Review by Choice Review
D.M. Mirsky's brilliantly quirky History of Russian Literature (in Francis Whitfield's 1949 abridgment) has long been the standard work in the field. No other volume approaches its vigor and insight, but its coverage ends at the Revolution. Nor did Mirsky provide sources or any guide to more specialized criticism. An Introduction to Russian Language and Literature, ed. by Robert Auty and Dmitri Obolensky (CH, Jan'78) provides supplementary bibliography but is overly concise in its treatment of literary history. Editor Charles Moser (George Washington University) has gathered ten international specialists, each writing on his or her own period, to provide "in narrative form a survey. . .from the beginnings to this decade, in sufficient but not overwhelming detail." Thoroughly traditional in approach and form, the volume offers a solid introduction to its subject matter. Designed for the general reader, it compensates for its lack of footnote citations by an elaborate bibliography and index. The editor's introductory sketches to each of the ten chapters are models of clarity and concision. The volume is a pleasure to the eye. Essential for all libraries. -D. B. Johnson, University of California, Santa Barbara
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.