EROS AS MODUS VIVENDI IN VASILI ROZANOV'S REFLECTION
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In Russia, the turn of centuries brought about an unprecedented explosion of erotic themes which dominated the philosophical (V. Solovov, N. Berdaev, S. Bulghakov, L. Karsavin, P. Florenski, B. Vysheslavtsev) and poetic (A. Blok, K. Balmont, N. Gumilov, A. Akhmatova, M. Cvetaeva, Z. Gippius) discourse as well as journalism and criticism (D. Merezhkovski, A. Bely, O. Mandelshtam). A totally different perspective is taken by Vasili Rozanov, the author of his own idea of Eros. The driving force of his reflections is a critical tendency, divided in its core into two simultaneous trends. On the one hand, all contemporary trends of Russian love philosophy fell subject to Rozanov's criticism, while on the other, he was repealing the Christian doctrine, starting from the repudiation of New Testament writings. In both cases, his most important charge was the omission of the practical dimension of the question of sex related to marriage, family life, and the domain of the sexual desire. He found carnality and sexuality of a human being the only appropriate medium between the 'I' of a human and the 'I' of God. The sexual desire operates as if on two levels: the horizontal one, preventing the atomization of an individual, and the vertical one, becoming a way of experiencing God. The mystery of the unification with God cannot, however, happen without a partner as the giver of sensual feelings, which elevates him to the level of a subject-individual. Therefore, the path to God starts with physical attraction which constitutes the physical unity, so that the spiritual symbiosis could take place. This is the way in which Rozanov fulfils his original vision of the erotic journey to heaven, where the Eros itself - as the cardinal principle of his cultural-philosophical consciousness - gains modus vivendi prerogatives: as a way of life based upon the ecstatic affirmation of life in its fullness.
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