Comparing to European early literary beginnings with William Shakespeare (1564-1616), illustrious poet and exceptional playwright, and Daniel Defoe (1660-1731), who is often considered to be the true progenitor of the long English novel, Russian literature properly begins a century later, with the poet Gavrila Derzhavin (1743-1816), playwright Denis Fonvizin (1744-1792), novelist Nikolai Karamzin (1766-1826) and Ivan Krylov (1768-1844), writer of fables. Thus, the seeds of the Russian literary tradition were sown, only to blossom in the 19th Century to an astounding Golden Age of the Russian Literature.
The greatest Russian poet of all times and a novelist, Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin, was the originator of this exceptional period in Russian cultural evolution, which culminated with two of the greatest novelists in the world literature, Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky and Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, and gave many distinguished writers, poets and playwrights, to mention only the best: Nikolai Gogol, Mikhail Lermontov, Ivan Turgenev and Anton Chekhov.
In the Twentieth Century leading figures of Russian literature included internationally recognized poets such as Vladimir Mayakovsky, Boris Pasternak, Anna Akhmatova, and prose writers: Aleksandr Kuprin, Maxim Gorki, Mikhail Sholokhov, Alexei Tolstoy, Mikhail Bulgakov and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, as well as those who resided outside of Russia (then Soviet Union), like Nobel Prize winner Ivan Bunin, or Vladimir Nabokov, who wrote in English, and Henri Troyat (Tarassov), who wrote in French.”
In cooperation with the Russian Program at the California State University of Long Beach, the Long Beach-Sochi Sister City Association is pleased to bring a broader meaning to recent cultural happenings in our city and to jointly introduce the Russian Literature Festival as an on-going event reoccurring every second year. It started in October 2006, with the Pushkin Festival, followed by the Dostoyevsky Festival in February 2009, and we are proud to announce it’s continuation – the Tolstoy Festival in October 2010.
Leo Tolstoy's Festival UPDATE
October 22-24, 2010
The Organizing committee of the Leo Tolstoy’s Festival was prompted to bring an important change of the schedule which will help the accomplishment of the program and facilitate the participation of key note speakers.
Namely, the first day program (except for the opening speeches) is moved to the second day and vice versa. Thus, the MGM movie “Anna Karenina” (1935) with Greta Garbo as a leading actress, will be screened on Friday at ~ 10:30 AM and the 1968 MOSFILM (USSR) version of the same Tolstoy’s novel, with Tatiana Samoylova as Anna, will be given on Friday afternoon, around 2:30 PM.
Consequently, two excerpts from world wide known movies made upon Leo Tolstoy’s capital work, novel “War and Piece”, will be screened on Saturday – King Vidor’s version (1959) with an exceptional cast of Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Mel Ferrer, Vittorio Gassman, at approx. 11:30 AM, and excerpt from the Sergey Bondarchuk’s most expensive movie ever made (1968), will be screened at 2:30 PM, followed by this year documentary TV serial made by his daughter, Natalia Bondarchuk, about her father’s work.
The Organizing Committee, Co-Chairmen:
Prof. Harold Schefski, Head of the Russian Department at CSULB
Alexander Yahontov, Co-President of the Long Beach-Sochi sister City Assoc.