2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:28
Classical literature (Russian) is a broad concept, and everyone puts their own meaning into it. If you ask readers what associations it evokes in them, then the answers will be different. For some, this is the basis of the library fund, someone will say that the works of classical Russian literature are a kind of sample with high artistic merit. For schoolchildren, this is everything that is studied at school. And they will all be absolutely right in their own way. So what exactly is classical literature? Russian literature, today we will talk only about it. We will talk about foreign classics in another article.
Periodization of the history of Russian literature
There is a generally accepted periodization of the formation and development of Russian literature. Her story is divided into the following time periods:
- Pre-literary period. At this time, until the 11th century, there were no written texts, andworks were transmitted orally.
- From the 11th century to the 14th century, ancient Russian literature existed. The adoption of Christianity in Russia had a great influence on its development. Translated Greek books appear, new genres develop: lives of saints, chronicles, walks, gospels.
- The next period is medieval literature. It existed from the 15th to the 17th century.
- XVIII century - the era of Russian enlightenment. This time is associated with those writers who laid the foundations of Russian classical literature. These include: Karamzin, Fonvizin, Lomonosov, Zhukovsky, Sumarokov, Radishchev, Krylov.
- The 19th century is the time when those writers and poets lived and worked, who in our time are called classics of literature. "Golden Age" is the name given to this period. The best Russian classical literature was created just then.
- The 20th century is called, by analogy with the previous century, the “Silver Age”, since to some extent it was its logical continuation.
What works are called classics?
Many readers are sure that classical literature (Russian) is Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy - that is, the works of those writers who lived in the 19th century. It's not like that at all. A classic literary work can be both the Middle Ages and the 20th century. By what canons and principles to determine whether a novel or a story is a classic? Firstly, a classical work must have a high artistic value, be a model for others. Secondly, it must have worldwide recognition, it must be included in the fund of world culture.
And you need to be able to distinguish between the concepts of classical and popular literature. A classic is something that has stood the test of time, and a popular work can be quickly forgotten. If its relevance remains for more than a dozen years, perhaps it will also become a classic over time.
The origins of Russian classical literature
At the end of the 18th century, the newly established nobility of Russia split into two opposing camps: conservatives and reformers. Such a split was due to different attitudes towards the changes that took place in life: Peter's reforms, understanding of the tasks of the Enlightenment, the sore peasant question, attitude towards power. This struggle of extremes led to the rise of spirituality, self-consciousness, which gave rise to Russian classics. It can be said that it was forged during the dramatic processes in the country.
Classical literature (Russian), having been born in the complex and contradictory 18th century, was finally formed in the 19th century. Its main features: national identity, maturity, self-awareness.
Russian classical literature of the 19th century
Growth of national consciousness played a big role in the development of the culture of that time. More and more educational institutions are being opened, the social significance of literature is increasing, and writers are beginning to pay much attention to their native language. The uprising of the Decembrists made us think even more about what is happening in the country.
Influence of Karamzin on the development of literature on the 19thcentury
Nikolai Mikhailovich Karamzin, the greatest Russian historian, writer and journalist, was the most influential figure in Russian culture in the 18th-19th centuries. His historical novels and the monumental "History of the Russian State" had a huge impact on the work of subsequent writers and poets: Zhukovsky, Pushkin, Griboyedov. He is one of the great reformers of the Russian language. Karamzin introduced a large number of new words into use, without which we cannot imagine modern speech today.
Russian classical literature: a list of the best works
Choosing and compiling a list of the best literary works is a difficult task, since each reader has his own preferences and tastes. A novel that for one will be a masterpiece, another will seem boring and uninteresting. How, then, to compile a list of classical Russian literature that would satisfy the majority of readers? One way is to conduct surveys. On their basis, it is possible to draw conclusions about which work the readers themselves consider the best of the proposed options. These data collection methods are carried out regularly, although the data may change slightly over time.
The list of the best works of Russian classics, according to the versions of literary magazines and Internet portals, looks like this:
- Mikhail Bulgakov with the mystical novel The Master and Margarita.
- Leo Tolstoy with the epic War and Peace.
- Fyodor Dostoevsky with threenovels: "Crime and Punishment", "The Brothers Karamazov" and "The Idiot". The great Russian thinker accurately and ruthlessly described the darkest sides of human nature. Friedrich Nietzsche once said that Dostoevsky is the only psychologist he could learn anything from.
- Nikolai Gogol - Dead Souls. One of the most mysterious Russian writers was able to create unusually vivid, lively images of his characters. The story "Viy" and the writer's collection "Evenings on a farm near Dikanka" are also very loved by readers.
- Alexander Pushkin with the novel "Eugene Onegin". According to polls, Pushkin is the most favorite writer of schoolchildren, and Onegin is the most recognizable literary hero.
- Anton Chekhov and his stories.
- Mikhail Lermontov - "The Hero of Our Time".
- Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov are classics of the 20th century, people with a great sense of humor. Their novel "The Twelve Chairs" has long been a favorite book of many readers.
- Ivan Turgenev and his work "Fathers and Sons".
- Alexander Griboedov with the comedy "Woe from Wit". Having written only one work in his entire life, but created at such a high level, he forever remained among the best authors of Russian classical literature.
In no case should this list be considered a reference. In some ratings and polls, not Bulgakov, but Leo Tolstoy or Alexander Pushkin may be in the first place, and some of the listed writers may not exist at all. Ratings are extremelysubjective. It’s better to make a list of your favorite classics for yourself and focus on it.
The meaning of Russian classical literature
The creators of Russian classics have always had a great social responsibility. They never acted as moralizers, did not give ready-made answers in their works. Writers set a difficult task for the reader and forced him to think about its solution. They raised serious social and social problems in their works, which are of great importance to us even now. Therefore, Russian classics remain as relevant today.
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