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[Xmca-l] Re: Fate of a Man

I was not sure if this response was sent. It may be too vague and will need further uncovering. I am trying to follow the multiple threads that lead back to what has come before as offering some coherence at various LEVELS and through multiple portals or doorways into the “(I)” and the “(we)” that are created in use AND doubling back through interpretation.

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

From: lpscholar2@gmail.com
Sent: February 9, 2017 1:40 PM
To: Beth Ferholt; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: RE: [Xmca-l] Re: Fate of a Man

Beth, Robert, and the others forming a “(we)”.

Beth said it is the “()” within the “()” that interests her [as being]. Maybe Framing is ALL communication, ALL thought, ALL consciousness .... Bateson?.... but Beth thinks we need to tackle framing head on [face into] when discussing perezhivanie. 

Now I noticed that Wolff-Michael Roth included in the title of his book the phrase – mathematics of mathematics -  and my mind wondered to conjecture if this is going “meta” and if “()” is also going “meta”.

Could Beth’s “()” as symbolic also have another aspect [or side] that is () = bracket and the doubling  “()” = bracketing the bracket.  These moves as examples of going “meta” which also plays with saying/not saying or revealing/concealing that Ed Wall recently posted when he said:
The truth of the proposition, in effect, resides in the possibility of bringing its referents into the light (here is where aletheia takes a part); I.e. uncovering. That is, on the LEVEL of ‘apophantic as’ things are propositionally either true or false, but on the LEVEL of the ‘hermeneutic as’ they are neither.

However, the ‘apophantic as’ IS (its being) grounded in interpretation, I.e. the ‘hermeneutic as’ (its being). For Heidegger (and this is an oversimplification) ‘hermeneutic truth’ IS in effect (in use) DISclosure. ..... complicated because if one surfaces [metaphor of LEVELS] to the apophantic then, in effect (in use) there is a covering back up (closure).... Also, and this is most important, the consequent would not be an understanding of Trump’s speech, but an understanding (interpreting) of how  “(I)” understand (interpret) Trump’s speech.

I am travelling back and forth exploring saying as () generating effects IN USE, and then doubling back and exploring the () generating effects IN USE through “()” interpretation of the uses.  To go hear would have to bring in Umberto Eco who pleads for us to make a distinction between ‘use’ and ‘interpretation’ AS aspects of semiosis and semiotic but this is for another turn. 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

From: Beth Ferholt
Sent: February 5, 2017 6:38 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Fate of a Man

Thanks for the calling out to Monica and me, Mike and Andy -- I had to stop
checking XMCA for a couple of weeks so I did not see the discussion or your
notes to me in the chain, until today.  One of the the strengths of XMCA is
that it creates a conversation that can include people who can not always”
respond that very day, or even week, due to various forms of interruption!
Often these "interruptions" are children or political events, which canY
help us to understand perezhivanie.

As well as spending time at JFK, recently, many of us here in New York have
been attending local protests to keep our neighborhoods feeling safe for
everyone.  I live in a neighborhood in Brooklyn that includes several
Muslim communities and several Jewish communities (as well as a few Russian
and Polish communities), and at the local protests these past few weeks
some people have had photographs of their family members who were killed by
the Nazis attached to the back of their "never again" signs. Also we all,
Muslim, Jewish, etc. families, have been often bringing  our children to
the protests.

So I have been thinking a lot about children and hope, during the past few
weeks.  It is within this frame that I saw this film.  I think the film was
expecting us to see the child as only benefitting from the main character's
lying, saying that he was the child's father, and of course the child did
benefit, but I think that perezhivanie is about truth, somehow, although I
am not sure how.

My second thought is that Manchester by the Sea must have been referencing
this film, with its return-to-the-space-where-the-house-was scene, and also
with the choice to replace the lost self (as father) / family or no.  I
think it might help this conversation if we all saw both films, actually.
Two thoughts on this methods suggestion for our conversation, before I
return to the topic itself.

