A & V
 V & P

on Ist V of Platonov's works (Moscow, IWLI RAS, 2004)

the volume 1 consists of two books, the first book contains tales,
verses  (1912-1927),  the second book - articles (1918-1926) 

In the present volume have been made public the principal texts of Platonov in which he thinks over Nicolas Fyodorov's (Russian Nikolai Fedorovich Fedorov, 1829-1903) The Note and has completed the construction of the Russian Canon distinctly realizing what he is working at. The majority of them were published in the Voronezh commune newspaper. "Profound shining thoughts, like hot winds, are everyday rushed among people; the great technical devices and the novel constructions of universes are spontaneously (until, until) generated at the ordinary, everyday, and unendurable labour", Vor.com., 26.12.1920,I-2,128 (26th Dec., 1920, vol.I, book 2, p.128).
      The basic principles of the canon was first expounded in Tolstoy's well-known treatise on the art published in England in the end of the XIXth century; comparing English and Russian texts, Virginia Woolf establishes that they have belonged to diverse civilizations; now she have been translated into Russian by "Platonov's language" [1].
      Rub is a nature. Fyodorov abuse Tolstoy ("abused" would be without authority: "the perished from decease are living within us", Vor.com., 15.1.1921, I-1,397) for whom the blind nature force is an object of worship: "A bird, say Count L.Tolstoy, is arranged in such a way that it has got to fly, to peck, to go, and to have one's wits about one, and directly it does all this, it gets gratification, happiness; it's the bird". Platonov seems to be assenting: "Bourgeoisie is a puppy. The genuine enemy is nature, universe, and only the dazzled, fooled poets admire and sing it songs" (I-2,156); scorched fields are before his eyes; "the drought fall out in two years on the third" (Ivan Zhoch, the Russia of the XVIIIth century, I-1,28); but at the same year 1921 he writes (Fyodorov hasn't been in the least anything like it): "the nature is always something that is bolder and greater than the most unrestricted human dream" (I-1,190). The immediate precursor of Platonov in it is Chaadaev; he says: "The nature have a plastic power creating forms. It appears to contain the vital source which is remarkably in on crystallization. That is just where one must investigate it. Crystallization is an odd phenomenon; the nature starts with pure geometry; it's an inexhaustible source for reflections". The issue about the mind of the nature hang up; Platonov lives in the world, where "brisk protozoa aren't able to rich such a level in elaboration and organic perfection without participating and feeling nature itself (Vor.com., 2.3.1921, I-2,151); "the escape isn't within us but outside" (I-2,162).
      The inward life was entangled by rum conceptions, e.g. the laws did not depend on desires, but for flaws; they gaped; Chaadaev said, "There are minds so false that even the truth stated by them becomes a lie"; here's your category of laws which are independent of your consciousness. In a century it has partly infiltrated even into science, namely into quantum physics. That is an anthropness principle but in a truncated aspect: the intervention of measuring instruments into an investigated process doesn't allow to find the very process. Fyodorov abrogates "the law" of struggle contrary to evidence, ironically speaks (the third part of The Note) of "the mystic force of gravity". It appears, Platonov wonders, that "the man carried his personal experiences, feelings, and odd thoughts into all the nature, generalized, and declared them as the laws of life stroke for all the universe"; "know thyself, and you will get to know all"; the science "cannot understand that any natural phenomenon (and any law) arises from action of infinite phenomena elapsed earlier... the main point of appearance consists in his changeability, fluidity, regeneration, and virtue to be the cause of other appearance. The nature hasn't any laws and cannot have them; there are some human errors and reflections on these errors...We see two or three steps, which we have passed over but don't see the whole staircase and what it sets at" (Over dead abyss, Vor.com., 4.3.21, I-2,153), i.e. any law, for example, the gravity law isn't simply a convenient approach to be specified further on, but it might cease to be such, since we don't know what essence of gravity is, for "the earth vacillates under us, and there are hurricanes in the ground, and perhaps the earth will soon burst and rush asunder because of interaction laws misunderstood us", and "the sun is a burst planet" (I-2,156), and dialectics laws aren't laws at all (I-2,284). In forty odd years at Messenger's traditional readings the noted physicist R.Feynman will say (it's correct "said" instead of "will say" etc. by standing rules) that the pull of objects to the ground is a well-known fact but there is no necessity for further generalization, allegedly all bodies attract each other, to calculate a trajectory of a shell or artificial Earth satellites. Some twenty years later the prominent mathematician A.N.Kolmogorov will write that the conception of appropriateness may scarcely be defined, but one ought to try; it is already nearer about what Platonov writes in the Voronezh commune, but a hundred years have not yet passed. The same applies to economic laws where the supremacy of "the commanding at-groaning-board classes" (I-2,128) always "is justified by the being of these non-existent laws which is "iron necessity"; the at-groaning-board classes consider themselves "as some outflow and product of these laws" (I-2,153).
