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By Thomas Seifrid

The Soviet author Andrei Platonov (1899-1951) belongs to a Russian philosophical culture that comes with such figures as Vladimir Solov'ev, Mikhail Bakhtin, and Boris Pasternak. This examine investigates the interrelation of issues, imagery, and using language in his prose. Thomas Seifrid indicates how Platonov was once rather motivated by means of Russian utopian considered the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries, and the way his international view was once additionally formed by means of its implicit discussion with the "official" Soviet philosophy of Marxism-Leninism, and later with Stalinist utopianism.

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What should be pointed out for now is that the tensions Platonov inherits from Fedorov's thought inevitably make his own response to Soviet ideology something more hybrid and contradictory than a simple idealist critique of materialism. Aleksandr Bogdanov (A. A. Malinovskii, 1873-1928), the second major influence on the formation of Platonov's world view, belongs to the current of Marxist thought that arose in Russia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, though his attempts to blend Marxism with neopositivism earned him a reputation as a revisionist and a scathing attack in Lenin's Materialism and Empiriocriticism}1 Prior to 1909 Bogdanov had been, after Lenin, the second most prominent figure in the Bolshevik Party, and he became one of the guiding lights of the ProletkuVt movement which flourished briefly from about 1917—1920.

He did so, moreover, in a manner that calls into doubt his allegiance to materialist philosophy in general. What this fertile melange allowed Platonov to do, with even more specific reference to his culture than that afforded by Fedorov's thought, was to preserve the political and economic vocabulary of Marxism and remain within the context of an at least nominally Marxist vision of history while adhering to a vision of being which was contradictory to, and in the end even seditious of, materialism.

The allusion to Fedorov in this passage is further augmented when Platonov suggests his hero's wanderlust has been inspired by a kind of Fedorovian rebellion against mortality — as if Platonov were using the tale to introduce his young audience to the Philosophy of the Common Cause. Mitia's rejection of his present existence turns out to have been inspired by a confrontation with the inevitability of death: his dog Volchok died in the winter ("He knew that dogs die and get thrown into the ditch"), and Mitia Consciousness and matter: 1917-1926 45 now longs to journey to that "other land" to join Volchok and the joyous pilgrims, all of whom he imagines seated around the sun as around a giant bonfire.

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