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 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 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 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.
This article examines how a crucial aspect of the founding myth of the Russian intelligentsia—the notion of the intelligentsia as “the conscience of Russian society”—was initially formulated in the conceptual language of Hegelian philosophy by the members of Stankevich circle in the late 1830s and early 40s. The aim is to present a more precise account of how specific Hegelian ideas were assimilated and experienced by the Stankevich circle, in order to establish the conceptual interconnection between what will later become the intelligentsia and the Hegelian notions of conscience (Gewissen) and the conscientious community, as formulated in the Phenomenology of Spirit. The distinct contributions of Nikolai Stankevich, Mikhail Bakunin, and Vissarion Belinsky to the emergence of the intelligentsia will thus be conceptualized in terms of their struggle with the inner logical instability and contradictions of conscience.
During the 14th and 15th October 2017, a conference organized by Ben Eklof (Indiana University), Igor Fedyukin (Higher School of Economics (Moscow), Tatiana Saburova (Higher School of Economics, Indiana University), Elena Vishlenkova (Higher School of Economics, Moscow) has been held at the Indiana University Europe Gateway at CIEE Global Institute (Berlin) with the aim to discuss new narratives about the history of Russian education, aroused by James C. Scott’s books, Seeking like a State. How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (1998), in particular on the basis of the concept of “high modernism” in its effort to redesign society and of the role of knowledge in the context of social and economic changes.
Within a brief historical period, BRICS as an inter-State association has become an influential player in the world economy and politics. BRICS is a primarily political entity, and in that regard, the BRICS grouping correlates with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). However, not all the expectations placed on the SCO by the founding countries at the time of its creation in 2001 have been met so far. The question is to what extent expectations may be fulfilled in case of BRICS.
The article identifies the effect of personalization of politics: its definition is given, the determinants and possible consequences are considered. That effect is illustrated by some features in the Asian and European style of modern political leadership.