      The indistinctness in science and art, what they are, connects with well-knoun circumstance: the reorganization of reality on one's wish was always for people beyond their power, and the humanity has began "with easier, more feasible work - with the reorganization of symbols, images, shadows of this reality e.g. with words". But since a word is "a very deaf echo of reality", everybody who tried to settle these questions broke one's jaws down. "To settle them isn't necessary, one should take a ready answer" (I-2,164): the art is organization of chaos, it is called to untie this world from "laws" and turn it on "which it wants to be, what it pines itself, and which the man wants to have it". "Science and art coinside in their superior states...where the research of this world is just the same as the creaton of this world". Only science and art isolated into separate estates "are at diverse spots" and can't define themselves. While Platonov wrote in the Voronezh commune that the nature can have no laws, H.Poincare had already promulgated that all results which astronomers were so much proud were based on the use of divergent series. The scientific world are naturally in embarrassment. Poincare offers a way out which already satisfies not many; the science seems to indulge in invention of plausible reasonings, but "black holes" are able to console only hosewives, they know where money has vanished - into the black houl. Newton alleged that he wielded the general method of solving differential equations, but it was a pure poetry, for in Sir Isaac's times there were no computers, the verification of the method was impossibly, so that this "wielding" made not a practical sense; now one would think we have got such possibilities, but whether got by means of "a general method" solutions are the real solutions of initial equations is not known, and way out of this situation won't be, the science only gives one of possible descriptions for data of observations in brief summary. "One can see the life tired in ancestry, in millennia going out slowly, growing dim at universities from some kind and handsome people, at parties and lectures" (Black saviour, I-2,157). Simultaneously, at the same days, Virginia Woolf writes about classic science: "It is not simple, or pure, or wholly splendid, the lamp of learning, since if you see them there under its light...how priestly they look! How like a suburb where you go to see a view and eat a special cake! 'We are the sole purveyors of this cake'" (Jacob's Room, Chapter III). Whenever Platonov admires the science it is always technics man and machinery are united in, "all science has been equalized and came to engineering" (Beggar's thirst, Vor.com., 1.1.21, I-1,169). "Speaking strictly and up the end all the industry, all the economy starting since old times have been held up by continuous, imperceptible ingenuity" (In beginning of consciousness realm , Vor.com., 12.1.21, I-2,144). The modern art is organization of symbols, substance spectres, it isn't a creative labor but songs about labor. Certainly, even such image of reality as a word is a part of reality, but it's a surface of reality, "the image is a surfage idea" (I-2,165).
      The ready answers are out the modern science (all the more so according to Chaadaev and Fyodorov out philosophy) and the modern art (and according to Chekhov and Platonov out existent religions). The adherence to morality according to Fyodorov means sticking to what one should be; it is inadmissible that people should die of starvation; the adjustment of language with nature, say he, ought to be begun just with the solution of this problem. Tolstoy (1889) about Marx's "Capital": "There will be the same palaces, gastronomic dinners, sweets, wines, carriages, and horses - only everythihg will be open to everyone...how they don't see, that it is impossible"; Fyodorov: "one can't ameliorate, amend the man's destiny by any social reorganizations"; Platonov writes (The sandy schoolmistress, I-1,47): 'We aren't wicked and you aren't wicked but there isn't a grass enough - someone dies and swears!', says the nomands' chief to Mary. History is now predestined facilitating the way for humanity, but it isn't any history at all (I-2,225). A stated problem is changing the past: Peter I "terribly exhausted mighty woods, bared the ground so that surface flowing waters were nothing retarded, the streams began to be littered up, become shallow, and turn into swamp; the malaria has appeared" (I-2,291), "the whole kingdom has fallen into decay owing to Peter-tsar, Lefort's son" (I-1,27). They are losing the equilibrium on terms with the nature - such is a story of people. Half the texts of both parts of the first volume and all the practical activity of Platonov is devoted "to one of the most powerful (on the capacity of labour and the useful effect afterwards) applied sciences - the melioration (the science of imroving the earth and putting it in a reasonable state)", Vor.com., 1.4.23 (I-2,248).