1) It is odd how closely the two films are related, as I did not know that
the two films were related when I told Chris to see Manchester by the Sea
in relation to thinking about perezhivanie.  I told Chris when I saw him in
person, and I think that discussions about perezhivanie are often different
in person.  We learned at LCHC in the 2004/5 playworld projects that these
in person discussions about perezhivanie have a pronounced proleptic
structure, mirroring the topic of study, such that the conclusion of the
discussion appears at the start: It feels like magic is happening.  (I
think this has something to do with how good teachers see the things in
their classroom that are useful or no before they happen or "behind their
heads" ... when you are very present you have this "sixth sense," which is
really an experience of time moving in two directions at once ... being
very present can often require a lot of in person time and being with
children speeds up the process.)

2) It is a strength that the XMCA conversations can continue through all of
our different schedules.  It is a negative that they are not in person, and
seeing films together can really help.  This is where we went on the
perezhivanie facebook page when it was briefly in English and in Russian --
with a film, and it was very helpful.  (Of course I am thinking of this
while considering the changing role and form of LCHC and Mike's
participation in LCHC and XMCA.  I am thinking of the mistakes that are
communication.  A story about this that I thought of recently, which shows
this point well, and seems worth retelling BECAUSE when studying
perezhivanie the form is often (always??) the study of the content: As a
newish graduate student Mike once said "thank you" to me when I made a
comment in the afternoon about an AM conversation that day.  Mike's "thank
you" encouraged me to pay extra attention to this comment/thought of mine,
which later became important in our analysis of a difficult-to-decipher
playworld event.  I was thinking of this event as I walked and talked with
a doctoral student of my own -- I seem to have a heavily spacial memory
process and my student and I were walking through a doorway -- and I
suddenly realized that Mike could have been thanking me for holding the
door for him at this time in the past when his feedback was so important to
me ... maybe he did not hear my comment, but just thanked me for holding
the door ... in fact it now appears to me that this was probably the case!)

The interesting thing to me about the above 2 points is the framing.  It IS
the "()" within the "()" that interests me. Maybe Framing is all
communication or all thought or consciousness ... Bateson? ... but I think
we need to tackle framing head on when discussing perezhivanie.  The two
films are very different in regards to framing, I think this is why they
are most interesting to think about together, but first I have two
citations for thinking about time that I use frequently in my writing on

These seem worth repeating here, as this thinking about time in space/time
seems to me to be thinking about framing ... the "()" makes us double back
in time as we read -- :

(As to Performance, Alfredo copied the Schechner quote above.)

Dewey's relation of the notion of object to prolepsis (on XMCA):
Mike (2007) used the term “temporally double sided” to describe this
phenomenon of growing back and towards the future and the past

What I am (still) thinking about, now, most often:
It is the juxtaposition of temporal double sidedness with stages that
creates perezhivanie. What Schechner argues is that this juxtaposition
provides the rhythm that allows us to raise ourselves up and hover,
suspended momentarily in a state of being simultaneously ourselves and not
ourselves: our past and future selves (someone else).

So my first point is about framing and my second is about children.  The
Fate Of Man is all about the frames / "()". The stories are nested within
eachother, repeating themselves, maybe even sort of like a fractal, or
anyhow a spiral?  I have some congenital prosopagnosia, getting worse as I
age and definitely bad with a film like this.  I kept thinking we were back
at the ferry as the form of the conversation and context images repeated
themselves, as I could not recognize the face of the character who was the
audience for our hero's story!  Manchester by the Sea, on the other hand,
had no frames.  We just jumped right in and rode it through. I only saw
Manchester once but do others think this is true? relevant?

I think that the question of children's position in relation to adult
perezhivanie is central in both of these films. The children in both of
these films appear to want the main characters to try again at being
fathers.  This is a critique of films about children -- I can not think of
the name of the person who made this critique, but I can find it for anyone
if needed -- : We adults often make films not about children but about our
own childhoods.  We make films about children who are no longer with us.
But is this really best for the films, as films are usually best when they
are somehow in dialogue with their topic, this is a characteristic of the
medium, no?

