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Memory and wholeness in the work of Andrei Platonov, Valentin Rasputin and Andrei Tarkovskii

Mayer-Rieckh, C.M.; (2011) Memory and wholeness in the work of Andrei Platonov, Valentin Rasputin and Andrei Tarkovskii. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access


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This thesis explores how wholeness (tselostnost' or tsel'nost'), a central theme and impulse of Russian nineteenth-century philosophy, is expressed in the work of three different twentieth-century Russian artists. Tselostnost' is understood here as Russian philosophy‘s enduring preoccupation with the essential, original wholeness of the universe, an ideal state from which the human world has fallen and which man seeks to regain. Particular attention is paid to the way in which this idea was taken up and developed by a range of nineteenth-century Russian thinkers: Petr Chaadaev, Aleksei Khomiakov, Ivan Kireevskii, Nikolai Fedorov, Vladimir Solov‘ev and Fedor Dostoevskii. In their works, the vision of the universe as an ideal tselostnost' is connected with a number of key key concepts from Russian philosophy, among which are: tsel'noe znanie, sobornost', and vseedinstvo. The main body of the thesis bases its analysis on selected writings by Andrei Platonov (1899-1951) and Valentin Rasputin (1937- ), and on the cinematic oeuvre of Andrei Tarkovskii (1932-1986). It explores how in the work of all three artists, tselostnost' is repeatedly linked with the theme of memory, framing the worldviews they express and influencing their aesthetic. The work of these three men, crossing two artistic media and realised with different levels of complexity, also spans a historical period which stretches from the 1920s to the present. The choice of these three very different artists to explore these ideas is integral to the wider aim of this study, which is to investigate the pervasiveness and longevity of the ideal of the whole in Russian culture, as well as the consistency with which it has been expressed. In addition, the examination of the three artists' work is a contribution to the wider critical discussion about the close links between the Russian philosophical and literary traditions.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Memory and wholeness in the work of Andrei Platonov, Valentin Rasputin and Andrei Tarkovskii
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > SSEES
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1306765
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