After Science: on Techniques of Humanitarian Ideologies
The article deals with techniques and fundamental philosophical assumptions of the contemporary studies of literature and cultural-historical concepts. Claiming the solution of the humanitarian knowledge’s principal issues representatives of subjectivist directions make ideological arguments their main weapon and thereby overcome, in their own fashion, positivist assumptions. However the humanitarian knowledge oriented towards ideology inadvertently turns out to be an ally of the post-modernist epistemology. Scholar’s «egoism» and consumerists super-tasks set against the collective experience of science are conquering the unoccupied intellectual space. And now personal opinion or personal faith of a scientist, freedom of his/her conscience means by far more than the source-aware conscience’s reality. Two polar approaches to the history of culture, the conservative and liberal-atheistic approaches are compared to each other. In both cases representatives of the respective concepts refer to their own positions as to an important fact of science and a theoretical model. Strangely enough, polarities complement each other: studies of literature that make the absolute of the immutable and studies of culture that assume the making without the subject of the process generate equally destructive and disorganizing effect on the modern humanitarian science. These extremities need not so much reconciliation as a dialectical and creative overcoming, a renewing synthesis.
At the Boundary of Epochs: Literary Archaic in the 18th Century Booklore (Three Examples)
The article deals with the old Russian literary culture taken as the aggregate of techniques and speech-and-behavioral tactics that had been developed in the early days of the East Slavic art of writing. The 17th century as transitory period in the Russian culture history was distinguished with the unprecedented innovativeness. The South Slavic influence was replaced with the West Slavic influence and a stream of new translations including translations of secular fictional texts gushed in the Russian literature. Conventional symbolic and pragmatic ways of the reality cognition was replaced with scholastic rationalism. Yet traditions remained to be respected and significant. The long-established archaic still asserted itself. The connection with conservative literary custom was wide-spread and universal. This thesis is proved by examples of three famous monuments of the transitory period literature: “The Life of Yulianina Lazarevskaya”, “The Latukhinskaya genealogic book” by Tikhon Makar’evski and the epistolary heritage of Patriarch Nikon.
Biblical Thematic Keys: Limits of Verification
The article deals with two strategies of interpretation of medieval sources. The author does not subscribe to the theory put forward by Ricardo Picchio, the Italian Slavicist who studies so called «Biblical thematic key» of the ancient Russian texts. According to Picchio, the original context of hidden quotations from the Holy Scripture allows prompt and precise defining of a work’s idea and deciphering its author’s implicit intention. However such methodology does not bring about the genuine verification of a study’s conclusion and is based on an interpreter’s abused discretion. The only way to reconstruct a medieval scribe’s thought is to analyze his text as the unity of expressive and meaningful components. The article provides readers with examples of such interpretation.
Direct Experience in the Texts of Ancient Russia: Hegumen Daniel, Monk Thomas, ProtopopAvvakum
The article considers direct experience as a fact of self-consciousness of the ancient Russian masters of the word. In addition to authoritative sample texts, ancient and medieval Russia was able to appreciate personal evidence, links to the author’s acquaintance with the subject of the image. Travelers, rhetoricians and preachers used direct experience as an important suggestive setting, which allowed to give the work credibility. This technique was used in different genres in order to engage the reader in the proposed circumstances. The reception function is considered on the example of the works of hegumen Daniel (XII century), monk Thomas (XV century), protopope Avvakum (XVII century).
direct experience; rhetoric; appeal; author; etiquette; elements of realism; persuasiveness.
In Search of the Lost Alternative: the New «Paradigm» and Paradoxes of the Historical Science
The author deals with a questionable direction in the contemporary historical science, i.e., theory of the lost alternatives and virtual role-games. The author investigates epistemologic problems (problems of the humanitarian disciplines' method) as well as the specific content of the alternative studies. The attention is focused on the problem of the modern historical science’s ethos (its moral standards). What is the social responsibility of a historian, how far are we to go in our search of the truth, what is the ethics of an interpretator who reconstructs a non-existent historical reality — the author offers his answers to these and other questions.
