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Reading Russian Short Stories

Reading Russian Short Stories

An open resource for students of Russian

Filip Zachoval

By Filip Zachoval

Except for the works of attributed authors this book is licensed under a Creative

Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/1Марина Анатольевна Палей: Магистральный блюз (2012)

4Александр Абрамович Кабаков: Желтый. Еще один короткий рассказ о перекрестке (2010)

7Галина Николаевна Щербакова: Смерть чиновника (2008)

11Андрей Викторович Родионов: Девятиэтажки (2008)

14Евгений Анатольевич Попов: Грибы (2006)

17Виктор Олегович Пелевин: Мост, который я хотел перейти (2006)

20Анна Альфредовна Старобинец: Я жду (2005)

23Юрий Витальевич Мамлеев: Борец за счастье (2002)

26Фазиль Абдулович Искандер: Люди и гусеницы (1999)

29Владимир Николаевич Войнович: Мы лучше всех (1997)

32Татьяна Никитична Толстая: Дом хроников на Чекистов, 5 (1993)

35Евгений Владимирович Харитонов: Листовка (1990)

38Виктор Владимирович Ерофеев: Русский календарь (1989)

39Людмила Стефановна Петрушевская: Все непонятливые (1987)

42Сергей Донатович Довлатов: Все мы очень любим давать советы… (1980-2)

45Сергей Донатович Довлатов: Мы и не заметили…(1980-2)

47Владимир Георгиевич Сорокин: Жена испытателя (1979–1980)

50Федор Александрович Абрамов: Золотые руки (1976)

53Василий Макарович Шукшин: Письмо любимой (1971)

56Александр Исаевич Солженицын: Прах поэта (1964)

57Александр Исаевич Солженицын: Мы-то не умрем (1964)

59Вера Федоровна Панова: Листок с подписью Ленина (1960)

62Василий Семёнович Гроссман: Жилица (1960)

65Александр Валентинович Вампилов: Девичья память (1958)

68Варлам Тихонович Шалaмов: Ночью (1954-73)

71Константин Георгиевич Паустовский: Грач в троллейбусе (1953)

75Петр Андреевич Павленко: Мать (1942)

79Валентин Петрович Катаев: Дурные сны (1941)

83Юрий Карлович Олеша: Стадион в Одессе (1936)

87Даниил Хармс: Голубая тетрадь № 10, Сонет, О Пушкине, Анекдоты из жизни Пушкина (1935-9)

91Илья Арнольдович Ильф и Евгений Петрович Петров: Интриги (1935)

95Михаил Михайлович Зощенко: Дела и люди (1933)

98Иван Алексеевич Бунин: Маска (1930)

101Андрей Платонович Платонов: Экономик Магов (1926)

104Михаил Афанасьевич Булгаков: Площадь на колесах (1924-5)

107Исаак Эммануилович Бабель: Гедали (1920)

111Евгений Иванович Замятин: Огненное А (1918)

114Александр Степанович Грин: Слово-убийца (1915)

117Елена Генриховна Гуро: Вася (1912)

121Аркадий Тимофеевич Аверченко: История болезни Иванова (1910)

125Тэффи: 1-ое апреля (1910)

129Алексей Михайлович Ремизов: Кострома (1906)

133Максим Горький: Перед лицом жизни (1900)

137Vocabulary for Discussing Literature

160Common Markers of Discourse Logic & Devices of Coherence and Cohesion

165Additional Readings

172On-Line Libraries

Preface

This collection contains 46 short stories written in Russian by different authors in 20th and 21st centuries, each accompanied by questions and assignments. The diverse stories 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 a means and an object of learning Russian. The resource’s 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 and writing practice, reinforcing grammar, and vocabulary building. Additionally, the anthology gives students an insightful and poignant lesson in modern Russian literature.

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 to learners with limited reading skills, and that represent prominent and diverse voices of the Russian literary canon of the 20th and 21st centuries. In general, texts met the following criteria: fictional account, 900 words or less, inception or publication in the 20th or 21st century, and overall accessibility (both linguistic and pragmatic). At the same time, for the sake of diversity, a few texts breaking these guidelines have been included: Gorki’s short story is from the nineteenth century, Dovlatov’s text is non-fictional in the narrow sense, Rodionov’s text is a poem, and Scherbakova’s story is slightly over 900 words in length. It should be also noted that this selection includes only 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. There are 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 least novice-high or intermediate-low oral and reading proficiency. However, the majority of these texts are more suitable for learners who have reached or are about to enter higher 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 defined by 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 students’ competency, with what types of exercises, and so on, is left to the instructors. While not necessarily intended as a stand-alone component, this compilation of short stories is 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 of these stories is followed by questions and assignments. In general, the questions are designed to facilitate students’ comprehension of the text, to make inferences

with the text, or to hypothesize. The interpretative and analytical questions are not designed to help students reach any definitive interpretation, but rather to encourage them to use the texts as the basis for generating discussions, controversy, and critical thinking in the classroom. While the assignments contain topics for group discussions, oral presentations and written essays. The questions and assignments are intended not only to help students comprehend the stories, but are also designed to help develop their abilities in narration, argumentation, supposition, making connections between details stated in the text, and forming one’s own response to the text. The stories are arranged 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 following sections:

· Vocabulary for Discussing Literature: a glossary of the most common Russian- English literary terms, followed by exercises to help with acquisition of this vocabulary.

· Common Markers of Discourse Logic & Devices of Coherence and Cohesion is a glossary of common Russian-English markers of discourse logic that are used as signals 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 and assign- ments 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, the materials could be presented as regular or semi-regular reading assignments or as substitutions fo

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