Vasilii Rozanov

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(3089) Rozanov, Vasilii (1856-1919) “Apokalipsis nashego vremeni” (“Apocalypse in our Time”).

Original typescript, 2nd copy. 98 pages. 30cm. Hardbound binding à “la Bradel”. Samizdat dated 1975.

“It’s through scattered fragments, minute movements of the soul, that Rozanov manifests the profound religious feeling which moves him. For him, this sentiment can only be felt physically, in the body, animalistically, and familiarly, in our daily life. Conscience of God is acquired in the first by being conscience of one’s self, one’s body, one’s blood. Rozanov’s mysticism is close to that of Dostoïevskii and the hero of Crime and Punishment when he recites a long passage from Revelations. When a man can approach himself to his animal nature he will discover his angelic nature. Rozanov sees in the Revolution of October 1917 a great blazing inferno which is the result of the separation between Man’s body and God. The God of Christianity, an entirely spiritual entity and the object of Faith and immense speculation, has withered the earth and rendered it sterile. Christianity has spoiled the world and even the heart of man. The Russian catastrophe, in the eyes of the author, is only one episode in the dissolution of christian civilisation propagated by a deeper nihilism. Written in a monastery where he had found refuge in 1918, these Revelations of our time is in some sort of way the final testament of Rozanov, a burningly desperate book”. – Boris de Schlœzer.

Leon Trotsky dedicated lengthy passages to Rozanov in the first chapter of his “Literature and Revolution” (1924), stigmatising it to such an extent that the philosopher was subsequently rejected from Soviet culture and all his books removed from library shelves. Hated by practically the entirety of the Bolshevik intelligentsia, Rozanov would only find favour in the eyes of the Stalinists when they began making anti-homosexual decrees. Then they would make full reference to Rozanov as a champion of family values and conjugal sexuality. Samizdats of Rozanov would be extremely rare in the USSR.

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