If you do not have some pretense, some playing again, you can not have
perezhivanie.  But I think that Fate of Man is not about perezhivanie,
although in a different way than Manchester by the Sea is not about
perezhivanie.  In Manchester by the Sea there is no other with whom to
perezhivanie because the main character and his former wife still love each
other, or at lease he still loves her and she returns enough of the love to
keep him loving her, and neither of them can pull the other up because they
both hit bottom together and in the same story.  In Fate of Man there is is
no chance for perezhivanie because the other needs to be involved in some
honest way, or there is no dialogue.

In Fate of Man the hero seems to me to be playing out his memory in the
real world.  A child is not an other with whom one can ever perezhivanie.
This is not perezhivanie as there is no real world as a player, and this is
why our hero's heart will fail him.  He did not reach bottom and then start
to pull himself up by connecting with another with great bravery.  Instead,
as he says himself, he just snapped -- he is now living in a dream.

As Larry put it, above in this chain: "In other words, navigating through
the suffering and existential emptiness is not a hero’s journey." And this
point is relevant, again, to our method for studying perezhivanie.  I don't
think we can manage this one on our own (XMCA), even as a group that allows
for conversations over extended time periods.

If form and content are related in this process, I'd say that we won't
understand this process until we see children as full people.  And
simultaneously as children.  Children have something to tell us about this
process that no one else can tell us, and they are not going to tell us
this in a way that those of us who are researchers/scholars can listen,
without the bridge of the teacher voices.  How to include these voices in
our research is key.  And the answer has something to do with art, as well
as with time and space.

I am going to send this as it is long enough already, and then catch up
with the related chains after I do ... And I won't say more now, but I
agree with all the people who thought this was a great pick to start the
discussion.  Many levels to discuss and I also found many aspects of the
film related to perezhivanie in many ways! Beth