Ivan Timofeev: History and Rhetoric
The article is devoted to one of the most original thinkers of the 17th century, d’yak (clerk) Ivan Timofeev (Semenov), the author of the «Chronicle», the book that had to provide an answer to the challenging question concerning the causes of the Time of troubles in the Russian state. The plan of the work came to Ivan Timofeev’s mind in Novgorod. This city lived through a long Swedish occupation and all vicissitudes of the state crisis that brought Russian on the brink of national disaster. It was precisely the time when the Metropolitan of Novgorod blessed Timofeev to write the Time of troubles chronicle which had to prevent oblivion of the Russian history tragic period when usurpers, «slave czars» and «Hellenes» of alien faith contributed to the supreme authority renown’s fall. Yet Timofeev produces not a dry chronicle of events but an excited lyrical monologue, confused, irregular in contexture, and does that by extremely difficult language and style. Timofeev failed to write a well-structured historical work. But he was the first of the Russian medieval authors who employed the traditional hagiographic general judgments and techniques of time and space organization for description of the civil history events. Also he was the first who began to consider a historian’s method.
Relevancy of an Ancient Text
The magazine publishes materials of the conference held in October, 2013, at the Department of philology of the Lomonosov Moscow State University. The conference was dedicated to one of the most ancient monuments of the Russian literature, The Primary Chronicle. It is the most ancient code of the Russian history. It contains the most important mythologemes and ideologemes of the East European past. Participants of the conference focused of issues of hermeneutics, the text’s integrity and origins of The Primary Chronicle. The significance of the monument is not limited to narrow professional interests of medievalists. For The Primary Chronicle was intended to provide the answer to the question: «Wherefrom the Russian land has emerged?»
The American Fairy Tale (about Oliver Yourgen's Book)
The article is a review of «Dreams of Uncle El», the book by American writer Oliver Yurgen. The American fairy detective story provides not only a pretext for critical review but causes serious thought about the place fiction book in the contemporary cultural context. First of all, the author wonders whether O. Yurgen’s book may have its own reader in Russia or not. The book is not just a story for adolescents. It is also a peculiar message addressed to the Russian book market and contemporary Russian culture. Will such book be required in present-day Russia? What will be its Russian readers? Is the humanistic literary tradition (one of contemporary representatives of the tradition is Oliver Yurgen, the American writer and thinker) still possible in Russia?
The Austere Creativity: On Alexander Aizenstat’s Painting and Graphic Works
The review is devoted to creative works of Alexander Aizenstat, a contemporary artist from Jerusalem. Every visitor of his exhibition will see a spontaneous narrative, a meta-story of a nation’s destine, of spiritual life secrets as well as of what is close not just to the artist’s milieu but what is in consonance with the destiny of the Motherland, the country the artist is connected to by his biography, by his creative work and by his religious activities. However there is no need to indulge in interpretation, second-guessing, play of imagination and to transform associations into a well-thought-out scheme. As it is the case with any authentic creative work Aizenstat’s pictures demand an explanation but at the same time they are elusive for description with the subsequent interpretation of images' meaning. Let what is expressed by the language of painting be the property of the pictorial arts. Any translation, any verbalization will not help to a spectator because Aizenstat’s works, despite their intimate connection with the Jewish tradition, do not put a claim to be just an encyclopedia of symbols. The author of the review writes about religious and moral panhuman intentions of the artist whose creative work is formed by belonging to the supreme spiritual intentions of the traditional culture.
The problem of historical sources’ interpretation is coming out in the spotlight of the contemporary humanitarian sciences. This is caused by the onward development of theoretical sources’ study which nowadays defines the search for the most correct and unbiased ways of texts interpretation as its principal task. As this is done, the object of historical study is no more the likely past «reality» but an opinion of an author who created the source. So peculiar subject-subjective relationship between a scholar and the «other person’s» conscience fragments of which are embodied in monuments of the past are established. In this case the very historical text comes out in capacity of the singular likely reality which is the most important integral part of the cognitive process. However this position cannot be accepted as a whole with no accompanying reservations. The article is devoted to the theoretical disputes in the contemporary humanitarian sciences.
The Tormentor’s power. Conventional Models of Tyranny in the Russian History
The author undertakes an attempt to examine models of the tyrannical power that emerged in the Russian literary culture of the 11th to 17th century. The author identifies and analyzes the predominant ways of description of the conflict between the victim and the ruler-tormentor. Original ideological constant of the martyrdom for the sake of the faith was augmented by a new prototype plot based on typological story of Cain and Abel. The first Russian saints were beatified by the Church precisely as the innocent martyrs. Other victims followed their suit and also humbled themselves before their murderers and persecutors. However, as early as in pre-Mongolian period a new conventional model of a proud and unjust coreligionist was being developed. Since authority of a ruler must not extend to his subjects' souls the resistance had to be furnished to such prince. Gradually this notion acquired an eschatological tinge and the early Christian mythologeme of a martyr opposing the ungodly authority asserted itself with a new vigor. Eschatological expectations and prophetic protest became obvious and audible in the epoch of Schism. The semantic dominant tenet of the Russian medieval doctrine of power was the power’s establishment by the God and that tenet influenced the discursive practices.
