Moscow University Press
Школа вдумчивого чтения

Школа вдумчивого чтения

От заглавия до последней строки. Учимся читать классику >From the heading to the last line. Learning how to read classics.

In the book-aid written by the well-known teacher of Russian language and Literature Sergej Leonidovich Shtilman the idea of so-called slow reading (co-authorship of the reader and writer) is formed. Unpredictable discoveries in analysis of literary works studied at school and, besides, the topics (e.g. body language, «symbolic» names) that are rarely discussed by the literature specialists and critics are provided.

This book is addressed to the teachers of Russian language and Literature, the enrollees and the high school students willing to penetrate into the mysteries of Russian classics.

Путеводитель по «Книге про бойца» А. Твардовского «Василий Теркин» >Guide to ‘A Book about a Soldier’, A. Tvardovsky’s Poem ‘Vasily Tyorkin.’

The book ‘Vasily Terkin’ by A. Tvardovsky played an outstanding role during the Great Patriotic War and became, to put it in the words of a front-line soldier, an encyclopedia of the soldier's life which found place for humor that brightened up the endless trench warfare, and the harshest truth, ‘no matter how bitter it was.’ The long-time researcher of the great Russian poet’s life and work tells the story behind this ‘Book about a Soldier’, its complex fate and amazing artistic originality that is still to be fully appreciated.
For teachers of secondary and higher schools, their students, applicants and all lovers of Russian literature.

Путеводитель по «Слову о полку Игореве» >Guide to ‘The Tale of Igor's Campaign’

The book is dedicated to the ‘The Tale of Igor's Campaign’, one of the most famous and mysterious Russian literary monuments. Having been published in 1800 only once according to the manuscript that later burnt in the Moscow fire of 1812, ‘The Tale ...’ has constantly attracted the attention of researchers and writers and generated new interpretations for more than two centuries now. The manual examines the authenticity of the ancient Russian ‘poem’, the creation of a twelfth-century nameless scribe or an eighteenth-century mystification, and the problem of the genre nature of the work, the reflection of history in ‘The Tale ...’, obscure (‘dark’) passages and Christian elements in its text. The book is largely an overview of various modern scholarly interpretations of the monument.
For teachers of schools, lyceums and gymnasiums, students, high school students, applicants, philologists and a wide range of readers.

Путеводитель по комедии А.П. Чехова «Вишневый сад» >Guide to Chekhov’s Comedy ‘The Cherry Orchard’

This original study of A.P. Chekhov's comedy ‘The Cherry Orchard’ is based on a detailed examination of exclusively primary sources — Chekhov's correspondence, memoirs and testimonies of his family and friends, a narrow and confidential social circle. In his first part - ‘The Cherry Orchard’ - ‘Anton Chekhov's Dreams’ - the author attempts to trace the accumulation of creative material, to substantiate and understand the primary sources from which the author derived his idea of writing the play, to analyze the most important circumstances of the writer's life that impacted his creative process. The second part - ‘The Cherry Orchard’ - ‘Mystification of Life’ – is in fact a scientific study of the play itself. The author presents and proves a number of hypotheses and psychological motives for the behavior of the play’s main characters, offers an original explanation of the factual aspect of the play, draws up complete and at times paradoxical psychological portraits of his characters. The third part of the book - ‘The Undisclosed Secrets of the Cherry Orchard’ (The Talk that Never Happened’ - gives the reader an opportunity to fantasize about the play and to reflect on the motives and circumstances that are not subject to scientific discussion and are merely the author’s assumptions and hypotheses.
For teachers and students of secondary and higher schools, applicants and everyone who wants to broaden their understanding of Chekhov's art outside the standard interpretation of this author that has been elaborated in the scientific and journalistic literature.

Путеводитель по Маяковскому >Guide to Mayakovsky

Unlike other books in this series, this book is a guidebook not just to a single work, but to all of Mayakovsky's lyrics, practically his poetry, for Mayakovsky remained a lyrist in both his civil verses and even in his big poems. Throughout the book, the author guides the reader through a complex labyrinth of bonds that Mayakovsky's lyrical poetry forms with that of his fellow poets, as well as with that of poets who seem to be worlds apart but in fact not so far away.
For teachers of schools, lyceums and gymnasiums, students, high school students, applicants, philologists and a wide range of readers.

Путеводитель по поэзии А.А. Фета >Guide to the Poetry of A.A. Fet

This book is the first one to analyze all of A.А. Fet’s lyrical poems which are included in the Education Standard for secondary schools and in the sysllabus for MSU applicants: ‘The cat is singing, his eyes screwed up ...’, ‘As a wavy cloud ...’, ‘Whispers, timid breathing ...’, ‘This morning, this joy ...’, ‘The night was shining, Moonlight had filled the garden...’ and others. Each of the 14 chapters offers a review of one of these poems. The author analyses the motive organization, figurative structure, vocabulary, features of their sound patterns, metrics and rhythms of Fet’s texts.
For teachers of schools, gymnasiums and lyceums, high school students, university entrants, students and teachers of philology and all admirers of Russian literary classics.

Путеводитель по поэме Н.В. Гоголя «Мертвые души» >Guide to N.V. Gogol’s Novel ‘Dead Souls’

The manual offers a systemic chapter-by-chapter analysis of the novel’s text, explains words and names that have fallen out of use, interprets the author's position, characteristics of his narration and style and compares the first and second volumes of the novel. He also references the works that Nikolay Gogol was working on while writing his ‘Dead Souls’ - ‘Selected Passages from Correspondence with Friends’ and ‘The Author's Confession’.

For teachers of schools, gymnasiums and lyceums, high school students, university entrants, students, university and college teachers and all admirers of Russian literary classics.