On Fri, Jan 20, 2017 at 11:51 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> How about a documentary movie about the first Trump voter who dies as a
> result of repeal of Obama Care? That would be a perezhivanie within a
> perezhivanie!
> Andy
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> Andy Blunden
> http://home.mira.net/~andy
> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
> On 21/01/2017 12:03 PM, Helena Worthen wrote:
>> I am late to this discussion, but I have been paying attention. I was
>> reluctant to expose myself to the emotional challenges of the film. I knew
>> that between the majestic music, the stunning black and white images, the
>> beautiful human faces and bodies (and some very ugly ones), and the twists
>> of the story, I was going to be deeply moved. However, I have been reading
>> two books by Svetlana Alexievich -- Voices from Chernobyl and Secondhand
>> Time - which tell equally heartbreaking, horrifying stories of suffering.
>> Reading her work inclines me to place the film in the context of the period
>> of deStalinization after Kruschev's 1956 speech to the 20th Congress of the
>> CPSU, which gave the signal that it was permissible to begin to talk freely
>> about Soviet history. It was a period of trying to build a story that could
>> explain and honor, if not justify, the extreme suffering of the Soviet
>> people. This film seems to me to set out to accomplish that. So does
>> Alexievich's book, which is a compilation of interviews done between 1991
>> and 2012, with people who had something to say (good and bad) about the
>> Soviet regime and the experience of its dissolution. She got the 2015 Nobel
>> Prize for this book.  And I sense that Andy, or someone, is anticipating
>> that the US is going to have to produce some works of scholarship or art,
>> or both, that attempt to explain what is happening now here in the US --
>> for example, this afternoon, under President Trump.
>> Helena Worthen
>> helenaworthen@gmail.com
>> Vietnam blog: helenaworthen.wordpress.com
>> On Jan 19, 2017, at 4:00 PM, Christopher Schuck wrote:
>> For some reason I couldn't see the subtitles showing up in Fate of a Man
>>> the first time, so I started to watch it dubbed in English instead. But
>>> the
>>> mannered Hollywood accents definitely were not exactly helping to convey
>>> the "real Russian soul" Robbins talks about! It felt like I was being
>>> asked
>>> to imagine Cary Grant inhabiting Andrei's perezhivanie-ing body. So, I
>>> started over with the subtitled version.
>>> Here are some quick initial reflections: wonderful movie, and in Andrei
>>> one
>>> of the more memorable characters I have seen. But I also found myself
>>> thinking how big a difference there is between watching a film on my
>>> 12-inch laptop with headphones (my only option at the moment), and
>>> sitting
>>> back and immersing yourself in a darkened theater or at least on a
>>> widescreen TV without any other distractions, allowing ourselves to "fall
>>> into this space" by virtue of our very awareness of the illusion
>>> generated
>>> by the frame, as Beth and Monica put it. This difference becomes even
>>> bigger if the screen you're viewing it on also enables you to quickly
>>> check
>>> email from time to time during the movie, as many people do these days.
>>> If
>>> we are to consider the film experience as a model (analogy?) for
>>> perezhivanie or even a certain kind of simulation of it, this effect that
>>> occurs when we lose ourselves in a film would be undermined by an
>>> especially small frame or poor viewing conditions. At what point does
>>> "the
>>> knowledge that the movement we experience is just an illusion" (p. 2 in
>>> their article) undermine the perezhivanie-like quality of film as opposed
>>> to forming an integral part of it? And, might the way distraction
>>> functions
>>> to undermine perezhivanie in the context of film in any way mirror how we
>>> "distract" ourselves in the course of living lives from conscious
>>> engagement with the perezhivanie we are otherwise undergoing? Is viewing
>>> a
>>> film on a 12-inch screen while checking email and calling it an
>>> "experience" in any way analogous to the self-deceptions and escapes we
>>> engage in during the course of either experience-as-struggle or
>>> experience-as-contemplation? I did not check email while watching Fate
>>> of a
>>> Man, by the way. Just in case you're wondering.
>>> As for the film itself: I was struck by the incidental way in which the
>>> earlier loss of his childhood family is introduced and acknowledged at
>>> the
>>> very outset, and how this contrasts with the dramatic ongoing
>>> perezhivanie
>>> that ensues going forward: it is as if this early loss is "taken for
>>> granted" as also part of the Russian experience.  We are not privy to any
>>> perezhivanie he might have presumably undergone before that point; it is
>>> simply not "within the frame." At several points, I was reminded of
>>> Satyajit's World of Apu (last movie in his trilogy), where there was
>>> also a
>>> set of early losses and a relationship formed with a "son." Have any of