The irreversibility of the source of reality
Acting on his own behalf A. B. Karavashkin sums up the preliminary results of the discussion. He believes that the participants have demonstrated an obvious difference of opinions though these discords do not preclude a visible community of opinions. First of all, that relates to recognition of historical phenomelogical approach which has just emerged as a quite independent scientific method. One may discuss the prospects for historical phenomenology only if one takes a wide historical writing context of the Modern time into due account. A. V. Karavashkin draws attention to such topical problem as correlation between structural-semiotic method and the «no-assumption hermeneutics» (the proponents of historical phenomenology consider the latter as the most important component of culture sources studies). A. V. Karavashkin advances his retorts to some opponents of A. L. Yurganov.
Three penances: cultural and historical types of pre-Petrine Russia
The article is devoted to the cultural-historical types of pre-Petrine Russia. The author considers
them as an example of three confessions, reflected in ancient Russian literature. Prince Igor, the
hero of the annalistic tales and “The Tale of Igor's Campaign”, repents as a representative of
the entire princely family. Ivan the Terrible – as a sovereign, the head of the house and family.
Protopop Avvakum – as a sovereign person in his direct approach to God, now speaking for
himself personally, recognizing his individual responsibility. Thus, we are studying three different cultures, three meanings and life-worlds, which replaced each other in Russian history: 1)
Ancient Russia; 2) Medieval Russia; 3) Russia of early Modern age. The article reinterprets the
theory of cultural-historical types of N.Danilevsky. According to the author, the culturalhistorical types serve not only to distinguish between civilizations and the peoples that are in
their orbit, but also to define the internal periodization of each specific culture. Inside each
culture its own cultural-historical types may reveal, and even different cultures.
cultural-historical types; Ancient Russia; Middle Ages; Russia of Modern age;
civilization; life-world; confession; kindred; home; family; personality.
Two Narrative Strategies. Persuasiveness and Conclusiveness in Hagiography by Epiphany the Wise’s
The author deals with two strategies of rhetoric narrative in the Russian saints' hagiographies written by Medieval scribe Epiphany the Wise at the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries. The heritage of this Moscow Rus author is considered in the broad context of the literature culture of Medieval and early Modern Russia. Rhetoric poetics has never disappeared. Taking its origins in the antique times it kept to be alive during the Middle Age, in the 18th century, in the epoch when classicism burst into blossom, and in the 20th century literature. The rhetoric poetics is connected with extra-literature purposes and tasks as strongly as no other formation of literary culture is and serves to substantiation and propaganda and clear-cut ideological principles and values.
«The Roundtable» (28.04.04): Life and Theater
«…Ife», the para-poem performed in the end of April, 2004, at «Na doskakh» («On the planks») theater served as the cause for organization of the «roundtable». The chief of the creative center and the stage manager of the theater opened the discussion and indicated the problems to be discussed. Is the theater nowadays capable to create new forms of the social being? What phenomena, processes, events of modern Russia can and ought be reflected? What is the aim of such reflection? Can the theater form a new elite, identify a social stratum which has ability to unite itself and prevent the society from enthropy and disintegration? Social scientists, writers, lecturers of Moscow higher education institutions, librarians took part in the discussion.
Современная историография культуры: история как самосознание (о книге А.Л.Юрганова «Культурная история России. Век двадцатый»)
Историк-медиевист обращается к сюжетам XX века. Сначала как исследователь исто-риографии, жизненного мира историков сталинского периода, а потом как исследова-тель культуры, идеологии, литературной критики и художественных манифестов. Таков необычный путь, который характеризует научные поиски А.Л.Юрганова, специалиста по русской средневековой культуре и одновременно исследователя культуры, повседневно-сти и жизненного мира прошлого столетия. Автора новой книги (сборника статей разных лет)1 занимает теперь смысловая сфера интеллектуальной истории, которая как особый мир коренится в жизненном мире, общем для тех, кто стоял по одну сторону, и тех, кто занимал диаметрально противоположные позиции. О методе новой работы историка и специфике культурной истории XX века рассуждают авторы рецензии.