Путеводитель по пьесе У.Шекспира «Ромео и Джульетта» >Guide to William Shakespeare's Play ‘Romeo and Juliet’

The commentary on the tragedy is based on the interlinear translation of the variant of the text, which was published in the First Folio (1623). The text of the word-for-word translation is compared with the 20th century Soviet translations, which were marked by censorship and aesthetic restrictions so inherent in Soviet literary criticism. The guidebook aims to bring the reader closer to the understanding of Shakespeare's phraseology, the idioms and jokes of his comic characters that live in Verona but speak the language of Elizabethan London.

Путеводитель по роману А.П. Платонова «Котлован» >Guide to A.P. Platonov’s novel ‘The Pit Foundation’

Andrei Platonov’s novella ‘The Pit Foundation’, one of the most unusual events in Russian literature, is almost journalistically saturated with the realities of that time and is a striking documentary source of Russia’s 20th century dramatic history. The guide to ‘The Pit Foundation’ provides an easy-to-understand and fascinating account about the factual underpinnings of this complex allegorical work; the philosophical subtext of the novella, the literary parallels of its plot, composition and main characters.

For teachers of schools, lyceums and gymnasiums; students, high school students, university entrants, specialists in philology and a wide range of readers.

Путеводитель по роману А.П. Платонова «Чевенгур» >Guide to A.P. Platonov’s Novel ‘Chevengur’

‘Chevengur’ occupies a central place in Andrei Platonov’s work. The guidebook offers an artistic story behind the novel against the backdrop of the 1920s socio-political situation; it provides a complete philological analysis of the work, showing its links with the historical and cultural context (mythological, religious, philosophical, political and scientific reminiscences including those related to the works of 19th and 20th century Russian literature). It examines the linguostylistic features of Platonov’s text – its specific collocational characteristics and connotational nuances.
For teachers, philologists, students, applicants, high school students and a wide range of readers.

Путеводитель по роману в стихах А.С. Пушкина «Евгений Онегин» >Guide to А.S. Pushkin’s Novel in Verse ‘Eugene Onegin’

According to V.G. Belinsky, ‘Eugene Onegin’ ‘is Pushkin’s most intimate work, the most beloved child of his imagination.’ There have been numerous researchers’ commentaries on Pushkin's novel in verse. The author of this book takes into account literary scholars’ commentaries and interpretations. At the same time, the reader will find here a lot of new material that has escaped the attention of its previous researchers. The ‘slow reading’ method allows the reader to get rather extensive ideas about the genre of Pushkin’s novel in verse, the nature of its main characters and their relationship with each other. In elucidating the text of ‘Eugene Onegin’ the author successfully brings Pushkin's speech closer to the modern idiom without leaving any of the novel’s realities unexplained. To facilitate the reader's understanding of the Pushkin novel in verse, the book contains a glossary of mythological and art historian terms used in ‘Eugene Onegin.’

For school and university teachers, their students, applicants and all lovers of Russian literature.

Путеводитель по роману Ф.М. Достоевского «Братья Карамазовы» >Guide to F.M. Dostoevsky's Novel ‘The Brothers Karamazov’

‘The Brothers Karamazov’ is the last of the great novels by F.M. Dostoevsky, in which he put everything all he knew and understood about Russia, the world at large, the man and mankind. Externally, this novel is written in a very simple way but it contains numerous profound truths, philosophical meanings, paradoxes and prophecies. The author of the ‘Guide’ identifies and explains many of them and helps the reader see them too by navigating him through the pages of the novel and rereading them again. First, he follows its events and main characters, revealing its explicit and implicit biblical and literary quotations, philosophical and historical allusions, showing the historical context in which the novel was created, and what the writer prophesied about the future. Finally, in his other chapters, the author invites the reader to reflect together with him on the novel’s cross-cutting themes and key scenes.

For high school students and college students, teachers of schools and universities and, in general, fans of this great Russian classic.

Развиваем мышление с русскими сказками >Developing Thinking with Russian Tales

A common view is that folktales are for children. In general, this is not the case, let alone for Russian folktales. This becomes more obvious when we take a closer look at the rather violent content of these stories. Thus the challenge of this work is an attempt to reestablish the reality of these stories, intended primarily for the adult reader, by offering them accompanied by a philosophical analysis, as well as with questions inviting the amateur of tales to meditate further on the content of these narrations. Since one of the consequences of the infantilization of these stories is precisely that they tend to lose their function, which consists in making the listener reflect on the world, on humanity, on psychology, on himself etc. The allegories or metaphors they contain constitute in fact a kind of narrative philosophy, taking the form of fables or parables, all of which are meant to feed our thoughts. Of course, without excluding children.

Роман И.А. Гончарова «Обломов». Путеводитель по тексту >Goncharov's Novel ‘Oblomov’. A Guide to the Text

How much did the original design of Goncharov’s central novel change? What is his true conflict, what forms the foundation of its plot and why is ‘Oblomov’ made up of four parts? What gave the main character of the book a national and universal significance, and put Oblomovism on par with such notions as ‘Hamletism’, ‘Platonism’, ‘Quixotism’, ‘Don Juanism’, etc.? How are all the male and female characters in the novel systematized and how do the ‘notions of life’ including those of love, marriage and familial home they embody differ from each other? What does Olga Ilyinskaya yearn for in the ‘Crimean’ chapter of the novel? These are but only some of the questions to which this book offers detailed answers. Written by the famous historian and popularizer of Russian classical literature and a Goncharov literary prize-winner, the book is a fascinating guide to the artistic text of Goncharov’s famous masterpiece on every content level and facet - from social, everyday, topical and folklore to mythological and symbolic ones.

For teachers of schools, gymnasiums and lyceums, high school students, university entrants, students and teacher of philology and all admirers of Russian literary classics.