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Download Andrei Platonov: Uncertainties of Spirit by Thomas Seifrid PDF

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By Thomas Seifrid

The Soviet author Andrei Platonov (1899-1951) belongs to a Russian philosophical culture that comes with such figures as Vladimir Solov'ev, Mikhail Bakhtin, and Boris Pasternak. This learn investigates the interrelation of issues, imagery, and using language in his prose. Thomas Seifrid indicates how Platonov was once rather prompted by way of Russian utopian considered the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries, and the way his global view used to be additionally formed by means of its implicit discussion with the "official" Soviet philosophy of Marxism-Leninism, and later with Stalinist utopianism.

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Extra resources for Andrei Platonov: Uncertainties of Spirit

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The newspapers in which they initially appeared were propaganda organs designed to carry the Bolshevik cause to the peasantry, and these sketches thus have the apparent aim of exposing the perennial backwardness of the Russian countryside and instilling revolutionary consciousness in their intended peasant readers. " P o p " ("The Priest"; 1920)27 and "Istoriia Iereia Prokopiia Zhabrina" ("The Tale of Bishop Prokopii Zhabrin"; 1923),28 for example, are anticlerical tales satirizing the deceptiveness of priests and their comic efforts to fit into the new Soviet society, while "Voly" ("Oxen"; 1920)29 portrays ignorant Cossacks who dream of riding off to rid the country of the godless Bolsheviks but are forced, after Denikin's troops ravage their farms, to admit the revolutionaries' humaneness and justness.

What philosophical convention regards as the discontinuous realms of matter and idea, he argued, in fact merely represent different aspects of man's experience of the world; their essence is the same. That experience accessible to the individual, and corresponding to the traditional category of idea, he termed "psychical," while "matter" in his definition was merely that "physical" form of experience accessible to the collective and constituted merely the sum of individual "psychical" experiences.

Fedorov even proposes that men learn how to " s t e e r " the " s h i p " of earth on which they are passengers in cosmic space. This program of " practical" feats appears to have exerted a particular attraction on Platonov in the early twenties, when he worked as a land reclamation engineer in the Voronezh countryside and wrote a series of articles calling on Soviet science to learn how to seed clouds and blow open passageways in the Urals (to warm Siberia) and hypothesizing on how light might be harnessed to supply an inexhaustible energy source to Soviet factories.

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