Russian literature is our catchphrase for now. And I might be discussing this on and off in the next year or two. Russian literature covers a long period of time. I know that you know that I know that you know about it. Russia is an ancient empire, we know that. The land has great characters from its frozen pages of history. But, before going further, let me begin by breaking it down.
We know at least two big periodizations in Russian literature, the first one being the pre-20th century Russian literature and the other post-1917 Russian literature. The first group includes such big names that decorate our anthologies of world literature as Pushkin, Gogol, Doestoyevski, Tolstoy, Checkov. The later includes authors who write shortly before the Bolshevik Revolution or after the Revolution or also called during the Soviet Russia. This group includes Aleksandr Blok, Osip Mandelstam, Vladimir Mayakovski, Anna Akhmatova (FYI, ’Akhmat’ here comes from Muhammad, yes, this is a nom de plume used by Akhmatova after her maternal grandfather, a Tatar man named Akhmat), Yevgeny Zamyatin, Andrei Platonov, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (yes, that’s him!), etc. including Vladimir Nabokov (although he mostly writes in Germany and the United States as an exile).
Further posts in this blog will cover mostly the post-1917 Russian literature with occasional retreat to the big names from pre-20th century generation.