In ‘the Paradise of Friends’: Boris Poplavskii’s Novel, Homeward from Heaven, in the Light of Alexandre Kojève’s Seminar on Hegel
The article focuses on the legacy of Alexandre Kojève's interpretation of the Phenomenology of the Spirit by Hegel in the novel Homeward from Heaven by Boris Poplavskii, Russian émigré poet and writer who attended Kojève's seminar at the École pratique des hautes études in 1934–35 while writing his final narrative. This enables us to reconfigure the well-known notion of the ‘unnoticed generation’, which claims the cultural isolation of young émigrés in interwar Paris.
The article is devoted to the echoes of Rimbaud’s œuvre and especially the Illuminations in the prose poems by Russian émigré poet and writer Boris Poplavsky (1903-1935). Poplavsky, an emblematic figure of the new generation of émigré writers known as the “unnoticed generation”, was very sensible to foreign influences and considered Rimbaud as a perfect incarnation of the French poetry which he tried to match in his Journal of Apollo Bezobrazov.
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 early years of Soviet rule signaled the arrival of a new Utopian era where it seemed as if even the most outlandish avant-garde projects might be realized. Many avant-garde artists contributed to the construction of this brave new world which quickly degenerated into a nightmarish dystopia. Ironically, many avant-garde poets and painters emigrated from the soviet Russia in the early twenties just at a time when the range of possibilities still seemed enticing. Among the artists who turned their backs on such seeming opportunity was Ilia Zdanevich (Iliazd), Alexander Guinger, Boris Poplavsky, and Serge Charchoune. Thus was born, mainly in Paris, the Russian avant-garde art in exile, a phenomenon which allows the present day observer a fascinating analytical perspective in which the concept of Utopia may be placed at the very centre of our reflections. For if the avant-garde longed for a radical transformation of life, society and art, did it make sense to continue or even to start (as in the case of Poplavsky) such avant-garde developments so far removed from the country where these transformations were supposedly taking place? For example, the invention of transrational language was purely a utopian project, but why print this new language in the Cyrillic alphabet (as Iliazd did in 1923) rendering it inaccessible to the French Dadaists unless read aloud? Kruchenykh declared that Zaum could provide “a universal poetic language born organically”, but this very language produced in a foreign linguistic environment couldn’t help but loose its utopian aura, leaving it at best a pure artifice. The abrupt end of the “heroic times” of Russian avant-garde poetry in Paris demonstrates that the young émigrés had yet to elaborate their own alternatives, both to the art of their Russian predecessors as well to the new leftist ideology of art.
The paper focuses on the specifically magical dimension of the poetic work of Boris Poplavskii (1903-1935), an emblematic figure of the “lost generation” of Russian émigrés in Paris. In his youth, Poplavskii was much influenced by anthroposophist and theosophist doctrines, and later manifested a deep interest in occult and magical writings. In this article, I analyze magic in Poplavskii from a number of perspectives, including those of concrete rituals and techniques (witchcraft, invocation, alchemy, meditation), as well as practical mysticism (Christian and Jewish) and different patterns of “divine-working” (theurgy) which have had an explicit or implicit impact on Poplavskii’s poetic and narrative texts. In particular, I highlight the visual component of various magical practices referenced by Poplavskii.
This paper recounts how the initial influence of Hegelian ideas in Russian during the 1830s and 40s acted as the catalyst for a complex process of personal and philosophical development, which eventually transformed the youthful members of Moscow's philosophical circles into the leaders of Russia's 'liberation movement.' Focusing in particular on Vissarion Belinsky, Mikhail Bakunin, and Alexander Herzen, the paper traces their tortuous personal development from 'the crisis of the beautiful soul' to the notorious phase of 'reconciliation with reality' and, finally, to the distinct historical self-consciousness that would prove decisive for their role in Russian history. Ultimately, the story of early Russian Hegelianism offers us a poignant perspective on the interaction between philosophy and life and on the emergence of a unique type of social identity.
The collection of papers includes the articles, which examine some of the most actual problems of the modern Chinese studies. Among these problems are the connections between our two contries in the period, when the Chinese Communist Party came to power, and on the modern stage, the problems of formation and development of Chinese "global cities", the development of the law in the PRC, the history of the Guomindang, history and modern condition of the Chinese armed forces.
It is shown that the Arab Spring acted as a trigger for a global wave of socio-political destabilization, which significantly exceeded the scale of the Arab Spring itself and affected absolutely all the World System zones. However, this global destabilization wave manifested itself in different World System zones in different ways and not entirely simultaneously.
The growth of the total number of anti-government demonstrations and riots in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2011-2015 was not particularly strong in comparison with most other macrozones, but, by the measures of this macrozone itself, this growth was very noticeable (by several times) and Africa made its own historical records in 2014. If the West, Asia and Latin America made the main contribution in 2014-2015 to historically record levels of the global number of demonstrations, riots and general strikes and the share of Sub-Saharan Africa here
was relatively low, then to the reaching of historically record levels in 2014 by the global number of guerrilla warfare actions Sub-Saharan Africa made a very significant contribution.