Революция, или Вступление в эпоху безумия
in this article the author shows that after revolutions of XX century
for the thinking person uncertainty in all moral values becomes fundamental.
In the situation of cultural crisis, revolts of mass consciousness we clear understand
collapse of all moral ideals. Person does not know what has spiritual value in
his life. He doubts in all ideals and principles. And this uncertainty becomes the
first step to the awareness of true foundation – spiritual reality, which is opposite
to earth reality. Russian philosophers have seen the solution in the ideas of Christian
The present edition continues the scientific series «Literature. XX century» (issue I – “Faces and Facets of the XXth Century”, 2009; issue 2 – “Literature and War. XX Century”, 2013; issue 3 – “Literature and Ideology. XX Centu‑ ry”,, 2016) based on the materials of the International prof. Leonid Andreev memorial conferences “Faces and Facets of the XXth Century” regularly hosted by the Faculty of Philology, Lomonosov State University of Moscow (MGU). As the edition coincides with the centenary of the Russian revolu‑ tion, the major part of the papers is focused on the influence of the event on the Western and Russian literature and culture (including the Russian Émigré literature), as well as on the Soviet-Western literary and cultural contacts of the 1920–1930s. The issue also considers the impact of various XXth centu‑ ry revolutions (political, social, aesthetic, technical, etc.) over European and American literature and culture.
The paper attempts to analyse the views of Boris Poplavsky (1903-1935), an émigré poet, writer and amateur philosopher, on the historical dialectics and the role of revolutionary violence and terror. The main emphasis is laid on his essay "Lichnost' i Obschchestvo" ("Personality and Society", 1934) as its line of argument seems to be based to a certain extent on the revolutionary (in every sense of the world) interpretation of Hegel's "Phänomenologie des Geistes" by the Russian émigré philosopher Alexandre Kojève. Poplavsky acknowledges the necessity of revolutionary violence, in particular in his novel "Domoi s nebes" ("Homeward from Heaven"), possibly because of his attendance and participation in Kojève's seminar on Hegel (1933-1939) held at the Ecole pratique des hautes études in Paris. Poplavsky officially attended the seminar in the 1934-1935 academic year, though the close analysis of his essay shows that he might have participated in Kojève's classes of the previous year as well, especially the ones dedicated to Hegel's dialectics of death.
The letters of Eleanor Lord Pray (1868-1954) describe the reaction to the news of the revolution, the first rallies and demonstrations in the Far East, the revolutionary upsurge and its end, the intervention and rise to power of the Bolsheviks in 1922. Pray is often quite critical and notes her disappointment with modern society, and her look at current events reveals a regret about the past and the coming changes. The author writes about the complete absurdity of the ongoing social change and inconsistency of the revolutionaries. At the same time the enthusiasm for the possibility of a new bright future for Russia is replaced by bitter disappointment with what has happened. Special attention is given to intervention and to the relationship with the new government. In 1930, after 36 years of living in Vladivostok, finally losing all possibilities for living in Soviet Russia, Pray leaves the country forever.