Re: [xmca] L. I. Bozhovich and perezhivanie

From: bella kotik <bella.kotik who-is-at gmail.com>
Date: Sun Dec 02 2007 - 03:04:23 PST

Dear Dot and all!
To your excellent analysis of semantics of "perezhivanie" I want to add one
aspect which was not enough clear: it is really a unity of affect and
intellect, but it is not only negative affect (pain, traumatic events etc.)
we can use it also in a positive context. I remember hearing about a friend:
"She is going through (perezihivaet) a cats' period" which meant: she is
happy, crazy with in love.
We can speak about a profound joy of victory as perezivanie etc.
Bella Kotik-Friedgut

On 12/2/07, Dot Robbins <drobbins72000@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> Hello Everyone, (a long note, so I apologize in advance)
> Thank you for such interesting discussions and papers over the last
> months.
> I feel extremely inadequate in saying much right now, and I really hope
> that more Russian colleagues will contribute to the discussion on
> perezhivanie, such as Anna S., Sasha S., Natalie G., E. Matusov, so many
> more, and friends like Peter Moxhay; and, I hope you will help all of us to
> better understand this term, as it is so important for us collectively.
>
> Okay, the history of my interest in Bozhovich came from trying to
> understand perezhivanie, when Akhutina,Glozmann, Moskovich and I were
> putting together a book: Festschrift Celebrating the Centennial of the Birth
> of Luria (2002). There were so many words that I could not really
> understand. At that time, I wrote to approx. ten people around the world
> asking for their definitions of perezhivanie. Unfortunately, I did not save
> all of that. But, it led me to Bozhovich, a most remarkable woman, and a
> person loyal to Vygotsky in very difficult times. In those early
> discussions, it was clear that perezhivanie is difficult to understand for
> us outside of Russia, because it really captures the "Russian soul" in so
> many ways. What I understood (and if I am wrong, please correct me), was
> that there is an "intensity, pain, sorrow [Russian]" involved in
> perezhivanie, and it is a type of "unity" of affect/cognition with so many
> other things, forming a "unit" ( of analysis) for Vygotsky
> (at one point in his life). Van der Veer (in Chaiklin, 2001, p. 103)
> states: "The concept of perezhivanie captures the ideas of analysis in units
> rather than elements....[It] also captures the idea of development by
> insisting on the ever-changing character of interpretations or emotional
> experiences (which are also dependent on changing word meaning, another of
> Vygotsky's units of analysis).
>
> Before telling you my thoughts, while working on the Bozhovich issue of
> the Journal of Russian and East Europan Psychology Vol. 42/4, T. Akhutina
> interviewed N. N. Tolstykh on Bozhovich, and I will send that DVD to Peter
> S. I also came into contact with Maria Neimark, who worked with Bozhovich. I
> could try and find out if she is still with us [alive], if anyone is
> interested. She sent me a book in English called Personality Orientation,
> which I will also send to Peter S. One other thing, Vladislav Lektorsky gave
> a great lecture at Rubtscov's university in 2003, where he speaks about
> perezhivania. Sasha was in charge of a wonderful series of lectures of
> well-known Russian psychologists, offered to the public in Moscow. I am sure
> Sasha has a much better video of that lecture than I do, and I feel sure
> that Dr. Lektorsky's words would be of great meaning to many in the Western
> world (it is always a question of obtaining funding for such translations. I
> have so many hours of
> lectures of Russian psychologists, but, no funding for translations). And,
> Anna Prikhozhan (a close colleague of Bozhovich) has written a recent
> article on perezhivanie. I have E-mailed to her, asking for a copy so that
> it could be translated. Sasha, you could be of great help with this, if you
> see her at RGGY? Thanks. And, relating to F. Vasilyuk...there are no words
> to express my extreme gratitude and happiness that his name will soon be
> known in the West. His ideas are spoken of so often, and just an aside
> comment...I was told that he just finished his his doctorate at Moscow State
> University a few weeks ago, and that it was a truly joyous event.
> I have wanted to see his works in English for some time, and was hoping
> the Journal of Russian and East European Psychology would publish parts of
> his book Methodological Analysis in Psychology. I was so hoping to interview
> him, as he is a major voice in Russian psychology of this generation.
> Surely, all of this will happen some way, and it makes me very happy. I so
> hope people will also read the ideas of Andrey Puzyrei in the same journal.
>
> Okay, we are all looking forward to ISCAR in September 2008, and I would
> like to say this as something I am not sure is appropriate....if some people
> are not coming with their spouses, and have funding to come to the
> conference, it would be great if you could pay for an extra bed or room, to
> help support international colleagues/students wanting so much to attend the
> conference, but who cannot pay for lodging. Thanks for that thought.Youwould also be able to get to know someone from a different part of the
> world, interested in your thoughts.
> Well, I am so happy that the butterfly is the symbol of the 2008 ISCAR
> conference....if my paper is accepted, I hope to speak about a new discourse
> for the 21st century, which I call "still point transformation," and that
> symbol is indeed the butterfly. This brings me back to perezhivanie....To be
> clear, having been born in the last century, I often fall on my face in
> total disgrace with a "clinging" dialogue, and dialogue of definitions,
> instead of transformation....examples of my failures: November 2006 in