      The problem of strengthening the internal moisture turnover can be solved for a hundred, two hundred years (At front of intense heat, Vor.com., 26.4.22, I-2,211). It is advisable for the next works to be simultaneously conducted (Platonov used to fulfil all this): the arrangement and repair of ponds, the arrangement of wells (framed, concreted, tubular), the drainage of swamped areas, the artificial irrigation of earths, the strenthening of gullies. "All Russia, in the first instance its southeast oblasts, must be hydroficationed, irrigated artifically, put out of dependence on rains" (Breadlathe, Vor.com., 14.12.21, I-2,202). The hydrosphere (the rivers, sea and ocean currents, subsoil and artesian waters, thickenings of steams in the air) is a mechanism which is reconstructed in iteself with the current of centuries; the technique of climatic improvements is faund either on the reconstruction of a relief for affecting an atmosphere or on hydrotechnical constructions. To defreeze the east part of the Siberia one ought to sewer warm currents into Siberia through mountain-masses and cold air flows with a glacial dust out of Siberia into the Gobi Desert, where there exist such places which no one has ever seen any precipitations in; the thawed glacial dust will give the desert clouds and rains first since the creaton of world. It is possible to make a humid temperate with predominance to warm instead of burning-desert climate in China and a moderate West European one, approximately like Germany, in the Siberia (About improvements of climate, Vor.com., 4.4.23, I-2,306-308). "The unfreezed Sibiria! That should become the slogan of the Soviet Union" (acording to Platonov's estimation, the expenses on this project will be roughly 3 times larger than some on the building of the Panama Canal). All that can become realizable subject to solving the power problem by conversion of the sunlight energy (but no burnt fuel which "is exhausted in time; what is now used as fuel will serve as a raw stuff for the manufacturing industry in the near future", Vor.com., 31.7.23, I-2,254), for "even the power of atom cloven by E.Rutherford is nothing comparatively with the power of light ocean" (I-2,220). The energy conservation law is the same fiction as well as any law, all plum life of humanity goes entirely at the expense of the sun (Fight against desert, Vor.com., 14.12.24,I-2,276). The same fiction are all these solutions of equations concerning the spreading of light, they are based on the conservation laws. Besides there is no clearness: "It is perfectly clear that the Sun doesn't emit any heat rays; the interplanetary electromagnetic medium, this abyss of currents, can't serve as a transmitter for them. The Sun emits electromagnetic oscillations and some more something, even more delicate and subtle. Merely the Earth converts the electromagnetic power of the Sun into heat by the joint resistance of complicated atmosphere and ground" (Lunar prospectings, I-1,122). "'Electricity - vot (very English what) is this really?' 'I don't know and am worring in consequence of that', replied the learned" (I-1,269). We have to care - no for truth and justice (Platonov hates ideals, spirituality, and other skirts of old maids), but - for the solution of a power question; we have to consider a history identical with practical solution of the single energy problem (I-2,219). "This fight can go on for thousands of years, but we must win" (Vor.com., 14.12.21, I-2,201), "destroy this despair, this incarceration in misery, and this execution of millions" (Vor.com., 19.9.23, I-2,227); such is the precept of Platonov. What "spirituality" while there is such a labour as miner's!
