Russian literature refers to the literature of Russia or its émigrés, and to the Russian-language literature of several independent nations once a part of what was historically Russia or the Soviet Union.
Roots of Russian literature can be traced to Middle Ages, when epics and chronicles in Old Russian were composed. In the Age of enlightenment, literature had grown in importance, and from the early 1830s, Russian literature underwent an astounding golden age in both poetry, prose, and drama. After the Revolution of 1917, Russian literature split into Soviet and white émigré parts. Soviet Union assured universal literacy and highly developed book printing industry, but also carried out ideological censorship.
Russian authors significantly contributed almost to all known genres of the literature. Russia had five Nobel Prize in literature laureates. As of 2011, Russia was the fourth largest book producer in the world in terms of published titles. A popular folk saying claims Russians are "the world's most reading nation".
Famous quotes containing the words russian and/or literature:
“I won the battle the wrong way when our worthy Russian generals were losing it the right way.”
—George Bernard Shaw (18561950)
“Literature that is not the breath of contemporary society, that dares not transmit the pains and fears of that society, that does not warn in time against threatening moral and social dangerssuch literature does not deserve the name of literature; it is only a façade. Such literature loses the confidence of its own people, and its published works are used as wastepaper instead of being read.”
—Alexander Solzhenitsyn (b. 1918)