Issue 4 (69)

Year 2020 Number 4(69)
Pages 127-135 Type scientific article
UDC 82-94 BBK 83.3(2)+84(2)
Authors Malysheva Svetlana Yu.
Summary The article considers how during the 1920–1940s the problems of death, finality of human existence, immortality, postmortem ritual, guilt and repentance were thought through and developed by the outstanding Russian literary critic and thinker L. Yŕ. Ginzburg in the interesting and peculiar forms of ego-documents. The borderline nature of genre of her notes and autobiographical “narratives” — between ego-documents and literature — have led to a close interweaving in her reflections of personal, social and historical experience, as well as the intellectual tradition of thinking about the finitude of life and contributed to the creation of an original author’s system of ideas about death. The article shows the stages of formation of these perceptions correlated with the aspects of death actualized in this or that period of Soviet history in the 1920–1940s. From the reflection of the mid-1920s on the “lightness” and unremarkableness of death, a reverse side of the devaluation of life, Ginzburg came in the second half of the 1930s to the necessity of conceptual thinking about death, without which understanding the meaning of life was impossible. Experience of the war and blockade fills this reflection with an understanding of the nature of heroism and heroic death (as the only possible freedom in conditions of unfreedom of war), of the mechanisms of the work of grief, guilt and remorse as a tragic near-death experience in the event of loss of loved ones. The understanding of death, imbued with humanism and sociality, with a sense of experience of common human connections, has become an essential part of Ginzburg’s concept of human life in the postindividualist era.
Keywords historical thanatology, death, funeral rite, suicide, L. Ya. Ginzburg, ego-documents, blockade of Leningrad

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