At first blush it might seem folly to devote an issue of Chtenia to the theme of happiness. Yet it could be argued that a great deal of Russian literature is chiefly about the pursuit of happiness. What Raskolnikov, Karenina, Pechorin, Chichikov, and many other prominent characters in Russian literature share is a longing for something better, for a contented, full life. They often have a very clear vision of what happiness will look like, but like most great creations of literature, they are deeply flawed – and so even if they could overcome the dramatic hurdles their imaginary worlds throw in their path, they will likely be discontented even after attaining their goal.
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