Alexander Nikulin 1
  • 1 Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, 82 Prospect Vernadskogo, Moscow, 119571, Russia

Dreams of the Russian Revolution in the Utopias of Alexander Chayanov and Andrei Platonov

2018, vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 256–290 [issue contents]
The Russian Revolution is the central theme of both A. Chayanov’s novel The Journey of My Brother Alexei to the Land of Peasant Utopia and A. Platonov’s novel Chevengur. The author of this article compares the chronicles and images of the Revolution in the biographies of Chayanov and Platonov as well as the main characters, genres, plots, and structures of the two utopian novels, and questions the very understanding of the history of the Russian Revolution and the possible alternatives of its development. The article focuses not only on the social-economic structure of utopian Moscow and Chevengur but also on the ethical-aesthetic foundations of both utopias. The author argues that the two utopias reconstruct, describe, and criticize the Revolution from different perspectives and positions. In general, Chayanov adheres to a relativistic and pluralistic perception of the Revolution and history, while Platonov, on the contrary, absolutizes the end of humankind history with the eschatological advent of Communism. In Chayanov‘s utopia, the Russian Revolution is presented as a viable alternative to the humanistic-progressive ideals of the metropolitan elites with the moderate populist-socialist ideas of the February Revolution. In Platonov’s utopia, the Revolution is presented as an alternative to the eschatological-ecological transformation of the world by provincial rebels inspired by the October Revolution. Thus, Chayanov’s liberal-cooperative utopia and Platonov’s anarchist-communist utopia contain both an apologia and a criticism of the Russian Revolution in the insights of its past and future victories and defeats, and opens new horizons for alternative interpretations of the Russian Revolution.
Citation: Nikulin A. (2018) Grezy Russkoy revolyutsii v utopiyakh Aleksandra Chayanova i Andreya Platonova [Dreams of the Russian Revolution in the Utopias of Alexander Chayanov and Andrei Platonov]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 17, no 3, pp. 256-290 (in Russian)
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