BY AZIM USMANOV
The topic of Russian classic short stories might seem not very prominent during the times of panic and crisis around, not only NRP’s home at MSUM’s campus, but the whole world. COVID-19 has dealt effect on our normal daily lives by drastically limiting our social interactions and headlining all the news articles. In this time of self-isolation, we are granted a lot of free time that we should devote to exploration of new horizons within the parameters of our homes. Reading new literature might perform the role of a distractor from the present situation and be used as a relaxation medicine as it allows us to dive into completely different environments.
Having grown up on Eastern European literature, I chose multiple short stories and novels to help us surround ourselves with a different atmosphere. I hope these Russian literature classics will brighten your day with their unique aesthetics full of foreign culture.
- “The Chameleon” by Anton Chekhov: Chekhov’s stories consist of comedy, and “The Chameleon” is not an exception. It tells a story of police officer Ochumelov, and presents a deep truth about human nature described by means of satire.
- “The Nose” by Nikolai Gogol: Nikolai Gogol is one of my personal favorite authors, due to the orthodox plots that contain unrealistic circumstances and mysticism. “The Nose” is one of his short stories touching such topics as society and class, identity, and somewhat olfactory perception, which focuses on appearance and identity perception.
- “Mumu” by Ivan S. Turgenev: This story of a dog named Mumu and its rescuer Gerasim portrays the theme of cruelty of the Russian empire. The brutal serfdom of Gerasim is represented through his friendship with his dog throughout the story. Fun fact! “Mumu” was written while Turgenev was imprisoned for writing an obituary for Nikolai Gogol.
- “The Conversation Between the Drunk Man and the Sober Imp” by Anton Chekhov: In this piece Chekhov writes about a conversation between a man and an imp. The imp is worried that people are already spoiled creatures even without the influence of imps.