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«God is dead» as an apophatic text of the borderline consciousness

Edoshina I.A.


The main theme of the article is the borderline consciousness; the subject is the novella «God Is Dead» (1922) by S. D. Krzhizhanovsky as a reflection of the borderline consciousness. The purpose of the article is to reveal the specifics of the borderline consciousness in general and its features in the culture of the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries using the example of the analysis of the novella «God Is Dead», as well as of other texts similar in content and the time of writing. The main methods are ontological, historical-cultural, analytical, and comparative. The introductory part defines the main characteristics of the borderline consciousness and also clarifies the etymology and the immanence of the process in development of the human society. Further, the author of the article identifies the substantive aspects in the concept of «apophaticism», draws on the names of philosophers that are relevant to the thoughts of S. D. Krzhizhanovsky, (F. Nietzsche, A. Schweitzer, M. Heidegger), emphasizes that negation has nothing to do with God, from the point of view of Dionysius the Areopagite. The common and different aspects of philosophical and artistic views on apophaticism are also analyzed (F. Nietzsche, K. K. Sluchevsky). Further, the researcher carries out a detailed analysis of the novella «God Is Dead»by S. D. Krzhizhanovsky: the compositional structure is examined, an overview of the characters and their peculiarities is given, biblical and artistic allusions, their correlation with the specificity of the Soviet regime are revealed. The author of the article specially emphasizes that S. D. Krzhizhanovsky resorts to apophaticism as a characteristic of this time. The polemic part designates different approaches in the modern interpretation of apophaticism in the novella by S. D. Krzhizhanovsky, which do not coincide with the understanding of the author of this article. In the final observations, it is emphasized: the borderline consciousness thinks within the boundaries, which is reflected in art and outlook on the world.


S. D. Krzhizhanovsky; F. Nietzsche; borderline consciousness; apophaticism; world outlook; the death of God; biblical and artistic allusions.

DOI: 10.31249/hoc/2021.02.10

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