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Abolishing Death: A Salvation Myth of Russian by Irene Masing-Delic

By Irene Masing-Delic

The belief of abolishing dying used to be essentially the most influential myth-making strategies expressed in Russian literature from 1900 to 1930, specially within the works of writers who attributed a "life-modeling" functionality to paintings. To them, artwork used to be to create a existence so aesthetically prepared and excellent that immortality will be an inevitable final result. this concept used to be reflected within the considered a few who believed that the political revolution of 1917 may result in a revolution in easy existential evidence: in particular, the idea that communism and the accompanying improve of technological know-how may finally have the capacity to bestow actual immortality and to resurrect the lifeless. in accordance with one variation, for instance, the useless have been to be resurrected through extrapolation from the lines in their exertions left within the fabric global. the writer reveals the seeds of this notable thought within the erosion of conventional faith in late-nineteenth-century Russia. stimulated via the recent energy of medical inquiry, humankind appropriated a number of divine attributes one by one, together with omnipotence and omniscience, yet finally even aiming towards the conclusion of person, actual immortality, and hence desiring to equality with God. Writers as diversified because the "decadent" Fyodor Sologub, the "political" Maxim Gorky, and the "gothic" Nikolai Ognyov created works for making mortals into gods, reworking the uncooked fabrics of present fact into legend. The booklet first outlines the ideological context of the immortalization undertaking, significantly the influence of the philosophers Fyodorov and Solovyov. the rest of the ebook comprises shut readings of texts by means of Sologub, Gorky, Blok, Ognyov, and Zabolotsky. Taken jointly, the works yield the "salvation application" that tells humans easy methods to abolish demise and reside eternally in an everlasting, self-created cosmos―gods of a legend that was once made attainable by means of inventive artists, inventive scientists, and encouraged workers.

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In presuming to "speak" on behalf of the individual, they not only locate the source of writing in themselves, they also imply that writing came from a much larger speech community. In writing his or her "mind," in other words, the author always speaks on behalf of such a community. He or she "represents" the members of that community and acquires authority by his or her exemplary status in this respect as much as they do. 27 Some common ground among individuals is therefore essential to the complex ideological package we are elaborating, so essential in fact that such ground has to exist logically prior to authors and revolutions, as the natural milieu that could have given rise to both.

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