By Irene Masing-Delic
The belief of abolishing demise used to be essentially the most influential myth-making ideas expressed in Russian literature from 1900 to 1930, in particular within the works of writers who attributed a "life-modeling" functionality to paintings. To them, artwork used to be to create a lifestyles so aesthetically geared up and excellent that immortality will be an inevitable outcome. this concept used to be reflected within the considered a few who believed that the political revolution of 1917 could result in a revolution in uncomplicated existential evidence: particularly, the assumption that communism and the accompanying enhance of technological know-how may eventually manage to bestow actual immortality and to resurrect the lifeless. in keeping with one version, for instance, the lifeless have been to be resurrected by way of extrapolation from the strains in their exertions left within the fabric international. the writer unearths the seeds of this impressive notion within the erosion of conventional faith in late-nineteenth-century Russia. prompted by means of the hot energy of clinical inquiry, humankind appropriated a variety of divine attributes one by one, together with omnipotence and omniscience, yet ultimately even aiming towards the conclusion of person, actual immortality, and hence meaning to equality with God. Writers as various because the "decadent" Fyodor Sologub, the "political" Maxim Gorky, and the "gothic" Nikolai Ognyov created works for making mortals into gods, remodeling the uncooked fabrics of present fact into legend. The publication first outlines the ideological context of the immortalization venture, particularly the influence of the philosophers Fyodorov and Solovyov. the rest of the e-book 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 tips on how to abolish loss of life and stay ceaselessly in an everlasting, self-created cosmos―gods of a legend that used to be made attainable by way of inventive artists, resourceful scientists, and encouraged employees.
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Extra resources for Abolishing Death: A Salvation Myth of Russian Twentieth-Century Literature
Rather, economic and cultural factors caused the growth in reading and the numbers of readers to be concentrated in the urban middle class. Over the last thirty years, historians have begun to delineate the nature of this segment of the antebellum population. While questions remain about whether the term middle class is historically accurate and about what exactly marked middle-class status, most who have grappled with this issue agree that the forty years before the Civil War witnessed the emergence and expansion of an American middle class marked less by specific income catego- Hermeneutics, Reception Theory, and the Conditions of Reading 25 ries than by a cluster of social, economic, and cultural features.
Reviewers who addressed this issue repeatedly identified a similar objective. While “it has been our constant duty to guide our readers aright in their choice of literary amusement,” announced Godey’s Lady’s Book, it is also the concern of periodicals to let readers see “that this ‘delight’ or amusement should be guided by sound principles” (Mar. 1863: 304). it has risen to a higher position, and considers it to be now its duty to form and correct the taste, by pointing out beauties and defects, and by analyzing the one and the other till the origin and nature of both are made apparent.
41 What was true of book production in general was true of fiction in particular. Of the 1,400 titles of American fiction published between 1720 and 1850, more than half appeared from 1840 to 1849. 42 This concurrent growth in population, urbanization, and the availability of printed matter in the first half of the nineteenth century was, to be sure, not unique to the United States. Not only were all three factors regnant through most of the Euro-Atlantic world; the yearly production of book titles in England and France equaled or outstripped that of the United States in the 1850s.