Anna Grigorevna Dostoevskaia, Dostoevsky's second wife, photographed in 1878

The House in Stara Russa where the Dostoevsky family lived in the 1880s



Long or short decisions by February 10

(When you select your topics and work on them, keep in ind that the long Dostoevsky novels towards the end of the course will require some heavy reading!)

I. 1 Long Project

Traditional literary research paper (average 15 p,.; 20 p. max!) on a work/works by either author (or possibly a comparative paper using material from both Gogol and Dostoevsky). You might also choose a work by non-Russian authors (e.g., Coetzee, Ozick, Peri, Landolfi,) or a Russian writer (Tsypkin), inspired by Dostoevsky or Gogol and compare them to the originals (See me, I have a few suggestions). Final copy due no later than April 27. Select a topic early on in the course (a bit tricky since you haven't read the texts yet, but I'll help you with suggestions). Consult and brainstorm with me as soon as possible. Focus on a single work (or a couple if they are short or if you wish to do a comparative study). Read the work/s closely and narrow down a potential angle (your approach is up to you--it can be a more formal study of style or structure, a historical study, a psychoanalytic study, a deconstruction of the text, a postmodern reading, etc.etc.). The oral presentations and other suggested articles will give you plenty of ideas for possible approaches. Then do research on your topic, using our library and on-line resources--you should use a minimum of 4-5 outside sources and there are plenty of them for our authors! Use at least three published scholarly (rather than appearing only on-line) sources. Use the MLA system for references and bibliography. The guidelines (in abbreviated form, sufficient for our purposes) can be found in Lunsford, Angela and Robert Connors, Easy Writer. A Pocket Guide. NY, St. Martin's Press. Most of you have it from your first-year seminars. Web sites, such as or are also helpful for documentation questions. At the end of this page is the latest style sheets for authors submitting articles to Slavic and East European Journal--one of the primary US language, literature,culture publications in our field--ues it! Please use short references parenthetically in the text (or as notes) AND a final Bibliography/References section that gives full references for all the sources you have used.

Remember to give credit where credit's due. Plagiarism will not be tolerated! See, for instance, The Max Center Writing Handbook for guidelines.

You should use a computer at each step of the way--remember to back up and save frequently!! If you give me outlines/bibliographies and drafts on a disk in Microsoft Word, I will get you feedback directly on the disk. The final copy should be printed double spaced throughout (inlcuding notes and bibliography) on white paper in Times or a similar simple clear font (no fancy covers, colors, or fonts, please!) and handed in in class at the due date. Below are the deadlines, but keep in mind that they indicate the last possible date for feedback--earlier is fine, too, and multiple successive versions are fine, too--whatever you turn in will get my scribbles. If you miss the 'final' deadlines--no feedback. I will grade only the final version.

Select 4 of the topics given below and hand in as indicated--no outlines, drafts, or rewrites, but you may to write on 5 topics and use your four best ones for the overall project grade. PAY ATTENTION TO due dates and select according to both topics you like and dates that'll work for you!

1. Pick one of your classmates (I suggest, someone not easily offended!) and write an "Overcoat" story (4-5 double spaced pp.) about him/her. Use a contemporary Macalester setting, vary the plot and other characters, but make sure that Gogol's original is somehow recognizable--use a Gogolian chatty and digressive narrator and try to use the kinds of devices that characterize Gogol's style. Due Fri 2/17

2. Write an obituary for one of Gogol's fictional characters in the style of a Gogolian intrusive, digressive narrator (but keep in mind the typical features and content of obituaries! 4-5 double spaced pp.)--Due Fri 2/24

3. Write & draw comic strip (10-12 frames--something along the lines of the one I'll show you of Tolstoy's War and Peace) Gogol's Dead Souls, Part I--Due 2/29

4. Find a 'Dostoevskian' issue (war, cruelty, prostitution, freedom, the role of the environment, a splendid architectural structure like the Crystal Palace, gambling at Indian casinos, etc. ) and "update" it according to today's world in the polemical dialogical style of Notes from Underground (4-5 typed double spaced pp.). Woody Allen wrote such a piece about fat people (which is included in the Katz translation of Notes for Underground, placed on reserve). Due 4/4

5. Write an essay on one of/all the Mothers Karamazov--find out as much as possible about her from the text and find maternal resemblances or differences in her offspring, and analyze what patterns emerge (4-5 typed double spaced pp.). Due 4/23


