders the practical and spiritual crises of his characters gives his work its quiet, enthralling power. “You are right,” Chekhov wrote “to demand that an author take conscious stock of what he is doing, but you are confusing two concepts: answering the questions and formulating them correctly. Only the latter is required of an author.”

All online seminar payments are nonrefundable.

 

 

Additional information

Choose registration type

Standard registration, Toronto Pursuits 2020 credit