Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
Despite a tickle in his throat and the fact that he can’t smell his cologne as he completes his toilette, Onegin attends the ball at the Larina house. Two days later, his best friend Lensky is dead.
The Seagull by Anton Chekhov
Konstantin becomes patient zero of a new avian virus strain after shooting and carrying around a seagull. In quarantine, he has ample time to write and becomes a successful author. Yet, he is still unhappy.
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Tired of quarantining in his oppressive garret, Raskolnikov becomes convinced that society must sacrifice the old for the greater good. He visits the old pawnbroker woman without wearing a mask.
Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
After their university closes, Arkady and his friend Bazarov travel to the Kirsanov family estate. Bazarov constantly distracts Arkady from his Zoom classes, reminding him that Zoom’s CEO is a lackey of neoliberalism. The Kirsanov men grow concerned that this directionless, ill-mannered young man is corrupting their Arkady—and compromising the fortune they spent on tuition.
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Napoleon, his bicorne emblazoned with the words “Make the Grande Armée Grande Again,” orders his ragged soldiers to drink disinfectant. When Pierre learns of this, he suddenly understands that Napoleon is not the hero he had believed him to be but, in fact, the Antichrist.
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
Chichikov travels through the Russian countryside buying up all the defective ventilators that ignorant landowners are willing to sell. Once he stockpiles enough, he plans to initiate a bidding war between provinces, make a fortune, and then flee to Riga before anyone catches on.
The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Disregarding travel restrictions, Prince Myshkin leaves Switzerland and sets off for Russia. Upon his arrival, he sends for as much toilet paper as can be found on Nevsky Prospekt. When he mentions this at a high society gathering, the other guests stare at him, aghast. He cannot understand what he has done to offend them.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Anna regrets quarantining with Vronsky—they weren’t ready to move in together, to confront each other’s tiresome habits on a daily basis. Today, for instance, Vronsky takes a horse to Home Depot. “What is he doing there?” Anna thinks. “Is it truly ‘essential’ that he epoxy the garage today? At the risk of exposing us to the virus?” Anna realizes this can only mean one thing: Vronsky no longer loves her. She grows cold with dread.
Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov
Oblomov lies on the couch all day, refreshing his bank app to see whether his unemployment check has come in and debating whether or not it’s ethical to place an Amazon order. He never makes up his mind.