      Platonov hasn't any implications. The implementation of the common aim calls for joining up forces; it is necessary that people well should understand each other, that your soul shouldn't be for others a deceit. Going into lower strata of labour, in workshop, in foundry, in fields where there are being all truth of a life, Platonov made sure that the nature didn't know a deceit, it didn't know any purposeful punishment (I-1,33)! The precursors, authors of the Canon [2], hasn't any implications too. The legend about shutness, encodement of Platonov's texts serves the simple purpose namely - to an opportunity to interpret them to play up to the commanding at-groaning-board classes: firstly Platonov was charmed with the revolution and then disappointed at it. He wasn't charmed. Furthermore he was never disappointed. "The communizm is only a wave in the ocean of eternal history" (Future October, Vor.com., 9.11.20, I-2,108). Ibid: "we are even more revolutionaries than communists and chiefly - no fanatics"; if in the class system there are capitalist and proletarian, at the communism they will be transformed into inventor and stoker, the qualified worker and the labourer; a society will be again driven into a corner and "October will be repeated" (Fyodorov: "the segregation of learneds in estate is the greater disaster than the division into the poors and the richs"); where is a charm about it? This day is, he writes on the 9 January 1905, "richer in content and more valuable than thousands of teachings about the working class, its tactics and aims" (Vor.com., 22.1.21, I-2,149), these are about Marx and Lenin's teachings, there aren't any implications. Marx has founded the teaching which didn't depend on his consciousness and that's why he was considered a god. The difference in the natural conditions of life leads to the uncompetitiveness and slavery (very English "happiness" instead of "slavery" e.g. happiness of India under the sway of the English) through the mechanism of free trade, this fact is trivial, three volumes of "The Capital" were to suggest that there were something else there, but it was only said about the gratification of wants (Tolstoy said right away); the freedom of pandering one's whimsies can't lead to a equality and fraternity, writes Fyodorov (to say nothing of what the delights of the commanding at-groaning-board classes isn't quite incomprehensible as delights to the inventors' class; "till now we have been only copying the bourgeoisie", Vor.com., 5.1.22, I-2,203), any teaching hasn't been, the contempt for workers has been expressed by the thickness of volumes. Marxism proved to be a model bourgeois teaching. Puting the satisfaction of one's wants as the aim it self-actingly slides to strive for increase in labour productivity, the five-year plan in four years, intensification of nature destruction. "The subdual of nature" according to Fyodorov and Platonov is the mutual renewal and support of all life on the earth, the development of the possibilities for the nature and man, i.e. slightly different vector of efforts namely: the gathering "sure" yield which should be secured unworsening properties of the soil, the alteration of "nature laws" (as a matter of fact, one can't be called moral the extermination an animal or an insect by whatever means), and above all the cognition of electricity, the clue of cognizing all the universe (I-2,220).
      Platonov sincerely admires Marx, Lenin, Trotsky; not knowing anything about the worth, power, and charms of raw matter nevertheless they sometimes say the necessary things by accident, for example, Lenin say, that our task is to teach every cook of ruling the State; how has he guessed? Just what Fyodorov said about although he died before all revolutions. Hitherto the science knew tests being carried on here and there, now and then, some people; it don't know the test, being carried with all, always and everywhere; reconctruction of the terrestrial globe beginning with turn all people to agriculture, everybody self-actingly has a chance of beeng drawn into this process. True, Marxists considered for some reason just the peasantry as a secondary class; but it isn't important, for the work with a view to changing the face of the earth "will solve all social problems within mankind in running order" (New Gospel, 13.11.21, I-2,192). The chairman of credit assotiation say about Jlyich (i.e. adorable Comrade Lenin), "As is known here for everyone, he taught that a kerosene lamp struck fires, made the stuffy heat in an izba, and injured to health" (I-1,57). Lenin is seemed to see through and irrespective of his consciousness, the electric bulb did not smoke. Focusing attention on the hydrofication works (electrification for hydrofication) and involving people in this collaboration, Platonov writes, we are receiving a certain effect which any propaganda isn't giving ("when the canal was led on the Black Kalitva, the peasants wept...during decades this problem was unsolvable", Vor.com., 15.11.24, I-2,275) and going in for propaganda with accent on the struggle (included for the correct conception of marxism), we can discredit the socialism and Soviet power and lose all: "The revolution being stretched on a vastly long period can come to naught, i.e. it can become a force which allegedly for objective conditions but in reality for the own weakness revives capitalism in even more unendurable mad forms than before the revolution" (I-2,187), for "objective conditions are reality subjective but not in the least objective" (I-2,188). "One must redefine the communist concept and сhange all behaviour of RCP" (Vor.com., 29.12.20,I-2,131), "now communist is an inventor, a finder of new best methods of labour" (Vor.com., 12.11.20, I-2,112).
      The criticism of the edition is adduced at [3]; the edition conception (chief editor N.Kornienko) follows a tradition in which youthful texts of Platonov have tangly contents (as is supposed to be youthful texts), i.e. imbroglios ("the store house of inconceivable fiction"). E.Jablokov (I-2,366) speaks ironically of Platonov, who "offered a logical solution of one of Cantor's theorems" that "the number of points within cube, square etc was the same as the quantity of points set on one of sides"; that's why the article of Platonov isn't included in the present volume. Nevertheless the quantity of points in the segment 1 cm is the same as in the segment 2 cm, from which there arise supplementary difficulties, in particular, with the interpretation of conservation laws about Platonov says. Endeavours of overcoming private estimations have already failed in the very selection; "literature is ill with death" (I-1,496) is adduced in extraction.
