2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-07-31 00:17
In search of an answer to the question of who an intelligent person is, one should not be like Vasisualy Lokhankin, the hero of the famous novel created by a duet of Soviet classics. The novel says that he never served anywhere, because the work would make it difficult for him to think about what the true purpose of the Russian intelligentsia is. The night "gourmet" - a lover of someone else's borscht and cutlets - attributed himself to this layer of society.
What does it mean to be an intelligent person? Each period of the development of society formulated its own definition of this concept. The outstanding Russian scientist and intellectual Likhachev Dmitry Sergeevich wrote in his letter published in 1993 in Novy Mir that an intellectual should have intellectual freedom as a basic moral category, limited only by his conscience and thought.
If you look into history, then for the second half of the 19th century, an intelligent person is a simple commoner who was educated and sought to break into people only due to his abilities and craving for science, for knowledge. Its very origin implied a struggle, both with social inequality and with class. Representatives of such an intelligentsia were the intellectual idols of the youth of the 1860s - Pisarev, Chernyshevsky and Dobrolyubov.
In addition to the “Raznochinskiy”, at the same time an intelligent person of the “Chekhovian” type appeared, who strove more for a moral reorganization, and not for a political one. Representatives of this group created works of art, sowing reasonable and kind, opened schools and hospitals for the poor, taught peasant children. We find a striking correspondence to this type in the character of the hero of the famous work of Flaubert - the shrewd doctor Lariviere, who despised ranks and showed generosity and cordiality towards the poor patients. This and other similar images prove the international nature of this type of intellectual, somewhat diluting the often mentioned Russian monopoly.
Before the revolution, the writer Leonid Andreev, a friend of Maxim Gorky, defined an intelligent person as such, who could not endure humiliation from the "powerful of this world", had a debilitating heightened conscience, and, no matter how drunk he was, all the same remained cultured and educated.
It has always been difficult for an intelligent person with the above set of qualities to live. But after the dictatorship of the proletariat was proclaimed by the Soviet government, he generally had to survive. According to the definition of the outstanding Soviet figure Lunacharsky, in order to realize oneself as a true intellectual, three university diplomas are needed: the first is grandfather's, the second is father's, the third is his own.own. However, the presence in the family of three documents on education does not guarantee anything - neither a developed intellect, nor the presence of an external and internal culture. The mentioned definition is also untenable for the reason that after the revolutionary shootings, emigration waves, repressions, exiles and the Gulag, even such formally intelligent families remained in Soviet Russia. But this place was not empty for long, the Soviet intellectual simply appointed someone who was professionally engaged not in physical, but in mental labor.
Of course, somewhere else in the country there was a real educated and cultured people who did not reconcile themselves to power and cherished lofty feelings in their souls. Its prototypes are often found on the pages of the works of Fedin, Tolstoy, Bulgakov, Zoshchenko and others, but among the victorious boor such people were doomed to extinction.
True, the twentieth century (in its second half) revealed to the world its worthy and intelligent representatives, brought up by a dissident and artistic and literary bohemian environment. All of them have passed the path of spiritual transformation, based on inner freedom and the best domestic examples of literature, music and art of the pre-revolutionary and Soviet period.
The definitions given in this article, of course, are not exhaustive. Search, inquisitive readers, using your intellectual freedom and guided by thought and conscience.
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