>>> you
>>> seen it? I think it would also be a good example of perezhivanie.
>>> I would not want to overemphasize the use of literary motifs, since
>>> Bondarchuk was presumably not making any references to the concept of
>>> perezhivanie as such. But there were several devices that evoked Beth and
>>> Monica's passage from To The Lighthouse ("Time stand still here"), and
>>> their metaphor of a life (or more specifically, a perezhivanie within a
>>> life) spiraling back over itself to bring two disparate moments into
>>> juxtaposition in a way such that "your life becomes three-dimensional
>>> again" (p. 2). One occurs in the various scenes when Andrei gazes up at
>>> the
>>> sky in reverie and all we see are clouds, or the scene where he lies in
>>> the
>>> grass after his first escape and the camera pans back as it becomes very
>>> quiet, leaving nothing but him swallowed up in the vastness of nature.
>>> There is a certain timeless quality to these scenes, a sense that he is
>>> momentarily transcending the linear temporal flow of his life as he
>>> either
>>> stands outside it and "stands still" in it. It could be a thousand years
>>> passing by in those clouds, or just the 17 years of his second phase; it
>>> suddenly doesn't matter. Another thing I noticed was the use of the two
>>> musical themes: the love song the accordionist plays for him and Irina,
>>> and
>>> the festive music incongruously piped in at the concentration camp during
>>> that amazing scene around Part 1, minute 45 where the prisoners are being
>>> marched in and the crematorium is going full blast down the road. At some
>>> point (I couldn't relocate it) Andrei has a flashback where he revisits
>>> the
>>> love song and his memories of Irina; then at minute 20 in Part 2, while
>>> processing his family's death after coming home from the war, he finds
>>> himself hearing the concentration camp song on the record player and is
>>> suddenly transported back to that traumatic experience. Yet he does not
>>> smash the record right away; he stares at it for a minute, almost as if
>>> he
>>> is resituating these two moments in relation to each other.
>>> Perhaps I am overanalyzing, but I found both these motifs to speak to
>>> Beth
>>> and Monica's examples in the way they bring two moments back into contact
>>> with each other.
>>> Finally, Mike and Andy's discussion in the Misha thread about the
>>> watching
>>> of a film functioning as perezhivanie for those viewers for whom it
>>> reflects and repeats their own experience, raises a question about the
>>> difference between extended perezhivanie and the personal re-enactment of
>>> one's perezhivanie within a much smaller time scale (the two or three
>>> hours
>>> spent watching the movie). I hope at some point we could delve more into
>>> this issue of time frame and time scale in various forms of perezhivanie.
>>> Chris
>>> On Tue, Jan 17, 2017 at 8:39 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>>> Thank you Marc! It was the third "plane" which was my intention in
>>>> providing "Fate of a Man" for discussion. You picked out what were for
>>>> me
>>>> also the main (but by no means the only) instances of perezhivanija in
>>>> this
>>>> movie.
>>>> It seems to me that Sokolov (the author) offers one perezhivanie in
>>>> particular as the main theme of the movie. At the beginning of the
>>>> movie,
>>>> the man and boy walk up the path to the camera and at the end of the
>>>> movie
>>>> they walk off together again. So this is the central theme. As you say,
>>>> when Sokolov's family has all been killed, even his talented war-hero
>>>> son
>>>> who was going to be a famous mathematician, his life has become
>>>> meaningless. I really liked your reflections of Sokolov's reflections
>>>> too.
>>>> He sees the young orphan boy who, he discovers, has no family and
>>>> doesn't
>>>> even know what town he comes from, but is aimlessly living on pieces of
>>>> rubbish. He sees that the two of them are in the same situation. So
>>>> after
>>>> some time mulling this over a they sit together in the truck, he lies to
>>>> the boy and tells him that he is the boy's father, and they embrace. But
>>>> the boy questions this and he reasserts his claim and the boy accepts
>>>> this.
>>>> The man is able to define a new meaning for his life; he has done this
>>>> autonomously without the help of a therapist, but he still needs
>>>> another,
>>>> the boy, to embody that meaning. But he knows it is his own invention.
>>>> The
>>>> boy on the other hand has to be made to believe it is true; he is not
>>>> sufficiently mature to manufacture this meaning himself, but as a child
>>>> he
>>>> can be guided by an adult. As you say, Marc, it is very significant when
>>>> Sokolov tells us how he is now, again, worried about his own death.
>>>> What if
>>>> I died in my sleep? that would be a shock for my son!
>>>> For me, this reflection causes me to look back on the man's whole
>>>> struggle
>>>> during the war: in the first phase he does not differentiate between his
>>>> life as a father and husband and his life as a Soviet citizen - war is
>>>> his
