Special Sub-Topic: Russian Prose
|In Aleksandr Pushkin's short story "Queen of Spades" there's a woman who gets killed. What secret did she conceal?|
She knew a method to win every card game.. She had a trick to always produce four jacks when needed. At the end the killer produces three jacks, but the fourth card is a queen of spades, with the face of the old woman. It's also an opera by Tchaikovsky.
|At the end of Mikhail Lermontov's "A Hero of Our Time", the "hero" Pechorin holds a gun against his head and pulls the trigger. What happens?|
The gun is loaded, but doesn't go off.. It was a bet: pull the trigger without checking if the gun is loaded.
|Ivan Turgenev wrote the novel "Home of the Gentry" (other translation: "A Nest of Nobles"). In this story Lavretsky falls in love with Liza. How does it end?|
She decides to become a nun.. She often talked about her religious feelings and finally entered the monastery.
|Nikolai Gogol wrote the novel "Dead Souls". What are dead souls? |
dead serfs. A landowner was judged on the number of serfs he owned: the wealthier, the more serfs. Chichikov decided to buy dead serfs who were still registered, to make people believe he was rich.
|Which Shakespeare character appears in a title of Nikolai Leskov?|
Lady Macbeth. In "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" a woman commits adultery and kills her father-in-law.
|Ivan Goncharov wrote the novel "Oblomov". Where does the title character spend most of his time? |
in bed. He's an antihero. All he wants is to lie in bed, to eat and drink well and to be left alone.
|In Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment", how does the police find out that Raskolnikov is the killer?|
He turns himself in.. Dostoevsky developed a philosophy of the human conscience. Raskolnikov's girlfriend convinces him to turn himself in.
|Which Dostoevsky novel contains the story of the Grand Inquisitor?|
The Brothers Karamazov. Ivan Karamazov wrote about the Grand Inquisitor, who told Jesus that the church doesn't need him anymore.
|Which historical character appears in Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace"?|
Napoleon Bonaparte. It's a historical novel about 1812, when the Russians defeated Napoleon. Tolstoy's idea is that one person can't change the course of history.
|Vronsky is a character in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. What's not true about him?|
He cheats on his wife.. He wasn't married.
|Who wrote the short story "The Lady with the Dog"?|
Anton Chekhov. Chekhov is best known as a playwright, but he also wrote a lot of short stories. "The Lady with the Dog" is another story about adultery, but this time the woman chooses to divorce.
|His real name was Aleksei Maximovich Peshkov, but he used the pseudonym Maxim Gorki. What does "gorki" mean?|
the bitter one. The use of pseudonyms was popular among Russian poets in the twentieth century. "The homeless one" is Bezdomny, a character in Mikhail Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita".
|Which character in Mikhail Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarite" is really Satan?|
Woland. When the master visits Bezdomny in the hospital, he explains that Woland is Satan.
|Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich". Who's Ivan Denisovich?|
a prisoner. It's a protest against the situation in the prisons and labor camps of the Soviet Union. Solzhenitsyn used to be a prisoner himself.
|In what language did Vladimir Nabokov write "Lolita"?|
English. He was born in Russia and wrote a lot in Russian. Later he migrated to Europe and finally to the United States, where he started writing in English. "Lolita" is about the controversial relation between an adult man and a teenage girl.
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