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The Russian CosmistsThe Esoteric Futurism of Nikolai Fedorov and His Followers$
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George M. Young

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199892945

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199892945.001.0001

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Forerunners of Russian Cosmism

Forerunners of Russian Cosmism

(p.12) 2 Forerunners of Russian Cosmism
The Russian Cosmists

George M. Young

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses forerunners of the Cosmists and their ideas, including: Vasily Karazin’s proposals for weather control; Alexander Radischev’s sense of man’s continuing evolution; the merger of art and science in the poetry of Mikhail Lomonosov and the sense of cosmic awe in the poetry of Gavrila Derzhavin; Prince Vladimir Odoevsky’s futuristic utopia in which Russia and China are dominant civilizations; and Alexander Sukhovo-Kobylin’s eccentric speculations on human evolution toward smaller, lighter bodies, and eventually toward bodiless existence. Each of these thinkers anticipated ideas later developed more fully by Fedorov and the Cosmists, but none goes far enough to be considered more than a forerunner.

Keywords:   Karazin, Radischev, Lomonosov, Derzhavin, Odoevsky, Sukhovo-Kobylin

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