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Title:For the potential of Kierkegaardian analysis in Soviet studies through the study of Soviet film
Author(s):Higgins, Nicholas D
Advisor(s):Tempest, Richard
Department / Program:Russian,E European,Eurasn Ctr
Discipline:Russian, E Eur, Eurasian St
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Soviet film
Communism as religion
Film analysis
Abstract:This thesis will argue for the potential for the use of Kierkegaardian philosophy as a tool of analysis in the field of Soviet studies demonstrated through the character analysis of select Soviet films. From Danish, existential philosopher Søren Kierkegaard’s model of faith, presented in his follow-up to Either/Or, Fear and Trembling, I will use the model and its parts, which are steeped in existential and religious philosophy, and will connect them to the Soviet Union through the study of the historical link and the philosophical link between them. They are historically connected through the link between Kierkegaard and early Soviet thinkers. The philosophical connection is discovered in the existence of the understanding of Communism as religion, which brings Soviet Communism to the religious realm of Kierkegaard’s World. With a connection between Kierkegaard and the Soviet Union firmly in place, it becomes possible to demonstrate the possibility of Kierkegaardian philosophy through the film analysis. I divide the analysis between the four parts of Kierkegaard’s model of faith. The ethical becomes reflected in Boris from The Cranes are Flying, Stalin from The Fall of Berlin, and Alyosha from Ballad of a Soldier. The aesthetic is found in the characters of Mark from The Cranes are Flying, Hitler from The Fall of Berlin, and Vadim from The Forty-First. The knight of resignation is found in Veronika from The Cranes are Flying and Maria from The Forty-First. And finally the knight of faith is found in Alyosha Ivanov from The Fall of Berlin and Klim from Tractor Drivers. By demonstrating the potential of Kierkegaardian analysis in these character studies, I show that Kierkegaard may have a future place in the field of Soviet studies after all.
Issue Date:2017-07-18
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Nicholas Higgins
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-09-29
Date Deposited:2017-08

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