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

From: <ERIC.RAMBERG who-is-at>
Date: Sun Dec 02 2007 - 19:53:22 PST


Gracious thanks for the explanations and the deeply moving thoughts on
perizhivanie. For me, I gravitate towards Eliot's "Waste Land" as a great
example of how water provides an escape from the 'stoney rubbish'.

"A current under sea Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell he
passed the stages of his age and youth entering the whirlpool."

"I sat upon the shore fishing, with the arid plain behind me. . . Shall I
at least set my lands in order?"

References to current and dead languages abound, so good, so good.


      To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <>
      cc: Etienne Pelaprat <>
      Subject: Re: [xmca] L. I. Bozhovich and perizhivanie
"Mike Cole" <>
Sent by:
12/02/2007 08:11 AM PST
Please respond to mcole <font size=-1></font>

Dot-- Very interesting notes and examples on perezhivanie.
My current question is about "displacement" or "dereflection." These two
translations of ????? appear contradictory to each other. A colleague and I
have been working to find out the ways in which
the term, ostranenie, was used by Russian semiotic/literary theory and
psychological scholars in the early 20th century. This term was used by
Shklovski, the Petrograd/Leningrad/St Petersburg
"formalist" and so far as I can tell, it is best translated as
or "estrangement." Sort of like the idea that the purpose of
fieldwork is to make the strange familiar and the
familiar strange.

This seems sort of like displacement, but not DE-reflection, since
decentering presumably gives rise to a form of reflective thought.
What does Eugene think?
On Dec 2, 2007 7:23 AM, Dot Robbins <> wrote:

> Hello again,
> Having received questions on "verbs" and "still point transformation"
> related to perizhivanie, may I try again? In trying to establish a new
> discourse for myself in the 21st century, perizhivanie is the word that
> captures my inner cannot be "pinned down"...I am not
> it literally, as I don't view "word meaning" as being really literal, it
> an unspeakable force that somtimes allows me to try a new dialgoue with
> myself. It is like capturing the understanding of "consciousness is
> reflected in the word like the sun is reflected in a drop of water..."
> Edward de Bono speaks of new forms of logic....he talks about "rock
> (if you put three rocks together, what do you have? Many "rock" answers).
> you put three waters together, what do you have? He is not trying to
> rock with water logic, but he wants us to expand our thinking into more
> fluidity.....I so hope you will allow me to enter this discourse on a
> is all about a newer
> (well older, becoming newer) understanding of "internalization"....
> *In the movie Harold and Maud, Harold (very young) and Maud (very very
> old) stand by a pond, and he gives her an engagement ring, and she holds
> tight. Then, after a pause ( the "still point"), she throws it back into
> water, saying something like "now I will have your ring forever."
> has shifted in consciousness)
> *Another example, Alexei Alexeevitch gave me a small booklet of his
> translations of poetry, and I kept it with me always, until the Language
> Action conference in Finland, 2006. Alexei Alexeevich and Kari S. had
> planned the conference to celebrate A. A.'s 70th birthday, but A. A. died
> 2004. At the conference, Kari S. was in the hospital and he was dying. I
> could only speak to him on the phone, and had to give him the most
> meaningful thing I had. Once I handed the booklet of poetry to Riikka A.
> Kari, there was a still-point transformation, a catharsis, and I knew
that I
> would always have the book.
> *Helen Keller and A. Sullivan are my real heroes, and I think of them
> every day. In fact, the concept/word "water" for me represents a strong
> sense of perezhivania. While looking at Vygotsky documents in 2006 at the
> Kravtsov home, Elena handed me an article to see. It was an article
> had written, and it was in English, with a note....the note was written
> Helen Keller, and there was a moment I could not breathe, the still-point
> transformational moment. I wanted to photocopy the document, but could
> Now I will always have it. The Still-Point Moment, of course, must be
> accompanied with displacement, or dereflection (Frankl), or a form of
> disobjectivation (A. N. Leontiev), through the magic of catharis to a new
> "converted form" (Mamardashvilli).
> *Our orphanage in Vyschgorod (120 km from Moscow) once received a group
> called "Maria's Children." Maria is an artist and she has an art center
> Moscow for orphans from various orphanages there. One of her close
> is Patch Adams, who used to come to Moscow yearly to visit hospitals.
> Maria's children also have learned how to clown in orphanages and
> hospitals....In Vyschgorod, we are in the middle of nowhere, with a
> a building housing staff, and a building where the children live, and
> woods.One afternoon Maria's Children (+adults) came to visit, and they
> were all dressed as clowns. For one hour they did not speak, but played
> simple games in circles, painted faces, there was juggling, etc. Our
> children could not connect at first, they had never experienced anything
> like it. Slowly, the older children brought the younger children into the
> circles of activity, and the clown healers started speaking in a low
> Maria's husband had a large map, and started
> asking the children where elephants live, etc. After 30 minutes, we all
> went into the gym for snacks, to just interact. Everyone started talking,
> talking, laughing, it got very loud, and it was the first time I had ever
> seen the children and teachers smile and laugh. I was so overcome with
> emotions that I had to go outside alone, and just cry. It was a
> moment, it was Perezhivanie, with a large "P." Later, now bonded, our
> group went to the building the children live in, and together, everyone
> painted the walls of the main hall, one large, connected painting with
> types of pictures flowing together on the walls. Maria's children came to
> us, gave so much, and just left. We will always carry those moments in
> hearts.
> *This morning it is finally winter in was raining, and I
> just went on the deck in the rain, and it was pure "perezhivanie" (with a
> small "p," but really good).
> So, to close, the new discourse I am discovering is to try and become a
> "verb" and not just describe what a verb is....verbs need to be grounded
> nouns, all of which is grounded in a changing/fluid dialectic
> etc., meaning there are tons of realities experienced at
> in our new century we will start to view Vygotsky and many others within
> context of a "verb" (please don't take me literally). As I now state over
> and over, in 1999 Lev Kravtsov said it the best for me: His hope is that
> people will stop trying to prove the correctness of individual views and
> theories of Vygotsky (i.e., he was a Spinozist, no he was a semiotician,
> no a Marxist, etc.). It is Lev's hope that we can all start to view
> solving, theory creation, etc., THROUGH the eyes of Vygotsky.
> like the concept/term "water, for me is magic, including all aspects of
> life. To become who we really are, like Patch Adams did.
> Wishing all of you a blessed and joyous Perezhivanie!
> Dot
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Received on Tue Dec 4 00:46 PST 2007

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