Study Guide for Siberian Russian Literature I: One Writer’s Reflections on His Siberian Homeland

Valentin Rasputin, Siberia, Siberia, Translators’ Introduction and chapters 1-4

Topics for Discussion

Translators’ Introduction

What are some of the main themes of Rasputin’s prose fiction and essays?

How does Rasputin view the role of the creative writer in society?

Who were the Siberian “regionalists” (oblastniki), and what did they advocate?

What is patriotism and what is its place in contemporary society?

Can we, as Americans, relate to the notion of one’s homeland as Rasputin perceives it?

Siberia without the Romance

What are some of the most prevalent common conceptions of Siberia?

Who was Yermak and what is his significance in the history of Siberia?

What motivated Russians to explore and conquer Siberia?

What are some of the distinguishing features of Siberians?

What does Rasputin regard as the most spectacular natural features of Siberia?

Chapters 2,3,4

Based upon what you read in Rasputin’s chapters entitled “Tobolsk”, “Baikal”, and “Irkutsk”, what are the most significant features of the history and present-day condition of these three Siberian places?

Where do they fit into the whole scheme that we call “Siberia”?

If you were writing a paper on any one of the topics covered in the introduction and first four chapters of Rasputin’s Siberia, Siberia, which aspects would you choose to explore further in other sources, and which aspects would you emphasize?

Dr. Cynthia Annett,
Jan 18, 2012, 5:50 PM