All posts tagged Slavophiles

From Herzen to Leskov, and back again

I’ve been re-reading Nikolai Leskov’s Cathedral Clergy (Soboriane) in the excellent recent translation by Margaret Winchell (Slavica, 2010) for a new undergraduate course I’m starting to teach in the Autumn, Identities in nineteenth-century Russian literature. The first part of the course – and in many ways the most interesting for me in terms of preparing […]

Russian thought lecture 8: Vladimir Solov’ev: Godmanhood, Sophia, and erotic utopianism

Readings: Solov’ev, “The Meaning of Love” Vladimir Solov’ev (1853-1900) is a very significant figure in the history of Russian thought as well as being a very prominent poet, but in terms of his ideas, he is also a very challenging figure, whose work many people find difficult to understand.The text on which we are going […]

Russian Thought lecture 7: Tolstoy: from Christian love to Christian anarchism

Readings: L. N. Tolstoy, “A Confession” (1879), “The Law of Violence and the Law of Love” (1908), “Postface to The Kreutzer Sonata” (1889) We now move onto Lev Tolstoy (1828-1910) who was not only one of the most important novelists in the nineteenth century, but also one of Russia’s most important thinkers. But while nobody would […]

Russian Thought lecture 6: Populism: the Intelligentsia and the People

Readings: Alexander Herzen, “The Russian People and Socialism” (1851); Petr Lavrov, “Historical Letters” (1868-9); Nikolai Mikhailovskii, “What is Progress?” (1869); Mikhail Bakunin, “Statism and Anarchy, Appendix A” (1873) Unlike the other movements we have studied in this course so far, which have been purely theoretical, the subject of today’s lecture – Populism (narodnichestvo), and related […]

Russian thought lecture 4: Nihilism and the birth of Russian radicalism: from science to art

Readings: Nikolai Chernyshevsky, extracts from “The Anthropological Principle in Philosophy” (1860); Dmitry Pisarev, “The Realists” (1864) and “The Thinking Proletariat” (1865) We’re now moving away from the debate that arose initially out of Chaadaev’s “First Philosophical Letter” and dominated Russian intellectual life in the 1830s and 1840s. In the next generation a different set of […]

Russian thought lecture 3: The Westernizers and concepts of the self: from reconciliation to action

Readings: Vissarion Belinsky, “Society and the Individual” (1839) extracts from “Letters to Botkin” (1840-1841) and “Letter to Gogol” (1847); Alexander Herzen, extracts from “Dilettantism in Science” (1843) “From the Other Shore” (1848-9) and “Robert Owen” (1861). Having examined the Slavophiles and the development of the idea of communality as a specifically Russian phenomenon, we now […]

Lectures on Russian Thought: Introduction

Over the next two terms I will be publishing fortnightly lectures from my undergraduate course on Russian thought. I’ve been teaching the course for a few years solely as seminars, but am changing it this year to lectures and seminars. I’ve decided to do so because for many of the students this is an entirely […]