REE 325 • Cross-Media Narratives: Literature/Opera/Films
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
In this seminar, we shall explore cultural productions on two levels: 1. As a narrative, determining its essential elements and functions in particular genres and media; 2. The role of genres and media constructed around particular narratives to build a concentrated sense of a culture and its cultural identity. The test case will be Russian culture, which has in less than two hundred years built up a very conscious and concentrated group of narratives which have been used and re-used in various genres and media and which serve as icons of the Russian culture to both Russians and foreigners. By exploring various types of genres across the 1000 years of conscious Russian existence and watching how literature leads into other media, particularly the Russian love opera and film, we can closely interpret the characteristics and parameters of different genres and media. We shall see the importance of narratology and the differences when one media is transferred to another. We shall also observe how the various interpreters make use of the various media to provide continuously wider and deeper meaning the narrative as well as noticing the increasing effects of stylization. By using the Russian experience in cultural production, we shall be working with esthetic accomplishments of awesome quality in all artistic media of expression. We shall begin to understand why repetition of narrative is in fact not a necessary sign of debility in creativity but rather a means of constructing cultural continuity by sharing the past with the present and future in ever-stronger elaborations of signification.
WORKS Epic of Prince Igor/Borodin, Prince Igor Ballad of Sadko/Rimsky-Korsakoff, Sadko Pushkin, Boris Gudunov/Moussorgsky, Boris Gudunov Pushkin, Queen of Spades/ Tchaikovsky, Queen of Spades Pushkin, Ruslan and Ludmilla/Glinka, Ruslan and Ludmilla Gogol, Sorochinsky Fair/Mussorgsky, Sorochinsky Fair Dostoyevsky, House of the Dead/Janacek House of the Dead Leskov, Lady Macbeth of Mzensk/Shoshtakovich, Lady Macbeth of Mzensk Ostrovsky, The Storm/Janacek, Katya Kabanova