SEEJ Style Sheet for Authors
When using transliteration please follow the LC system, except for papers in linguistics and pedagogy, where the international system may be used (see transliteration charts published regularly in the Journal). Whenever possible, please use transliteration instead of Cyrillic, since this broadens the potential readership of the journal and is less expensive to set. However, for poetry, long quotations, and especially when a point can be better made by reference to the Cyrillic, Cyrillic may certainly be used. For transliterating miagkii znak and tverdyi znak please use straight quotes and not curly quotes.
Whenever possible, quotations should be given in English translation. All non-English quotations must be provided with an English translation. A translation (and conversely the original wording within an English translation) that is provided within a sentence or paragraph should be set off in square brackets, e.g. “Kakoi durak! [What a fool!]” (Ivanov 15). “What a fool [durak]!” (Ivanov 15). "Formidable! [great!]. Note the punctuation and the fact that the inserted Russian word is italicized (if Cyrillic is inserted, then it need not be italicized). If the original is given as a block quote, then the translation should also be set as a block quote below it, but the brackets may be omitted. The reference information for the original should be attached to the original quote, and a source for the translation should be attached to the translation if the author of the article is not the translator.
When referring to authors and other proper nouns, please use standardized western spellings, i.e. Gogol, Dostoevsky, Solovyov, Tolstoy. Avoid use of ‘ for miagkii znak and spellings with ii or yi, i.e. preferred: Grigoriev, Pietsukh, Gorky, Bezdomny, Vasily, Yury, Maria, Sofia, Fyodor. However, when listing works of authors in the REFERENCES, please use the transliterated version of the name, i.e. Gogol’, Dostoevskii, Solov’ev, Vasilii, Iurii, Mariia.
All works mentioned in your article, whether they are quoted from or not, should be listed under “REFERENCES” alphabetically in a section at the end with full bibliographical information following the basic MLA style (multiple works by the same author should be listed chronologically). Please provide a state code for all but the most major US cities (when in doubt put it in), e.g., Columbus, OH: Slavica. Indigenous spelling of city names is preferred: Moskva, Wien. Publisher citations should be abbreviated to, e.g., U of California P, Yale UP, but other abbreviations that might not be clear to someone not in your field should be avoided.
In the text, references should follow the basic MLA style and be as brief as possible, supplying only as much information as necessary to locate the work and page using the REFERENCES section, e.g., (Smith 45, 67), (Pushkin 9: 25), or, for a general reference, then (Smith) or perhaps nothing, if Smith is already named in the text and there is only one entry for Smith in the References. For multiple works by the same author, use author, date, page (Smith 1990, 23). If there are several works by an author in the same year, use: 1990a, 1990b, etc. Multiple references within a single set of parentheses can be separated by commas, unless commas are already used within a single reference, e.g. (Smith, Jones, Pushkin), but (Smith 1990, 23; Jones; Pushkin) or (Smith, Jones and Davis [i.e. three co-authors]; Pushkin).
For the sake of clarity the date of publication may be given, even if, strictly speaking, it is not necessary. References to major canonical texts, e.g. Eugene Onegin, Crime and Punishment, Dante's The Divine Comedy, may be given by chapter, stanza, etc., to facilitate the use of various editions, but at least one edition of the work should always be given in the REFERENCES.
If there are references to several (more than two) authors' contributions to a multi-author collection, then each author's contribution may be listed separately in the References, with a short reference to the collection, which is given elsewhere in the References with full data. E.g.: Holmes, S. "Major Clues," in Jones and Davis, 23-45.
Archival references should be made in the form used by the given archive, e.g. RGALI f. 235 (I. I. Ivanov), op. 2, ed. 33, s. 15.
When giving page spreads for references in the text, notes and References, please give the last two digits of the second number, e.g.: (234-35). Exceptions: 2-9, 203-5 [i.e. when the first digit would be a zero], 298-304.
Use square brackets for insertions into a quotation (e.g. of a translation into the original or of the original into a translation and of any changes made by you, including ellipses). E.g.: "[Ivan] said [skazal] that he felt […] sick" (Tolstoy 7: 22). Brackets should also be used for insertions of translations into the body of a text.
Parentheses within parentheses should remain parentheses and not be converted to square brackets. E.g.: This point was made before (as she previously noted (Davis 1978b, 32)).
For all literary movement and artistic period names please capitalize the word to distinguish it from the more general concept, e.g. “Russian Symbolism of the 1890s,” but “the author’s use of symbolism.” Also: Futurism, Realism, Communism, Marxism, Postmodernism, Romantic, Sentimental, etc.
Time periods such as the “70s,” or “1920s” are given without an apostrophe or an extra space after the year.
Centuries should be spelled out: nineteenth century, twenty-first century.
Hyphenate when using adjectivally: nineteenth-century authors.
For singular proper nouns ending in s an apostrophe+s should be provided, e.g., “Jones’s novel.”
Periods and commas go to the left of a close quotation mark, unless they are followed by a reference in parentheses, i.e. “Tolstoy was obsessed with blue hares.” But: “Tolstoy was obsessed with blue hares” (Chekhov 21). Other punctuation will go before the close quotes only if it is part of the quote.
Use standard American spelling of words that might have a British variant, unless they are in a quotation.
For questions not answered on this Style sheet please consult the Chicago Manual of Style and/or the MLA Handbook or refer to a recent issue of SEEJ.

Last modified 2/13, 2012
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