ONLINE: Why will the class read stories by Gogol, Tolstoy, Chekhov and Turgenev? Because of the character studies, the snow and how the 19th- and 20th-century Russian masters give us small moments in a random person's life. The reading will not be heavy, and we can discuss it using the simple methods set out in George Saunders' 2021 book "A Swim in a Pond in the Rain," methods to be explained in class. For example, we'll ask: What is happening, and why? Do we care? Why? Why not? What echoes our personal lives? What details leap out to us, as real, as meaningful, as cruel or lovely? Does the story stay with us, influence us and affect our perspective in subtle ways? This is not an academic study, but a way to feel empathy with people whom Russian writers created out of real humans. As we read each of the five stories, you'll encounter moments of self-recognition, self-realization and deep empathy. | Facilitated discussion.
Max enrollment: 15.