The Fiction of Pushkin and Lermontov | Newberry

The Fiction of Pushkin and Lermontov

Led by Julia Kriventsova Denne
Saturday, June 26, 2021
Six sessions, Saturdays, June 26 - August 7 (Class will not meet on July 3)

10 am - 12 pm (Central Time)


Newberry Adult Education Seminars will meet virtually via Zoom. For more information about the Newberry’s virtual seminars, including a Zoom tutorial, please see our Virtual Seminars FAQ page. If you have questions about online learning, please reach out to

Seminar Description

This seminar will introduce you to the prose of Alexander Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov, two writers famous primarily for their poetry but whose panoramic, witty, ironic, and precise fiction had a tremendous impact on the subsequent development of the Russian novel. Focused on a close analysis of Pushkin’s short masterpieces, including “The Tales of Belkin” and “The Captain's Daughter,” and Lermontov's unique and enigmatic novel, A Hero of Our Time, this seminar will explore these authors’ contributions to Russian literature alongside their historical context, critical reception, and film adaptations as well as in comparison to Henry James' The Aspern Papers and European and world literatures.

Six sessions. Registration – $230

Julia Kriventsova Denne studied literature at St. Petersburg University, and teaches Russian and Soviet literature in the Chicago area.

Materials List


  • A selection of shorter materials distributed by the instructor.

  • The Complete Prose Tales by Alexander Pushkin, translated by Gillion R. Aitken. W. W. Norton & Company, 1996. ISBN: 9780393004656

  • A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov, translated by Natasha Randall. Penguin Classics, 2009. ISBN: 9780143105633 or A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov, translated by Martin Parker. Everyman Paperback, 1995. ISBN: 0460875663

  • The Aspern Papers, by Henry James. Any Edition.

First Reading:

  • For the first session, please read Pushkin’s “The Moor of Peter the Great” and “Egyptian Nights."

Registration Information

Registration opens at 9 am (CST) on Wednesday, May 19th. Newberry Associates members at the Literati level and above will have access to early registration beginning May 12th at 10am. Learn more about membership benefits and becoming a Newberry Associate.

Please note: For more information about registration, including a guide to online registration, see our Registration Information page. Questions? Please contact seminars program staff via email at

We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students.

This seminar is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about registering for a seminar, program policies, or teaching a seminar.