Views from the Other Shore: Essays on Herzen, Chekhov, and Bakhtin

Overview


In this brilliant companion volume to her highly praised Toward Another Shore: Russian Thinkers Between Necessity and Chance, Aileen M. Kelly closely examines a humanist strand of Russian thought that has until now received little notice or understanding. She finds in the writings of Aleksandr Herzen, Anton Chekhov, and Mikhail Bakhtin a pioneering emphasis on the role of chance and contingency in nature and history. Their writing on this theme, she argues, establishes the importance of these humanists in the ...
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Overview


In this brilliant companion volume to her highly praised Toward Another Shore: Russian Thinkers Between Necessity and Chance, Aileen M. Kelly closely examines a humanist strand of Russian thought that has until now received little notice or understanding. She finds in the writings of Aleksandr Herzen, Anton Chekhov, and Mikhail Bakhtin a pioneering emphasis on the role of chance and contingency in nature and history. Their writing on this theme, she argues, establishes the importance of these humanists in the development of European thought.

Herzen, the principal subject of the book, was among the first nineteenth-century thinkers to challenge the assumptions underlying doctrines of universal progress. Kelly links Herzen’s outlook to the work of such Western humanists and scientists as Francis Bacon, Schiller, Proudhon, J. S. Mill, and Darwin. She shows how the view of freedom that Herzen shared with Chekhov and Bakhtin provides an antidote both to traditional absolutes and to the boundless relativism of much postmodern theory. As such it offers an answer to the question now besetting intellectuals in Russia and the West: how to ground morality after the collapse of ideological certainties.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300194623
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 10/19/2012
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author


Aileen M. Kelly is a lecturer in Russian Studies at Cambridge University and a fellow of King’s College. She is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and other major journals.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Two Russian Ideas 1
1 Herzen and Francis Bacon 17
2 Herzen, Schiller, and the Aesthetic Education of Man 47
3 Herzen and Proudhon: Two Radical Ironists 82
4 A European Nanny: Herzen and Mill on Liberty 114
5 On the Origin of Species and From the Other Shore 139
6 "Dealing in Pluses": The Thought of Anton Chekhov 171
7 The Flesh of Time: Mikhail Bakhtin 192
Conclusion: A New-Style Russian Idea 217
Notes 225
Index 255
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