Tue

13

Mar

2012

Solovyov (2)

I re-read some of my books and online materials again about Solovyov's works. Some notes / findings:

 

- Solovyov's writings generally classified in 3 phases - Lectures on Divine Humanity was in the first period. Second period focuses on ecclesiastical thoughts. Last period (1890's) most important work is Justification of Good, but the Meaning of Love (a very slim volume), the short poema Three Encounters, and his last published work Three Conversations were also considered important.

 

- Justification of the Good is philosophical ethics; Solovyov revered Kant in most ways but of course has his own specific viewpoints. Sophiology not mentioned. Given these two, it is hard to include as in our list when Kant's writings on practical philosophies were not even included. The other works are really too insubstantial to count as key works.

 

- The emphasis on Solovyov's importance in first formulating Sophiology is actually attributed to his later admirer Sergei Bulgakov. Solovyov's influence was broader than this theological aspect.

 

- Someone wrote a book (publisehd by Yale) comparing Solovyov and Dostoyevsky - and found their thoughts similar, and both crossed between philosophy and literature. Online, there was also a reference saying Dostoyevsky's view on Divine Humanity in Brothers Karamazov was influenced by Solovyov's lectures on Divine Humanity (Dostoyevsky attended the lectures)

 

- There is an Amercian-based discussions of Tolstoy or Dostoeyevsky; in fact, it is a classic "old criticism" book written with this title by a certain George Steiner. There are people who really liked Dostoeyevsky (e.g. Steiner), but there are also people like Nabokov or Bloom who would clearly ranked Tolstoy higher.

 

So where do I come out on these? I tend to stick to my original selection of Lectures for Divine Humanity for my list of 150 (or 54 for western tradition).

 

But ... if and when I collapse the list to 100 texts, possibly I could be choosing Brothers Karamazov to replace War & Peace and Lectures on Divine Humanity.

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