Russian literature is a major part of the country’s culture and education worldwide. Some of the world’s most famous poets and novelists were Russian. These writers include Alexander Pushkin, Leo Tolstoy, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Their poems and books were about classic issues of freedom, morality, love, and conflict. These works are still popular in Russia, Europe, and America.
Other Russian Writers
Other writers of Russian heritage include Vladimir Nabokov and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Both authors spent a lot of time in the United States and published novels about life in Russia. For a long time, their books were banned during communist control of Russia.
Today, the works of these authors are part of Russian education and entertainment. In the case of Solzhenitsyn, his books against communism won the Nobel Prize and drew attention to life in the Soviet Union. All of these authors wrote about the human condition and timeless areas of life.
Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky
Leo Tolstoy was one of Russia’s most distinguished authors. He wrote War and Peace, an epic novel about the French invasion of Russia. The novel highlights the impact of the Napoleonic era on Russian life. The book also tells its story through the comments of five Russian aristocratic families.
War and Peace was published in 1863 and was very critical of previous stories about military history. Since its publication, War and Peace has been published in English, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Albanian, and Korean.
Another major Russian novelist during the 19th century was Fyodor Dostoyevsky. His most popular books were Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov. He also wrote Notes from Underground, a novel about personal isolation and the struggles of life.
In Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky wrote about the moral challenges of Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov. This character is a poor student who creates a plan to kill a pawnbroker for her money. The novel is one of the most important pieces of Russian literature.
Nabokov and Solzhenistyn
In modern life, Vladimir Nabokov and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn are two of the most famous authors of Russian heritage. Nabokov’s books include Lolita, Pale Fire, Glory, Bend Sinister, The Origin of Laura, and many other works.
He was considered a master prose stylist and spoke several languages. During the Cold War, Russian communist officials banned most of his novels. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Nabokov found new readers and support in Russia.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is another distinguished Russian author. His many works include The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Both of these books concern persecution by communist officials in Soviet Russia. Solzhenitsyn had to leave Russia during the Cold War, and he lived and taught in the United States.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, he returned to Russia and published additional books about Russian history. He remains a major influence on literature and Russian culture.