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

Fall 2005

T C 357 • Manuscripts Dont Burn: Bulgakov and the Western Tradition-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
42630 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
CRD 007A

Course Description

Stalins 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 Masters selfless companion and heroine of Mikhail Bulgakovs 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 Unpublished in Russia until 1966 (and then in a censored version), The Master and Margarita offers us the chance to place Russia and its literature in the broader western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. The novel reveals the brilliance and complexities of art created under a totalitarian regime.

About the Professor Tom Garza is Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies and the Director of the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, 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 fifteen-year tenure at the University, he has received several prizes for undergraduate teaching, including the Texas Excellence Award, the Presidents Associates Award, and the Harry Ransom Award, and is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

Grading Policy

This course contains a substantial writing component. 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 Comedy Course Packet, including readings from: Matthew and John, The Gospels David Strauss, The Life of Jesus 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 Mikhail Vrubel, Faust and Mephestopheles Nikolai Kramskoy, Calvary Contemporary Russian artists Films: La Reine Margot (France, 1994) Mistrz I Malgorzata (Poland, 1990) Mephisto (Germany, 1982) The Last Temptation of Christ (US, 1987) Il Maestro e Margarita (Italy, 1974) The Passion of the Christ (US, 2004)


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