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ReadingRussianShortStoriesAn open resource for students of Russian
By Filip Zachoval
Except for the works of attributed authors this book is licensed under a CreativeCommons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Book design and typesetting by Brent Payton
Headings are set in Russo One. Body text is set in CMU Bright.
Made with MiKTeX, LuaLATEX, GNU Make, TeXnicCenter and many others.
Compiled Saturday 30th April, 2016 from rrss_0.05.tex
: (2012) 1
: . (2010) 4
: (2008) 7
: (2008) 11
: (2006) 14
: , (2006) 17
: (2005) 20
: (2002) 23
: (1999) 26
: (1997) 29
: , 5 (1993) 32
: (1990) 35
: (1989) 38
: (1987) 39
: (1980-2) 42
: (1980-2) 45
: (19791980) 47
: (1976) 50
: (1971) 53
: (1964) 56
: - (1964) 57
: (1960) 59
: (1960) 62
: (1958) 65
a: (1954-73) 68
: (1953) 71
: (1942) 75
: (1941) 79
: (1936) 83
: 10, , , (1935-9) 87
: (1935) 91
: (1933) 95
: (1930) 98
: (1926) 101
: (1924-5) 104
: (1920) 107
: (1918) 111
: - (1915) 114
: (1912) 117
: (1910) 121
: 1- (1910) 125
: (1906) 129
: (1900) 133
A Vocabulary for Discussing Literature 137
B Common Markers of Discourse Logic & Devices of Coherence andCohesion 160
C Additional Readings 165
D On-Line Libraries 172
This collection contains 46 short stories written in Russian by different authors in 20thand 21st centuries, each accompanied by questions and assignments. The diversestories offer a myriad of themes (both Russian and universal), topics, literary styles,and snapshots of Russian culture and history. The compilation focuses on text as ameans and an object of learning Russian. The resources primary purpose is two-fold:first, to improve students reading abilities; second, to offer students a wealth of
linguistic and cultural materials that can be used as a basis for further speaking andwriting practice, reinforcing grammar, and vocabulary building. Additionally, theanthology gives students an insightful and poignant lesson in modern Russian
I have decided to limit this selection to works that will engage students imagination,that provide a rich source of cultural information, that are linguistically accessible tolearners with limited reading skills, and that represent prominent and diverse voices ofthe Russian literary canon of the 20th and 21st centuries. In general, texts met thefollowing criteria: fictional account, 900 words or less, inception or publication in the20th or 21st century, and overall accessibility (both linguistic and pragmatic). At thesame time, for the sake of diversity, a few texts breaking these guidelines have been
included: Gorkis short story is from the nineteenth century, Dovlatovs text isnon-fictional in the narrow sense, Rodionovs text is a poem, and Scherbakovas storyis slightly over 900 words in length. It should be also noted that this selection includesonly a narrow swath of texts encompassing Russian fiction from the period and more
comprehensive study of Russian literature will require consulting other sources.
The collection is designed for learners of Russian, including heritage learners. Thereare numerous texts that are suitable for learners who have had at least the equivalent
of 100-120 hours of Russian-language classroom instruction or have at leastnovice-high or intermediate-low oral and reading proficiency. However, the majority ofthese texts are more suitable for learners who have reached or are about to enterhigher levels of language competence, i.e. students at intermediate and advanced
levels. As the author of this book believes that working with any text is rather definedby the difficulty of assignments than by a linguistic difficulty of the text itself, the
specific choice of which text to use, in what order, at what level of studentscompetency, with what types of exercises, and so on, is left to the instructors. Whilenot necessarily intended as a stand-alone component, this compilation of short storiesis meant to offer a variety of texts, written in diverse styles that can be help students
with their language acquisition.
The collection consists of short texts (the vast majority are short stories) and each ofthese stories is followed by questions and assignments. In general, the questions are
designed to facilitate students comprehension of the text, to make inferences withthe text, or to hypothesize. The interpretative and analytical questions are not
designed to help students reach any definitive interpretation, but rather to encouragethem to use the texts as the basis for generating discussions, controversy, and criticalthinking in the classroom. While the assignments contain topics for group discussions,oral presentations and written essays. The questions and assignments are intended notonly to help students comprehend the stories, but are also designed to help developtheir abilities in narration, argumentation, supposition, making connections betweendetails stated in the text, and forming ones own response to the text. The stories arearranged in reverse chronological order but it is not necessary to read them in the
order they are presented.
To help achieve the goals listed above the collection also contains the followingsections:
Vocabulary for Discussing Literature: a glossary of the most common Russian-English literary terms, followed by exercises to help with acquisition of thisvocabulary.
Common Markers of Discourse Logic & Devices of Coherence and Cohesion is aglossary of common Russian-English markers of discourse logic that are used assignals for particular relationships within and between sentences.
Audio recordings of all texts read by native speakers of Russian.
Lists of additional readings and resources for finding these.
Downloadable electronic versions of all the material in .doc and .pdf formats.
Instructors can simply use the readings with the accompanying questions andassignments as they are. They also can easily and quickly create their own materials,handouts, and lesson plans. For instructors with more flexibility in their curriculum, thematerials could be presented as regular or semi-regular reading assignments or as
substitutions for the readings found in any textbook. In this manner, any of the shortstories can fulfill specific needs and they can be integrated into the curriculum at theappropriate time. For those instructors who have a very constrained syllabus, thesematerials can serve as supplements for students who either require or desire furtherassistance. These materials were initially created for use as supplemental texts;
however, an instructor could develop a full-scale course around them. Either way, it isassumed that students will also be receiving direct grammatical instruction, vocabulary
support, conversation practice, listening drills, and chances to discuss culturalquestions.
I hope this book will provide hours of enjoyable reading to students of Russian. It willalso give them an introduction to Russian literature, a background in Russian history
and culture, and, most important, exposure to written (and partially spoken) modernRussian. Reading authentic materials provides a general educational benefit to the
foreign language student but the context within which literature exists provides muchmore: examples of usage, stylistics, and language creativity that are sometimes
missing from traditional classroom models. Literature also contains the added benefitof displaying a snapshot of a culture that allows students the chance to recognize,
discuss, and assimilate those cultural cues. Exposing students to literature from othercultures is an enriching and exciting way of increasing their awareness of different
values, beliefs, and social structures.
This book would not have been written without the contributions of Libue Blunkov,Natalia Chernysheva and Brent Payton, and I am thankful to all of them for their
support. Special thanks to students who tested the material and providedinsurmountable amount of feedback and inspiration. I also thank the following peoplefor their help in creating this book: Cori Anderson, Angie Carter, Sidney Dement,Tatjana Lichtenstein, Alena Machoninov, Zhanna Mikhailova, Hana Pichova,
Kimberly Zarecor, and Timothy West.
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