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The Filmmaker's PhilosopherMerab Mamardashvili and Russian Cinema$
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Alyssa DeBlasio

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474444484

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474444484.001.0001

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Ivan Dykhovichnyi’s The Black Monk (1988): Madness, Chekhov, and the Chimera of Idleness

Ivan Dykhovichnyi’s The Black Monk (1988): Madness, Chekhov, and the Chimera of Idleness

Chapter:
(p.57) Chapter 2 Ivan Dykhovichnyi’s The Black Monk (1988): Madness, Chekhov, and the Chimera of Idleness
Source:
The Filmmaker's Philosopher
Author(s):

Alyssa DeBlasio

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474444484.003.0003

While Mamardashvili was teaching at Moscow’s Higher Courses for Scriptwriters and Directors in the 1980s, he was also traveling back and forth between Moscow and Tbilisi. His series of lectures on novelist Marcel Proust, which he delivered at Tbilisi State University as The Psychological Topology of the Way, was one of his most expansive lecture cycles. In this chapter, I will focus on a single movement in Mamardashvili’s Proust series: his discussion of mental illness and its implications for human consciousness. This chapter focuses on Ivan Dykhovichnyi’s 1988 adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Black Monk (1893), a novella that Mamardashvili regularly referred to in his lectures in the early 1980s. Dykhovichnyi was a student of Mamardashvili’s at Moscow’s Higher Courses for Scriptwriters and Directors in 1980-1982. For Mamardashvili, Chekhov’s novella about an exhausted scholar with visions of grandeur was a literary exemplar of the unity of consciousness and, by extension, the indivisibility of selfhood. Mamardashvili’s vision of the self did not conform to the Soviet state’s approach to mental health, which sought to eradicate vices of the mind so as to perfect political and social consciousness through medical intervention.

Keywords:   Ivan Dykhovichnyi, Anton Chekhov, The Black Monk, Higher Courses for Scriptwriters and Directors

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