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[Xmca-l] Re: Fate of a Man



Hi, all,

and thank you, Andy, for sharing this amazing film, which I didn't know. I
think it will be very useful to share and discuss our respective views on
perezhivanie.

In my view, the film could be analyzed in terms of perezhivanie in three
different planes. First, we could consider the person who watches the film,
and we could study how the meaning she forms for the film restructures her
relationship with aspects of her real life -such as, for example, her own
death or the death of a beloved one, etc. (perhaps this is a little bit
like what Beth and Monica, or Veresov and Fleer, do with their study of
playworlds?). In this plane, which would be perhaps the most naturalistic
one, the film could be studied as an human-made cultural artifact which
restuctures psychological functions; here, the meaning formed for the film
by who watches it and uses it as mediator in her relation to her real life
would be an m-perezhivanie.

In a second plane, we could proceed as if the film was real life, and we
could consider Sokolov telling his story to the man he meets by the river
(a little bit like Carla telling her story to me). In this plane, Sokolov's
narrative (i.e., what is showed to us as narrated flashback) could be
considered as a cultural artifact that Sokolov uses to relate to all what
happened to him. At this plane, the meaning of this narrative would be the
m-perezhivanie that, in that moment, mediates the relationship between
Sokolov and the war events he experienced years ago (but these events are
still very present to him, so although relating to past events, there is
here a Sokolov's activity [towards the past war events] which is in present
-this echoes Christopher when, within our conversations, said: “Part of
this might also be a question of what it means to describe and represent
one's own perezhivanie figuratively/narratively (whether to others, or to
oneself), as opposed to living that perezhivanie. Especially if the attempt
to capture/represent one's own perezhivanie is, perhaps, also central to
the living of it?”

In a third plane, we could proceed as if Sokolov's narration was not a
retrospective narration, but the on-time sequence of events with on-time
Sokolov's explanation of these events (in the moments in which the narrator
voice is assumed within the flashback). In this plane, there are several
interesting perezhivanie phenomena. Clearly, there is a Sokolov's activity
of experiencing-as-struggle, which initiates when he realizes that all his
family, except one son, had been killed 2 years ago. At this moment, his
life becomes meaningless; the meaning (m-perezhivanie) he uses to relate to
all his life (including the past) at this moment is expressed in his
conversation with his oncle: “it's got to be that this life of mine is
nothing but a nightmare!”. In this moment, Sokolov's past in the prision
camp becomes also meaningless: then, his link to life (the m-perezhivanie
that made being alive meaningful to him) was meeting his family; but at
that time his family was already dead, so when he discovers it, he realizes
that this m-perezhivanie (the idea of meeting his family) was linking him
to death, not to life, so all his efforts to surviving become meaningless:
“Every night, when I was a prisioner, I talked with them. Now it turns out
that for two years I was talking with the dead?”. In this conversation,
however, his oncle offers him an alternative m-perezhivanie to relate to
his life: he still has a son, so the m-perehivanie of meeting his family
can still turns Sokolov's life meaningful: “you've got to go on living. You
have to find Anatoly. When the war is over, your son will get married, you
will live with them. You will take up your carpentry again, play with your
grandkids”. It takes some time to Sokolov to enter into this
m-perezhivanie, but he does it and his life becomes meaningful again: “and
then, unexpectedly, I've got a gleam of sunlight”. But, then, Anatoly also
dies. How to keep living? Here, Sokolov holds the m-perezhivanie that
linked him to life until that moment, and therefore, he needs a son;
pretending being the father of Vanya turns his life meaningful again.

Another interesting thing, still at that level, is how Sokolov's relation
with his own immediate death changes along the different occasions in which
he faces it. I thing here there are examples of
experiencing-as-contemplation -in my view, this is not
experiencing-as-struggle because the situation of impossibility (the
immediate death) is removed existentially (Sokolov's life is given back to
him), so that there is not a permanent situation of impossibility which is
initially meaningless and is turned into meaningful. In each occasion in
which Sokolov is faced with his immediate death, the m-perezhivanie that
mediates this relationship is different. When he is captured, his
m-perezhivanie is expressed as: “here's my death coming after me”. When he
is conducted to meet the nazi official, the m-perezhivanie is expressed as:
“the end of your misery”, “to my death and my release of this torment, I
will drink”. In the first, the death is running after Sokolov; in the
second, it is Sokolov happily going to meet death. Later, at the end of the
film, he faces his immediate death again, and the m-perezhivanie is
expressed as: “I'm really worried that I might die in my sleep, and that
would frighten my little son”.

Well, just some thoughts after watching this wonderful film.

Best regards,

Marc.