> Moscow (and many of you will know what I am saying)...or, being contacted
> per E-mail to try and define my position, or to create concrete definitions
> of things; again, I often fail when faced with these things [I feel are from
> the discourse of the last century]. It is the problem of trying to describe
> verbs by using nouns only, but never really using verbs, becoming
> 'verbs'....it is the problem of trying to prove one's theory, and using case
> studies, and offering
> definitions, but not trying to Radically change one's self and trying to
> really "light the torch of motivation" of those around us....so,
> perezhivanie for me is an anchor in the fluidity of life, it represents a
> type of synthesis (not a concrete unity of analysis), but an anchor within
> the fleeting times we have on this earth, dedicated to internal
> transformation and involvement in our world (which is truly suffering, e.g.
> Africa, Pakistan, Iraq, children hungry everywhere). The one plea I have is
> for us to return to a deeper understanding of Spinoza (and to an
> appreciation of all art).....Now, Spinoza is tricky, because some people
> start to think of religion, others related to determinism; and, others
> relate to wholism, and this sometimes leads to totaliarism. I am extremely
> grateful to a number of people for including Spinioza in our dialogue, such
> as Fernanda (Brazil) and her team, Wolfgang (Germany), Vesa Oittinen
> (Finland), and others....
> We need to have an individual, singluar vision of what we want to leave as
> a legacy on this earth. Of course, my interests are in a genetic-development
> approach, and that has much to do with language, and how language shapes our
> lives internally/extermally. For me personally, V. Zinchenko is a real
> light...He states : "Internal, is, in fact, not a concomitant condition that
> particpates in determination of behaviour, but rather a source of free
> behaviour, free action." I believe in the "win-win" situation Lois Holzman
> alluded to long ago. I can only say to you personally that I will be
> retiring very early, to be able to help others, to realize my inner
> conviction, and to use the concept of perezhivanie in an way that helps me
> to develop.
>
> Dot Robbins
>
> http://www.webaby-corp.com/home_zen_fire_tale.htm
> The Russian language has preserved a lot of magic, almost as much as
> Sanskrit. In Russian it sounds like "perezhivanie". What does it mean? It is
> a state of mind in which we are excited, worried, nervous, suffering from
> something. Something to that effect. And if we look at the corresponding
> verb "perezhivat'", we will see two stems: "pere" and "zhivat' ".
> "Zhivat' " - means "to live". And "perezhivat' " means to be able to
> survive after some disaster has overwhelmed you - over-live something.
> And "pere" means carrying something over something, letting something
> pass beneath and overleaping it. "Pere" - means something like cutting out a
> piece of space, time or feeling.
> "Pereterpet' " - ("terpet' " - to endure some pain) means to live until
> a time when no pain is left.
> "Pereprignut' "- exactly like English overleap means to overcome some
> obstacle - a pit or a stone - with a jump, meaning that you don't walk on
> it, but in some way fly over it.
> And, in just the same way, "perezhivat' " means, if you look at it
> closely, that you have passed as if above something that had made you feel
> pain. And the fact that in the base of each "again living" lies a Pain - you
> know that. There, inside of a recollection that we call an "again living" -
> lives your Pain. It is the pain that doesn't let you forget what has
> happened. And you keep on coming back to it in your memory, keep living
> through it over and over again, until you discover that you have passed
> through it, and have survived.
>
>
> With best wishes to all of you,
> Dot
> P.S.
> http://www.webaby-corp.com/home_zen_fire_tale.htm
> The Russian language has preserved a lot of magic, almost as much as
> Sanskrit. In Russian it sounds like "perezhivanie". What does it mean? It is
> a state of mind in which we are excited, worried, nervous, suffering from
> something. Something to that effect. And if we look at the corresponding
> verb "perezhivat'", we will see two stems: "pere" and "zhivat' ".
> "Zhivat' " - means "to live". And "perezhivat' " means to be able to
> survive after some disaster has overwhelmed you - over-live something.
> And "pere" means carrying something over something, letting something
> pass beneath and overleaping it. "Pere" - means something like cutting out a
> piece of space, time or feeling.
> "Pereterpet' " - ("terpet' " - to endure some pain) means to live until
> a time when no pain is left.
> "Pereprignut' "- exactly like English overleap means to overcome some
> obstacle - a pit or a stone - with a jump, meaning that you don't walk on
> it, but in some way fly over it.
> And, in just the same way, "perezhivat' " means, if you look at it
> closely, that you have passed as if above something that had made you feel
> pain. And the fact that in the base of each "again living" lies a Pain - you
> know that. There, inside of a recollection that we call an "again living" -
> lives your Pain. It is the pain that doesn't let you forget what has
> happened. And you keep on coming back to it in your memory, keep living
> through it over and over again, until you discover that you have passed
> through it, and have survived.
>
>
>
>
> Dorothy (Dot) Robbins
> Professor of German
> Russian Orphanage Vyschgorod
> www.vygotsky-robbins.com
>
>
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-- 
Sincerely yours Bella Kotik-Friedgut
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Received on Sun Dec 2 03:06 PST 2007

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