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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Fall 2003

T C 357 • Manuscripts Don't Burn: Bulgakov and the Western Tradition-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
40610 TTh
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
CAL 22

Course Description

Stalin's Moscow, 1936. The Devil and his gang have come to the mortal world to determine how mankind is faring in the 20th century. He encounters a motley crew of Soviet bureaucrats, writers, politicians, and artists who offer little hope for the future. Enter the "Master", an unknown writer struggling to finish a novel about the life of Christ told from the perspective of Pontius Pilate. Can this one writer and his work be reason enough to prevent the apocalypse? Enter Margarita, the Master's selfless companion and heroine of Mikhail Bulgakov's masterpiece, The Master and Margarita. Regarded by Russians as one of the greatest novels of our time, The Master and Margarita is a fixed part of their culture. This seminar will explore not only the intricacies of the novel itself (actually, a novel within a novel), but also its varied sources from world literature, music and the visual arts. Unpublished in Russia until 1966 (and then in a censored version), The Master and Margarita offers us the chance to place Russia and its literature in the broader western tradition of art and literature. More importantly, it reveals the brilliance and complexities of art created under a totalitarian regime.

About the professor: Thomas Garza is the Director of the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies and Associate Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, where he teaches Russian, foreign language pedagogy, and Russian popular culture. He has been traveling to Russia since 1979 and has lived in Moscow for over five years. A native Texan, Dr. Garza received his doctorate from Harvard University in 1987. He loves films, food (both cooking and eating!) and travel. During his thirteen-year tenure at the University, he has received several prizes for undergraduate teaching, including the Texas Excellence Award, the President's Associates Award, and the Harry Ransom Award.

Grading Policy

Reaction paper (5 pp.) 15% Shorter essay (7 pp.) 20% Seminar presentation 20% Longer paper (15 pp.) 25% Active enthusiastic participation 20%


Literature: Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Faust: Part One Dante, The Divine Comed Course Packet, including readings from: Matthew and John, The Gospels David Strauss, The Life of Jesus Selections from the Apocryphal New Testament of Nicodemus Kant, "The Proofs of the Existence of God" Dostoevsky, "The Legend of the Grand Inquisitor" A.S. Pushkin, Selected verses "Ivan the Fool" (Russian folktale) Selections from The Arabian Nights Music: Hector Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique and La Damnation de Faust Giuseppe Verdi, Aida Charles Gounod, Faust Paintings: Russian icons N.N. Ge, "Golgotha" and "What is Truth?" Marc Chagall, "Over the City" Nikolai Kramskoy, "Calvary" Films: La Reine Margot (France, 1994) Mistrz i Malgorzata (Poland, 1990) Mephisto (Germany, 1982) Il Maestro e Margarita (Italy, 1974)


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