>>>> duty and he is confident, as is everyone else, of victory. His bravery
>>>> in
>>>> driving his truck to the front line under fire reflects the fact that he
>>>> has never imagined his own death. Then he finds himself prostrate
>>>> before 2
>>>> Nazi soldiers who we assume are going among the wounded shooting anyone
>>>> who
>>>> has survived. But surprisingly, he is allowed to live, but is to be
>>>> used as
>>>> a slave. Sokolov has been confronted by his own mortality for the first
>>>> time and he chooses life, but accepts slavery (Sartre and Hegel both
>>>> thematize this moment in their philosophy). In this second phase of
>>>> Sokolov's life he is a survivor. Everything hinges on surviving and
>>>> returning to his wife and family. As you point out, Marc, his later
>>>> reflections on this are particularly poignant, when he discovers the
>>>> futility of this hope. Eventually, the life of forced labour becomes
>>>> unbearable. He cries out: "Why are we forced to dig 3 cubic metres when
>>>> 1
>>>> cubic meter is enough for a grave!" Sokolov has accepted and embraced
>>>> death
>>>> after all. (Transition to the third phase.) To his German masters this
>>>> is
>>>> an unendurable act of defiance. As David points out, there are flaws in
>>>> the
>>>> scene which follows, but ... he confronts his own death defiantly,
>>>> stares
>>>> it in the eye, spits on it, and his life again gains meaning as a "brave
>>>> Soviet soldier" unafraid of death even in such an impossible moment. Not
>>>> only does he survive, but takes the Nazi Colonel prisoner and hands the
>>>> war
>>>> plans over to the Red Army. Now, when he is offered the chance to
>>>> return to
>>>> his wife as a war hero he declines and asks to be sent back to the
>>>> front.
>>>> His life has adopted this new meaning which casts his life as a father
>>>> into
>>>> the shade. He no longer fears death. But he is persuaded to take time
>>>> off
>>>> and learns of the death of his family. As Marc relates, the continued
>>>> survival of his son, who is now also a war hero, provides continued
>>>> meaning
>>>> and integrates the two themes in his life. This takes work, as Marc
>>>> points
>>>> out, and he has the assistance of an older man, in achieving this
>>>> redefinition of his life. But tragically, with the death of his son
>>>> (and NB
>>>> the end of the war, albeit in victory) his life is again without
>>>> meaning.
>>>> Fourth phase. He has survived, but has no purpose. By becoming a father
>>>> again (Fifth phase), he regains the fear of death and meaning in his
>>>> life.
>>>> It is real work, and we witness this psychological turmoil as he copes
>>>> with
>>>> the idea that this scruffy orphan boy could be a son to him, and
>>>> eventually
>>>> he manages it.
>>>> The transition between each phase is a critical period during which
>>>> Sokolov's personality is transformed. Note also, that there is a
>>>> premonition of this perezhivanie in Sokolov's earlier life: his family
>>>> is
>>>> wiped out in the Civil War and the famine of 1922, then he meets his
>>>> wife-to-be, also raised in an orphanage, and they together create a life
>>>> and have 17 happy years before the Nazi invasion intrudes. So from the
>>>> beginning of the movie we are introduced to the main theme.
>>>> These are the main moments in the movie, which caused me to select it
>>>> for
>>>> discussion rather than any other movie. Also, there is no doubt that in
>>>> producing this movie in 1958 the Soviet government was engaged with its
>>>> people, in a process of collective perezhivanie and by reflecting on the
>>>> collective perezhivanie during the period of the war, before and after,
>>>> they aim to assist the people in collectively assigning meaning to this
>>>> terrible suffering and like the man and his "son" walking again into the
>>>> future. As a propaganda movie, of course, it is open to much criticism,
>>>> but
>>>> that is hardly the point. I appreciate Marc's analysis in terms of the
>>>> other concepts he has introduced. I wouldn't mind a recap on these. In
>>>> terms of Vasilyuk's concepts, Sokolov's life-world is *simple and
>>>> difficult*. The boy's life world is *simple and easy*.
>>>> Can we continue to discuss "Fate of a Man", while I open another movie
>>>> for
>>>> analysis? I think there are at least 10 subscribers to this list who
>>>> have
>>>> published in learned journals on the topic of perezhivanie in childhood.
>>>> Perhaps one of you would like to reflect on the boy's perezhivanija?
>>>> Andy
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> Andy Blunden
>>>> http://home.mira.net/~andy
>>>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>>> On 18/01/2017 5:14 AM, Marc Clarà wrote:
>>>> 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.e
>>>>>>> du>
>>>>>>> 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

Beth Ferholt
Assistant Professor
Department of Early Childhood and Art Education
Brooklyn College, City University of New York
2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11210-2889

Email: bferholt@brooklyn.cuny.edu
Phone: (718) 951-5205
Fax: (718) 951-4816