All posts tagged Solov’ev

Russian thought lecture 10: Utopias in Russian culture: of palaces and panopticons

Reading: Dostoevsky, “Dream of a Ridiculous Man” (1877) So we come to the end of this lecture series, and a slightly different focus than previously, as theoretical works take a back seat, and we look instead at Russian literature and culture to explore the utopian theme. There are clearly strong utopian aspects to the work […]

Russian thought lecture 9: Nikolai Fedorov and the utopia of the resurrected

Reading: “The Question of Brotherhood or Relatedness, and the Reasons for the Unbrotherly, Dis-Related, or Unpeaceful State of the World, and of the Means for the Restoration of Relatedness” (from Philosophy of the Common Task) So we come to the penultimate lecture for this course, and turn our attention more fully to the question of […]

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 2: the Slavophiles and Russian communality

Readings: Aleksei Khomiakov, “On Humboldt” (1849) and “On the Church” (1855); Ivan Kireevskii, “A Reply to A. S. Khomiakov” (1839) and “On the Nature of European Culture and its Relation to the Culture of Russia” (1852); Konstantin Aksakov, “Memorandum to Alexander II on the Internal State of Russia” (1855) The Slavophiles were a group of […]

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 […]

Four short links: intergalactic zombie agriculture!

… or Nikolai Fedorovich Fedorov’s Philosophy of the Common Task. One comes across many extraordinary figures and ideas in Russian literature and intellectual history, but Fedorov stands out even in this exalted company. Fedorov’s ‘common task’, to which all human activity should be directed, was achieving immortality for all, including the dead, who would thereby […]

Top ten beards in Russian literature

I know I said I’d write another post about Mapping Petersburg, but I’m still thinking about that, so in the mean time, another top ten. But this time it is not the works, but the writers themselves, and specifically their facial adornments, that interest me. Beards, as Elif Batuman has affirmed, are hugely important to […]

Russians in London: Vladimir Solov’ev

On 11 July 1875, the philosopher and poet Vladimir Solov’ev arrived in London. Having finished his studies (in natural sciences, then history and philology) at Moscow University and at the seminary at Sergiev Posad, Solov’ev was already, at the tender age of 22, teaching philosophy at Moscow University. On the advice of various friends and […]

Russians in London: Introduction

Over the next few weeks, I will be publishing a series of posts entitled ‘Russians in London’. The project came to mind when I was researching Dostoevsky and the Crystal Palace earlier this year. I started thinking about his description of Whitechapel and the Haymarket in Winter Notes on Summer Impressions, and imagined him haunting […]