Immortality as Sociocultural Contribution: A Philosophical and Artistic Conception of Milan Kundera’s Novel Immortality

About 10 months ago

Dr.Olga Babenko, a lecturer at the English Language Centre, presented the UKH's 26th lunch seminar on October 12th, 2017. Her presentation focused on Immortality as Sociocultural Contribution: A Philosophical and Artistic Conception of Milan Kundera’s Novel Immortality

Milan Kundera, a Czech-French novelist, who has lived in exile in France since 1975, presents his vision of immortality as unequal individual sociocultural contribution to the spiritual consciousness of humanity, according to which immortals are divided into greater and minor types, the artists and statesmen. Kundera’s novel Immortality (1990) goes in line with one of the trends in the philosophical tradition which considers immortality as everlasting influence, the impact of life and creative work of a man, who lived some time ago, upon minds, behavior, and activity of succeeding generations. This philosophical thought precisely reflects the views of Russian psychiatrist and neurologist Vladimir Bekhterev, who founded the St. Petersburg Psychoneurological Research Institute in 1907 and presented his understanding of the subject in a speech Immortality from the Scientific Point of View in 1916 and died under strange circumstances in 1927 after courageously diagnosing Stalin as a paranoiac. Both thinkers accentuate the importance of continuity of a nation through the continuity of its mind – in its institutions, literature, science, and art.


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