      Tales are arranged no in chronological order but divided into groups, more kept and less. "The decisions of Platonov" hypocritically are refered to. "The decisions" are accepted under the pressure of repeatedly changed "directions" of G.Litvin-Molotov, "a friend and a mentor", who preserved books with touching inscriptions of Platonov but knew that an author couldn't be wiser then chief editor (any texts have to correspond to fundamental tenets of Marxism and the author can elaborate only private clauses but don't have to be occupied with "useless philosophizing" (I-2,354) about "future October"), and taught Platonov to "the genuine communism" (ibid). Platonov to Litvin: "to cut thoughts in the spirit of Marxism means to outrage proletariat and to show one's own foul public" (I-2,129), and the official revolutionaries (L.Averbakh, A.Gurvich) subsequently shall sincerely love Platonov and help him pieces of good advice, "why I am still safe and is not annihilated" wondered Platonov (I-1,167) as early as December 1920 (!) in the text placed now in the section of less kept works, and authors of commentaries certainly don't see any connection of Platonov's texts with Fyodorov's texts (to say nothing of Chaadaev). They don't see any vestiges in "the perished from decease", Fyodorov's text on regulation in Platonov's Electrification (1920) here and there!
      The answer is simple. In contrast to Platonov authors of the scientific publication have an implication; they aren't simple-minded and are secretly convinced the Chinese will adopt orthodoxy at the very near time, how will they not adopt? Litvin tried to foist Marx off on Platonov, they - Russian religious philosophers, Rozanov (a provocation of Shklovsky) etc. Kornienko refering (I-2,402) to notebooks of Platonov (and no giving a single instance) hint at their accordance to ideas of above thinkers as a whole and even in particulars. A lot of commentary pages on Platonov's texts are dedicated to religious philosophers and not a line - to Fyodorov. He mars a picture, don't promote "a right conception". He hould that a philosopher was by no means the highest stage or an ideal of humanity but its one-sided abnormal development so Fyodorov scholars took offence and published The Note under the title "Philosophy of common cause", and Platonov hould thus, "the author is a dead man and quite unenlightened" (Vor.com., 9.8.22, I-2,228), he writes on their beloved philosopher L.Karsavin, "his book is wretched as Christianity". "Your deification of nature (pantheism) doesn't solve the religious issue too since people have considered it needless for life" (I-1,461). Here is both the negation of pantheism (for the nature is a friend and an enemy simultaneously) and the unnecessity of the very religious issue (pretetious "if there is no God then all is allowed" got to be perceived after Chekhov as a pettiness; why the text is from the Gospel but no Koran's, he ask Tolstoy). Fyodorov (following Chaadaev) asserted that "Catholicism is a religion of horror, and a rule over it is terrorism" (The Note, p.III) and determinated Marxism as a section of Judaism; most religious philosophers spoke in support of canonical Christianity in which commandments of Moses conformed to Christ' and that was why they might be: Hitler who extirpated wrong peoples according the commandments of Moses, Gulag, Hiroshima, bombings of the Yugoslavija and the Iraq (for the same reason, though words was said others, necessary); they all had the same roots. Marxists and religious philosophers practically don't tell some from others, for substitution of God for a law independent of own consciousness retains anything on one's places, and one must do as is told. Sabaoth was renamed Marx, Judaists - atheists, the Holy Synod - Politbureau; the destruction of churches was a strife between one's people; the Russian church deviated from the canonical Christianity and was punished; now it returned to the commandments of Moses to be built. If one speaks about Tolstoy's Christianity Christ has abolished commandments of Moses in, it, writes Platonov, took place in the Buddhism, existed before Christ (Vor.com., 20.10.20, I-2,96), and was no deed, but a doubt, inaction, hope; it was even no faith, but a way, the way to personal saving; in the tail Tyuten, Vityuten and Protegalen (from the section of less kept works) where Tyuten (Platonov substituded an ear-ring for Marx's beard and wound Trotsky's towel round his neck), Vityuten (Tolstoy - a lover of birds) and Protegalen (Gor'ky - "God-seeking") are flood with water in the cave; they aren't solving a religious issue, one must arrange with the nature.
      Constructors of world views are nasty people, don't do as is told, but here science enters, gives the necessary description in a brief summary it follows their wrong from.


     [1] http://zavtra.ru/, 35, 1999
     [2] http://platonov.mkovrov.ru/text.html
     [3] http://platonov.mkovrov.ru/main.html