By Thomas Seifrid
The Soviet author Andrei Platonov (1899-1951) belongs to a Russian philosophical culture that incorporates such figures as Vladimir Solov'ev, Mikhail Bakhtin, and Boris Pasternak. This examine investigates the interrelation of issues, imagery, and using language in his prose. Thomas Seifrid exhibits how Platonov was once fairly stimulated by means of Russian utopian considered the past due 19th and early 20th centuries, and the way his global view was once additionally formed by way of its implicit discussion with the "official" Soviet philosophy of Marxism-Leninism, and later with Stalinist utopianism.
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Additional info for Andrei Platonov: Uncertainties of Spirit
In this manner one article describes the appearance of consciousness during the bourgeois era as its emergence from the confinement of the physical body: "consciousness outgrew the strengths of the individual body (pereroslo telesnye lichnye sily)" he comments, and goes on to claim that once " m a n " became convinced of the impotence of the individual " I " , "his heart and mind grew out of his egoistical, bestial, dark body" ("K nachinaiushchim proletarskim poetam i pisateliam"). The trepidations of Platonov's fictional heroes, who anguish over the condition of their bodies as over evidence for some larger world-sorrow, in part have their origins in these subjective interpretations of Bogdanov's ideas.
To be aware of the above concerns is to realize how difficult it is to write about Platonov's texts (which is not to exculpate the shortcomings of the present study). Those texts lend themselves so fitfully to standard commentary because the elements of their thematic mythology are neither embedded in the psychological and sociological causalities of the conventional realist novel, nor yet suspended in the self-consciously arbitrary practices of a more centrally modernist text. Hence the division of much Platonov criticism into conventionalizing treatments, which diminish his peculiarities but by doing so diminish his innovations as well, and those that take his peculiarities as their starting point, only to be drawn either toward schematizing overview (which risks doing violence to the particularities of the texts) or to lengthy quotation, as though that were the only means for conveying what is there (a practice in which those writing in Russian are at an enviable advantage).
39 Though Fedorov is primarily remembered for his Utopian social philosophy, with its resonances of older Slavophile notions of sobornost\ his influence on Platonov had more to do with the ontological concepts that accompanied his vision of social organization. Fedorov begins with the assumption that the key to understanding man's existence on earth lies in physical death - for him the one experience common to the whole of mankind and the sole idea universal to philosophy. This focus on human mortality then leads him to dualist Introduction 21 conclusions about the nature of the cosmos (a feature of his thought absorbed by Platonov as well).