2017-01-15 0:06 GMT+01:00 Christopher Schuck <schuckcschuck@gmail.com>:

> Yes, definitely that article! And specifically, when I used "pivoting" I
> couldn't help but think of Beth's earlier example about how a child will
> use a stick as a pivot for a horse. Perhaps a somewhat different
> application but related, no?
>
> On Sat, Jan 14, 2017 at 4:06 PM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
> wrote:
>
> > Chris, all,
> >
> > your post is totally relevant to Beth's and Monica's article in the
> > special issue. They write about film and perezhivanie (quoting Sobchack)
> > the following:
> >
> > The reason that film allows us to glimpse the future is that there is a
> > connection between filmic time and ‘real’ time: “The images of a film
> exist
> > in the world as a temporal flow, within finitude and situation. Indeed,
> the
> > fascination of the film is that it does not transcend our
> lived-experience
> > of temporality, but rather that it seems to partake of it, to share it”
> > (1992, p. 60).
> >
> > And later
> >
> > "Specifically, the way that the flow of time becomes multidirectional is
> > that “rehearsals make it necessary to think of the future in such a way
> as
> > to create a past” (1985, p. 39). As Schechner ex-plains: “In a very real
> > way the future – the project coming into existence through the process of
> > rehearsal – determines the past: what will be kept from earlier
> rehearsals
> > or from the “source ma-terials” (1985, p. 39)."
> >
> > Alfredo
> >
> >
> > ________________________________________
> > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> > on behalf of Christopher Schuck <schuckcschuck@gmail.com>
> > Sent: 14 January 2017 21:43
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Fate of a Man
> >
> > But that's both the limitation and strength of art or fictional narrative
> > as opposed to real life, isn't it? That art focuses our attention and
> > highlights certain features in a way that is idealized and artificially
> > "designed" to convey something more clearly and purely (but less
> > organically and authentically) than it would be conveyed in the course of
> > living it, or observing someone else living it? One way to get around
> this
> > would be, as David says, to analyze the film in terms of clues as to the
> > stages of emergence. But maybe another way to use the film would be to
> view
> > it not so much as a complete, self-sufficient "example" of perezhivanie,
> as
> > a *tool *for pivoting back and forth between the concept of perezhivanie
> as
> > imaginatively constructed (through fiction), and the concept of
> > perezhivanie as imaginatively constructed (through our real living
> > experience and observation of it). So, it would be the *pivoting* between
> > these two manifestations of the concept (designed vs. evolved, as David
> put
> > it) that reveals new insights about perezhivanie, rather than
> understanding
> > the concept from the film per se.
> >
> > On Sat, Jan 14, 2017 at 3:08 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > I think there's a good reason why Andy started a new thread on this:
> > he's a
> > > very tidy thinker (quite unlike yours truly) and he knows that one
> reason
> > > why xmca threads are seldom cumulative is that they digress to related
> > > problems without solving the immmediate ones.
> > >
> > > Yes, of course, a film allows us to consider an example of
> > "perezhivanie",
> > > but it is a designed perezhivanie rather than an evolved one; it
> doesn't
> > > explicitly display the various stages of emergence required for a
> genetic
> > > analysis, unless we analyze it not as a complete and finished work of
> art
> > > but instead for clues as to the stages of its creation (the way that,
> for
> > > example, "Quietly Flows the Don" was analyzed to determine its
> > > authenticity).
> > >
> > > I remember that In the original short story, the schnapps drinking
> > > scene seemed like pure sleight of hand: an artistically gratuitous
> > example
> > > of what eventually gave Soviet social realism such a bad name.
> > >
> > > David Kellogg
> > > Macquarie University
> > >
> > > On Sat, Jan 14, 2017 at 10:04 PM, Carol Macdonald <
> carolmacdon@gmail.com
> > >
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Fellow XMCa-ers
> > > >
> > > > I have watched it through now, thank you Andy, but right now only
> > > empirical
> > > > psychological categories come to mind.  I will watch it again and in
> > the
> > > > meanwhile let my fellows with more recent experience of
> /perezhivanie/
> > > take
> > > > the discussion further.
> > > >
> > > > It is a kind of timeless story, and modern film techniques would
> > perhaps
> > > be
> > > > more explicit. At the least I would say it has for me a Russian
> > > > understanding of suffering, perhaps because of their unique
> experience
> > of
> > > > it. But having said that, WWII must have generated other similar
> > > > experiences, apart from the first part about Andrei's family dying in
> > the
> > > > famine.
> > > >
> > > > Carol
> > > >
> > > > On 14 January 2017 at 02:15, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > I watched it in two parts with subtitles:
> > > > >
> > > > > http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x16w7fg_destiny-of-a-man-
> > > > > 1959-pt-1_creation
> > > > > http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x16wat4_destiny-of-a-man-
> > > > > 1959-pt-2_creation
> > > > >
> > > > > Andy
> > > > >
> > > > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > > > Andy Blunden
> > > > > http://home.mira.net/~andy
> > > > > http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-
> > decision-making
> > > > > On 14/01/2017 2:35 AM, Beth Ferholt wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > >> > >Thank you for taking us to a shared example.  I think that
> > having a
> > > > >>
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > --
> > > > Carol A Macdonald Ph.D (Edin)
> > > > Cultural Historical Activity Theory
> > > > Honorary Research Fellow: Department of Linguistics, Unisa
> > > > alternative email address: tmacdoca@unisa.ac.za
> > > >
> > >
> >
>