Beyond the Horizon: The Russian Revolution Seen from Afar

  • Karl Schlögel
Part of the Critical Political Theory and Radical Practice book series (CPTRP)


Commemoration ceremonies and especially centennials, reflect the changes of perception and interpretations over the years, decades, and generations. As the centennial of the 2017 shows, there is a growing disinterest to engage in passionate controversies. The October revolution is, so the argument of the presentation, drifting away into a past so far away. This is a chance to re-enter an all too well-known field. The falling apart of grand narratives opens the chance to raise new questions and discuss new approaches beyond “pro or contra” and to look around with eyes trained by phenomenology and ethnology for rewriting the so-called “time of troubles.” Taking into account that history takes place not only sequentially, but also simultaneously, we are challenged to rethink the forms of narration. If there is not only the linear process of historic development, and we have to cope with the “simultaneity of dissimultaneity” (Ernst Bloch), conventional forms of narration are under threat. This is the moment to get rid of the linearity and sequentiality of the historical processes and to accept contingency as the center of all things happening. From this follows the challenge, to develop a narrative, adequate to the complexity of the historical process, the simultaneity of shocks and repercussions, the staccato of events and the continuity of longue durée, take-off and decadence, military mobilization and destabilization, apocalyptic nightmares and bright utopias, the discipline of professional revolutionaries and the chaotic events out of control.


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl Schlögel
    • 1
  1. 1.European University ViadrinaFrankfurt (Oder)Germany

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